Richmond Basallo was already working hard in the healthcare industry back home in the Philippines but he felt something was missing. The professional and inclusive Medical Office Administrator course at Evergreen College gave him the chance to expand his career horizons.

Richmond was already a successful biology degree graduate and gainfully employed at the Makati Medical Center in the Philippines but was looking for the next challenge. “I wanted to excel more in this field and make it more interesting and fulfilling,” he said.

He asked his sister, who lives in Canada, for recommendations about colleges and courses that may suit him. She recommended Evergreen College. One program, the Medical Office Administration Diploma, caught his eye.

He chose the program because it matched his interests and experiences in the healthcare field and because he was impressed by its breadth. The positive student testimonials were also a big factor in making his decision. “They helped me decide to choose the college,” he added.

From his home in the Philippines, Richmond completed his course registration and arranged his student visa, thanks to the help of Evergreen College staff. In July last year, he made his journey to Canada and was pleased with what he found when he got here.

The MOA course got Richmond job-ready fast and the flexible schedule meant Richmond could work part-time to support himself while studying.

The course highlighted the important skills of a MOA such as taking a medical history, updating and filing patient health record, conducting clinic procedures such as checking of vital signs, phlebotomy, urine testing or measuring an electrocardiogram (ECG) as well as medical transcription. The course also focused on enhancing the soft skills that everyone needs regardless of their job, such as communication and professionalism.

For Richmond, one of the most important lessons of the program was understanding the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). He also noted that learning practical skills such as performing ECG and phlebotomy serves as an advantage for him in the real world.

He also had the opportunity to gain 200 hours of experience through his internship as a Medical Office Assistant at Toronto Western Hospital. During that time, he put into practice everything he had learned at Evergreen College. “It was a very busy department but I felt equipped with knowledge and skills, thanks to our instructor and the program”, he said. The internship allowed him to make valuable connections in the industry, which gives him a good reference and an edge when it comes to applying for a job.

Coming to Canada not knowing anyone but a few family members was a big step for Richmond. He was thankful for the course that helped him meet other students from all over the world and made new friendships while learning. “I’m new to Canada but I didn’t feel alone,” he said, “I never felt out of place at school.”

He also had the support of his experienced instructor, Linda. “Our instructor was very friendly, approachable and provided students with the knowledge and skills they need in order to succeed in our chosen careers”, he remembers.

Richmond said that it was thanks to them that he now feels prepared to enter the workforce and excited to continue his career in the healthcare industry here in Canada.

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