Health Studies, A Family Affair for Gilbert Family

Submitted by Tiffani Nichols

In today’s competitive job market, having the right training, experience and a positive attitude makes all the difference. For one Gilbert family, taking the first step toward a new career in healthcare started with their mother. A short time later, it became a family affair with three members of the Tedesko family attending classes the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) in Mesa, Arizona.

Cindy Tedesco, 53, first learned of EVIT when her two sons, Aaron, 20, and Kevin, 21, attended the automotive and construction programs as high school students. At the time, she was working at a hospital as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) but knew she wanted to continue her education and eventually transition to a job in a physician’s office.

“In speaking with doctors about jobs that were in demand with opportunity for growth, several suggested I consider getting certified as a medical assistant” said Cindy Tedesco, who started the two-year Medical Assistant program in August.

A medical assistant can perform administrative and clinical tasks such as collect and prepare laboratory specimens, prepare and administer medications, draw blood, prepare patients for x-rays, take electrocardiograms, remove sutures, and change dressings under a doctor’s supervision.

“While I had done poorly as a student in elementary and high school, learning as an adult student is completely different. I love learning and acting as a mentor to some of the younger students in my class” she added.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical assistants is expected to grow 34 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the healthcare industry expands because of technological advances in medicine and the growth and aging of the population, there will be an increased need for all healthcare workers.

Cindy’s two sons, inspired by her dedication to go back to school, followed in her footsteps and registered for the Sterile Processing & Distribution (SPD) program at EVIT. During the 18-week program, Aaron and Kevin are learning how to clean, sterilize and package medical and surgical supplies. The SPD course is taught in a state-of-the-art lab with equipment and training provided through a Veteran’s Administration (VA) Partnership. They hope to land jobs working in a hospital or surgery center upon completion of the program.