Kristine Carrillo: Medical Assistant & Rising Star
One day when Kristine Carrillo was in church with her family, a man who was sitting nearby became ill and fainted. Then a high school student, with a Basic Life Support certification from the American Heart Association, Kristine jumped into action. She loosened the man’s tie, monitored his pulse, and called 911.
The incident ended well for the patient and was a defining moment for Kristine. “I felt so good about helping and everyone really appreciated what I did,” she says, adding, “When my mother said she was proud of me, I think that was the first time she actually realized how serious I was about a health care profession.”
Since childhood, Kristine has been a nurturer who loves taking care of people. “It makes me feel fulfilled to help others, especially when they really need someone to hold their hand and care about them.”
Kristine first enrolled at PCCC as a nursing student, but when the Covid-19 pandemic struck and affected her family, Kristine’s studies were derailed. Last Fall, she returned to PCCC in the medical assistant certificate program.
During her training, Kristine earned certifications in EKG and phlebotomy. She received her MA certificate in July at a ceremony where she was also the recipient of the Rising Star award, given to the student who displays “the aspiration to render greater service (leadership), dedication to the care and well-being of people (compassion), and commitment to the ethics of the medical assistant profession (professional integrity.)”
“I was very honored to receive that award,” says Kristine who, only a month earlier, was also recognized by the PCCC Student Government Association with the Emerging Leader Award.
The new medical assistant is now employed in the office of a Clifton cardiologist. “I did my internship there in May and was immediately hired,” she says. “I really enjoy seeing patients, and I’m learning about new heart medications and procedures in heart surgery.”
Kristine credits her PCCC professors and the staff in the medical assistant program for her success.
“I learned so much from my professors and felt well prepared for my job. They are always available if students have questions.” She was impressed that the Health Care Certificates program director, Rosemarie Rocchio, “had everyone’s best interests at heart. Her door is always open to us and she wants everyone to succeed.”
Still focused on becoming a nurse, Kristine is now enrolled in PCCC’s Health Science degree program, building on the credits she already earned in her certificate program.
Working with many senior patients in her job has inspired Kristine to become a geriatric nurse. “After hearing about how they were treated in nursing home facilities, I want to be there and advocate for the elderly.” Congratulations, Kristine. PCCC is proud of you.