Shantell Thompson says she always knew she wanted to be a medical assistant. When she decided the time was right to pursue this dream, the mother of three knew she needed to find a program that was nearby, had good class times and that was affordable. It was a Google search of programs, that met her criteria, that initially brought her to Asnuntuck.

Thompson said, “I knew I wanted a career that was not long to obtain and something that I can build on.” She said Asnuntuck’s Registered Medical Assistant program fit the bill. Thompson said achieving this goal involved hard work and building confidence in her abilities. “I always knew that I could be a Medical Assistant, my only problem was school.” She began her education in August, 2017 at Asnuntuck. She explained, “In the beginning I was second guessing if I could do it or not, to be a full-time wife and mother, and also a full-time student. I thought to myself what was I thinking.” But it all came together for the student. “I didn’t realize my “girl you got this” till halfway through my first semester.”

Thompson earned her Registered Medical Assistant certificate in August. Asnuntuck’s Registered Medical Assisting (RMA) Certificate curriculum, with a minimum of 38 credits required, prepares students to sit for a voluntary national certification exam sponsored by the American Medical Technologists. Upon passing the national exam, students will be able to work in any state and perform all duties required of a medical assistant under the direct supervision of a physician. “I really like the program.” She added, “I feel the best part was that the teacher had worked in the field. I also liked that the program had young and older people in it.”

The graduate is continuing her education. She is pursuing a Medical Assistant Associate’s degree and is anticipating a May, 2019 graduation. The Registered Medical Assisting (RMA) program leads to an Associate of Science degree and prepares students to sit for a voluntary national certification exam sponsored by the American Medical Technologists. To earn the degree, students will be required to successfully complete a minimum of 60 credits for the program.

Asnuntuck’s Program Coordinator Michele Howard Swan has provided career guidance to Thompson. A preschool teacher, prior to going back to school, Thompson knew she wanted to work with children. Howard-Swan provided the student with contact info for Baystate Health and Thompson took it from there and called Teri Wiles a supervisor for clinics and practice. “When we spoke on the phone she was a warm, welcoming person.” I said to myself if everyone there is like that, I’m going to love it! And I do!” Thompson who lives in Springfield, now works in Springfield for Baystate Health in the Children’s Specialty Center for the Pediatric Endocrinology Department.

Classes at Asnuntuck begin on August 28th. Visit for more information.