When adult clients arrive for their doctor’s appointments at the Elkhart campus, Suzanne Hamilton is one of the folks who helps them get prepared for their visit. As a medical assistant, she reviews their medications, checks vital signs and assesses questions and concerns.
She wanted to be a nurse since the third grade but put those plans on hold when she went to work full time after high school.
She ended up working in local trailer factories. When work was available, the money was great, but it was common to get laid off for stretches of time.
“I’ve gotten to do so many different things. You can move up; you can just go and go and go. There’s always opportunities.”
“After working in a factory for 13 years and having to struggle through being laid off, I knew I needed to go to school,” she said.
She enrolled in a medical assistant program through Michiana College, which was a two-year associate’s program at the time. After graduation, she worked at a local health clinic for several years before a friend encouraged her to come to Oaklawn.
Since then, nearly nine years ago, she’s worked in various positions, including as an administrative assistant, a mental health technician and medical assistant at Oaklawn’s residential youth campus in Mishawaka. Each job has been rewarding and for the same reason: “You can see the growth and see the difference treatment makes in people’s lives, and you feel good that you might have had a little bit of a hand of in it,” she said.
She also appreciates the stability and career paths available working for a large organization.
“I’ve gotten to do so many different things,” she said. “You can move up; you can just go and go and go. There’s always opportunities.”