Graduate Success

Below are just a few examples of the many successes that PCI alumni have earned after graduating and moving on to careers in their field.


Graduate: Deanna

Program: Dental Assistant
Employer: White Oak Dental

What motivated you to enroll in the PCI Dental Assistant Program?

Ever since I was little girl, I wanted to do something in the dental field. I used to play dentist with this Play-Doh kit I had, and I loved it as a little girl. I was tired of making minimum wage, I wanted to make a difference and pursue a passion of mine. So I decided to look online for a Dental Assistant program, and found PCI.

What do you consider the most important part of the program?

Every part of the program is important! From book work to hands-on in the lab! If I had to pick one, Four Handed Dentistry would be my choice, knowing the tray set up and instruments are so important in our field!

What class did you enjoy the most?

My favorite class was Specialties. We learned about all the different specialties of dentistry. Who knew there was so many!?

What did you like most about your Externship?

I was so incredibly lucky and fortunate to have my externship at White Oak Dental. In those 10 weeks I learned and assisted in many different procedures. From fillings and extractions to helping place implants in oral surgery. It truly was an amazing opportunity.

Could you tell us about your new position?

I have been hired as a Dental Assistant at White Oak Dental, and I couldn’t be happier! Even though I’m not in school any more, I continue to grow and learn every day. Thank you PCI for helping me to become the best Dental Assistant I can be.

What advice do you have for someone seriously considering the Dental Assistant profession?

If you’re serious about becoming a Dental Assistant then do it! Don’t let anybody stop you or tell you that you can’t. Stay focused and study hard. You will fall in love with the field just like I have! To all the Dental Assistants coming from PCI, hope to see you out in the field! GOOD LUCK!


Graduate:  Hope

Program: Medical Assistant

Employer: UPMC Community Pediatrics

 

What motivated you to enroll in the Medical Assistant Program?

My desire to work in health care; and the Medical Assistant program was going to make that happen in the shortest amount of time.

What do you consider the most important part of the program?

The hands-on skills that I learned, and the externship experience were both most important to me.

What class did you enjoy the most?

Clinical Procedures. I was able to learn and practice the important skills that I would be using on the job.

What did you like most about your Externship?

I did my externship at UPMC Community Pediatrics. My goal was to work with children and I like that I was able to reach that goal at my externship.  I liked the team and the fact that they taught me things beyond what I learned at school and trusted me enough to work with the patients.

Could you tell us about your new position?

I was hired from my externship. My start date was one week after I completed my hours.  Another goal reached!

What advice do you have for someone seriously considering the Medical Assistant profession?

Do It – but you have to be serious, work hard, and be able to discipline yourself to make it happen.


Graduate:  Lexie

Program: Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Employer: Duke Regional Hospital

What motivated you to enroll in the DMS program at PCI?

I knew the medical field was the path I wanted to take, but I knew nursing was not for me. Ultrasound was different and a challenge I wanted to pursue. The program at PCI has hands-on training which motivated me to start there because I was not one that could sit in a classroom all day and learn from just a book.

What do you consider the most important part of the program? 

Again, the hands-on aspect. Having the machines at the school was so important because it prepared me for the field and gave me the hands-on aspect to get a feel for if I would love to scan or if it was not for me.

What class did you enjoy the most?

A single class does not stand out to me that I enjoyed more than the others. Every class is so essential, from beginning to end. No matter which class, it was difficult. Luckily, with the amazing teachers we had in the ultrasound program they wanted me to succeed and become a great sonographer. I would have to say that any class I had with Mrs. Frydrych, Mrs. Gosnell and Mrs. Chiarini were ones I enjoyed the most.

What did you like most about your clinical rotation?

What I liked most about clinical was getting the patient interaction. For the first year I was scanning the same people, getting used to seeing the same thing. Once I got to clinical, I got the reality of patient interaction and saw just how ill some people really are. Also, all the technicians at my clinical sites were so willing to help. They’ve all been in my shoes before and they wanted to see me do my best. My favorite part about my clinical at UPMC Shadyside was presenting each study to the radiologists. I learned so much from what they know and grew a good relationship with them.

What are you enjoying about your new career as a Sonographer?

Getting to work in the field that I love. I was fortunate enough to move to another state and as a new graduate, get a job as quickly as I did. I love to help people and see them smile with the comfort of good care. No matter how long you have worked in ultrasound, you are always learning and seeing something new.

What advice do you have for someone considering the Diagnostic Medical Sonography profession?

Work hard. You have to give it your all and study a lot. Ultrasound is not easy and there are so many things to learn about it. It can get difficult at times and you may want to give up. But it is only two years of your life that you’re sacrificing, and it will all be worth it in the end. Ultrasound is not for everyone, but if you find that you love to scan but the classes seem too much, do not give up. Studying ultrasound was one of the best decisions of my life.


Graduate:  Samantha

Program:  Veterinary Technology

Employer:  Northview Animal Hospital

 

Why did you enroll in the Vet Tech Program at PCI?

I’ve always wanted to work with animals, and after my best friend brought me to “bring a friend to school day” and I met the staff, I knew the Vet Tech Program at PCI was for me.

What do you consider to be the most important part of the program?

The most important part of the program is the hands-on portion. It’s so important to ask questions and do everything you feel uncomfortable with while in school so that when you get into practice you feel comfortable with your skills.

What class did you enjoy the most?

I enjoyed the Large Animal and Exotics class the most. Going to the West Virginia Animal Science Farm and working with the dairy cows and sheep was an amazing experience. I originally was not interested in large animals but that class showed me a different side.

What did you like most about your externship?

I was at MedVet for my externship. The best part was being able to take all the specialty and emergency cases that you don’t normally see and be able to get experience in those situations to feel more comfortable with them in the future. I also really loved working with the rehabilitation technician there, and learning all that she had to teach.

You are working as a Vet Tech; what do you like about your new career?

I love working with like-minded people who take pride in their skills and knowledge. This career can be so rewarding when you save an animal’s life or even experience something as little as the client’s appreciation for taking care of their pet.

What advice do you have for someone seriously considering the Vet Tech profession?

My advice for anyone starting out at any job or career is to be eager to learn. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you don’t understand something. And if I hadn’t started out volunteering at a hospital I may have never of committed to this profession. Making sure it’s something you love is important. After I volunteered and was hired on as a technician, I knew this was the career I wanted to pursue.


Graduate: Sharon

Program:  Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Employer: Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, Fayetteville, North Carolina

Why did you choose to come to PCI?

I chose to come to PCI after viewing the school in the spring of my senior year of high school. I felt it was the best choice for me. As soon as I was done talking with the administration it felt that this is where I should be learning ultrasound.

Why did you choose to study sonography?

I chose to study sonography because I had an ultrasound done in the 10th grade and it was very interesting to me. I also chose sonography because I love to help others and while watching my pap in the hospital when he was sick, I instantly knew the medical field was for me and sonography was my best choice.

What advice would you give current sonography students?

The advice I would give to current sonography students is to always make time to study even if it’s for 30 minutes a day right before bed. And to take your physics boards at least once before you graduate!

What’s your best memory from PCI?

My best memory is definitely my DMS class. Toward the end I felt we got really close as a class together and it was sad saying goodbye to girls with whom I spent two years of my life.

Where are you working? 

I’m working at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville, North Carolina

What do you love about your new career?

I love that I chose a career where I was able to relocate. I also love that I’ll be working with children. My new career will also include doing abdomen, obstetrics/gynecology, vascular, and pediatrics so I will be able to scan everything instead of just one specialty in general.


Graduate Profile: Shannyn

Graduate: Shannyn

Program: Respiratory Therapy
Employer: Forbes Hospital

Q: Why did you choose PCI?
A: I chose PCI because I wanted a school that was going to have smaller classes, so that I really got a one-on-one education. I also wanted a school that guaranteed I’d fully be in the Respiratory Therapy program and that didn’t require unnecessary filler classes.

Q: Why did you choose the Respiratory Therapy program?
A: I chose Respiratory Therapy because it is a rewarding career that is always in demand. There are also lots of job opportunities in different settings to choose from.

Q: What advice would you give to current students?
A: Don’t give up and continue to study. If you are passionate about the program you can definitely get through it. Remember that there aren’t any stupid questions, so ask if you don’t understand something. Not everyone is great at the same thing, someone might be better at something that you’re not – and vice-versa – so don’t get stressed about that you’re still learning. Actually, in the medical field, EVERYONE is still learning.

Q: Where are you working?
A: I’m a full-time Respiratory Therapist at Forbes Hospital.

Q: What is the best part of your new position?
A: I get to work at a known hospital that has all different types of patients. It is out of the city but is still a big hospital. Plus everyone there is so amazing and helpful.


Graduate Profile: Davon

Graduate: Davon

Program: Dental Assistant
Employer: Primary Care Health Services

Q: Why did you choose PCI?
A: Because it was more than a school to me; it was like a home away from home. The teachers and staff make you feel so excited about furthering your education.

Q: What advice would you give to current students?
A: Focus, listen and study twice as hard as usual. This will help guide you to obtain your diploma and X-Ray certification.

Q: Where are you working?
A: I was hired at my externship site: Primary Care Health Services, Dental Department.

Q: What do you like most about being a Dental Assistant at Primary Care Health Services?
A: The best part is that I have fun at work. I enjoy my co-workers and patients.


Graduate Profile: Melissa

Graduate: Melissa

Program: Veterinary Technology
Employer: PVSEC (Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center)

“I decided that I wanted to learn more about the Veterinary Technology field after being a Vet Assistant for a few years. I decided to go back to school to become a Vet Technician. I researched schools and decided to tour PCI. I knew this is where I was supposed to be, after completing a tour. I filled out my paperwork and started class three weeks later. I was able to thrive at PCI. The staff was very friendly and encouraging. They really believed in my dreams. The instructors enjoy what they do and take pride in seeing their students succeed. I completed my externship at PVSEC and was hired there after graduation. I felt like PCI had prepared me for my externship and for work in the Veterinary Technology field. I had hands on experience inside and outside the classroom. The experience helped me become confident in my skills. I believe PCI has prepared me in all aspects to be a successful Vet Tech and person.”


Graduate Profile: Tiffany

Graduate: Tiffany

Program: Medical Assistant
Employer: UPMC

Q: How did you become interested in a career as a Medical Assistant?
A: It has always been a dream of mine to help others in my life and not see them sick. I wanted to get a degree in a career where there would be room to grow; that is why I enrolled in the Medical Assistant Program.

Q: How was your experience with the classroom education as well as the clinical and hands-on experience?
A: The classes that I took where extremely helpful. When I was nervous about my externship or entering into the workforce, the school gave me positive influence. I learned most of my skills in the clinical lab class. I am extremely confident in performing phlebotomy, injections, vitals and I know the medical terminology. The instructors that I had at PCI were very helpful and would not let me give up, even when I wanted to.

Q: How confident were you interviewing for Medical Assistant position(s)?
A: I became very confident interviewing for the medical assistant positions I applied for. It took a lot of practice to feel as confident as I did, but I had the help of wonderful people in the Career Services Department.

Q: What words would you have for someone considering the Medical Assistant program?
A: The words I would have for someone thinking of attending PCI for the Medical Assistant Program would be not to make excuses about going to class every day or doing the work you know needs to be done. If this is the career you really want in life, then you can do anything you put your mind to. Most importantly I would say to pay attention; you did not come to school to play or make friends – you came here to get an education and a career.


Graduate Profile: Nicole

Graduate: Nicole

Program: Veterinary Technology
Employer: Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center (PVSEC)

Q: How did you become interested in a career as a Vet Tech?
A: I have had a lifelong love and appreciation of animals. My passion and dedication really came through when I started my career as a Veterinary Tech. My former employer pushed me toward returning to college to pursue my degree in Veterinary Technology. I may take the Veterinary Technician Certification Exam to become certified.

Q: Write a few lines about the quality of classroom education as well as the clinical and hands-on experience.
A: The education that I received at PCI was top notch. I really enjoyed the small classroom sizes and the amount of one-on-one time with instructors. It was really beneficial to have lecture and discuss procedures and protocols and then go directly to the lab to perform the processing and analysis of the sample types that we had just discussed with our instructors. I really enjoyed going to the local shelters and Humane Societies to perform our hands-on skills. We were helping to perform physical exams, vaccinations, blood testing, and grooming of the shelter pets. We learned the right way to clean and disinfect a kennel environment. Also, we were taught their way to clean and sterilize instruments followed by the wrapping of surgical packs. It was great to be a part of the walking, socialization, play and cuddle time, with our shelter residents.

Q: How confident were you interviewing for Vet Tech position(s)?
A: I was very confident with my interview skills that we were taught near the end of our program. Now, that being said, being confident did not help my nervousness when interviewing for my externship position with PVSEC. It was helpful that we had “mock” interviews in school to help us prepare for questions we may be asked.

Q: What words would you have for someone considering the Vet Tech program?
A: This program is very intense and it requires a lot of dedication in and outside of the class room. As long as you put your hours in after school with studying and homework, you will be successful.

If you ever do find yourself having a hard time, either with the material that is presented to you, or if you’re having a personal private conflict, there is ALWAYS someone at PCI to talk to with confidence and trust. Your mentor will never judge you or discuss your personal situations. The PCI staff is there to help you find a solution so that you may continue with your education successfully and reach your goals.


Graduate Profile: Lamel

Graduate: Lamel

Program: Veterinary Technology
Employer: Munhall Veterinary Hospital

Q: How did you become interested in a career as a Vet Tech?
A: Growing up with a family full of dogs, cats and birds, becoming a veterinary technician seemed like the natural choice when attending Pittsburgh Career Institute. I made the decision with my best friend!

Q: Write a few lines about the quality of classroom education as well as the clinical and hands-on experience.
A: If I did not have the encouragement of my classmates and teachers at PCI, I would not have made it to graduation and beyond. They all motivated me to do what I had to so that I am able to work in a career that I love. The clinical part of the program that gave me hands-on experience made the learning fun and it was great to actually work with the animals.

Q: What words would you have for someone considering the Veterinary Technology program?
A: I encourage new students to know that being a Vet Tech is the most enjoyable job ever. The program at Pittsburgh Career Institute may be difficult, if you do not pay attention and commit to the work that is required. If you do what is expected, the staff at PCI will motivate you and give you the training and experiences to let you see how good you can be at this profession.


Graduate Profile: Irene

Graduate: Irene Krzewinski

Program: Dialysis Technology
Employer: UPMC Shadyside

Q: How did you become interested in a career as a Dialysis Technologist?
A: I needed to make a career change and was informed of the Dialysis Technology program at PCI. I visited the school and spoke with the Director of Education and the Dialysis Instructor. I decided that the Dialysis Technician Program would be a perfect fit for me and started classes the following week.

Q: Write a few lines about the quality of classroom education as well as the clinical, hands-on
A: I cannot say enough about the quality of education I received at PCI. The instructors are top notch and always willing to help and give advice. The small class sizes were nice. The hands-on clinical education was very helpful. The in class mock clinic made my first day in a clinic seem so easy. I was setting up machines and tearing them down as if I were an experienced tech.

Q: How confident were you interviewing for Dialysis Tech position(s)?
A: I went on two separate interviews and felt confident and prepared. I knew that I had the skills they were looking for because of the education I received and assistance from the career services department. I was able to answer the interview questions confidently and provide the information the interviewer was looking for.

Q: What words would you have for someone considering the Dialysis Tech program?
A: It is a very rewarding field. In the field, deep connections are made because you are providing the patients lifesaving treatment.

The clinic environment is very friendly and fun. If you enjoy engaging with patients this program is for you. I felt like I made a difference as a dialysis technician.

Q: Where did you get hired?
A: I was hired at UPMC Shadyside as an entry level Dialysis Technician.


Graduate Profile: William

Graduate: William

Program: Medical Assistant
Employer: UPMC Workforce – Department of Dermatology

Q: How did you become interested in a career as a Medical Assistant?
A: It has always been my passion in life to help others. I wanted to earn my Associate Degree and chose a field that I could grow.

Q: Write a few lines about the quality of classroom education as well as the clinical, hands-on portion.
A: The lab classes were extremely helpful. They prepared me for my externship and the workforce. I learned most of my clinical skills in lab. I am confident performing phlebotomy, EKG’s, and injections. The instructors at PCI are very knowledgeable and have several years of experience in the field of Medical Assisting.

Q: How confident were you interviewing for Medical Assistant position(s)?

A: I was very confident interviewing for positions. I practiced and reviewed my interview skills Lacy and Patty in the Career Services Department. They conducted several mock interviews prior to my phone, face to face, and working interviews.

Q: What words would you have for someone considering the Medical Assistant program?
A: Pay attention in class. Soak up all the knowledge the instructors give you. Don’t miss class and strive to meet your career goals.


Graduate Profile: Morgan

Graduate: Morgan

Program: Medical Assistant
Employer: Children’s Community Pediatrics

Pittsburgh Career Institute Experience:

Q: How did you become interested in a career as a Medical Assistant?
A: Prior to obtaining my Associates Degree at Pittsburgh Career Institute, I worked in various parts of the medical field. From geriatrics, to private duty, as well as skilled and assisted living. After several years of working I discovered relatively quickly being a medical assistant was my dream and I wanted nothing more than to pursue it further.

Q: What did you think of the quality of your classroom education as well as the clinical, hands-on portion?
A: Clinical rotation and hands on skills is one of if not the most important part of your study. It’s the front and back education you need in order to become a successful MA. Blood draws, to injections, to throat cultures, and even urinalysis is what a medical assistants do every day. I could not have done this without all of the quality training and help from PCI’s excellent teachers.

Q: How confident were you interviewing for Medical Assistant position(s)?
A: When it came time to interview for my very own Medical Assistant position I was extremely confident. With all the support, prior and current experience I knew I was more than well prepared.

Q: What words would you have for someone considering the Medical Assistant program?
A: Follow your heart. If obtaining a medical assistant degree is truly how you foresee your future than go for it. Let nothing and no one stand in your way. The satisfaction in the end is far more rewarding than simply settling for something that might not really have been what you wanted to do.


Graduate: Marie

Program: Medical Assistant
Employer: Premier Medical Associates

Q: How did you become interested in a career as a Medical Assistant?
A: I had several ideas of what I wanted to do, but one thing I always knew was that I wanted to help people. As a medical assistant I am able to have a rewarding career doing what I always wanted to do.

Q: Write a few lines about the quality of classroom education as well as the clinical, hands-on portion.
A: I had an amazing experience here at PCI. The instructors and faculty made it a great place to learn. The education & skills I have acquired are both things I can carry with me for the rest of my life.

Q: How confident were you interviewing for Medical Assistant position(s)?
A: I was very confident. I knew walking into the interview that I did the best I could, and all I had left to do was show them why I would be a great addition to their team.

Q: What words would you have for someone considering the Medical Assistant program?
A: If it is something you can really see yourself doing, go for it. Work hard, do your best and you’ll have a really rewarding career in the end.


Graduate Profile: Fred

Graduate: Fred

Program: Veterinary Technology
Job Title & Employer: Veterinary Technician at West Liberty Animal Hospital

Pittsburgh Career Institute Experience:
The instructors at the Pittsburgh Career Institute teach more than one way and they will help you as much as they can. The hands-on learning that they provided helped me in my job today as a Veterinary Technician.


Graduate Profile: Shaquese

Graduate: Shaquese

Program: Medical Assistant
Job Title & Employer: Medical Assistant for UPMC WorkSource

Q: Why did you choose to attend Pittsburgh Career Institute?
A: I chose PCI because of its location. I am from Duquesne and PCI is in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh.

Q: Why did you choose the Medical Assistant program?
A: I chose the Medical Assistant program because I love caring for others.

Q: What advice would you give to our current Medical Assistant students?
A: My advice to current Medical Assistant students would be to keep an open mind, concentrate and study.

Q: What was the best part of going to school at PCI?
A: The people at PCI were very caring. If it were not for half of these people, I probably would not have gotten this far.


Graduate Profile: Lindsay

Graduate: Lindsay

Program: Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Q: How did you become interested in a career as a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer?
A: I did some research on jobs in the medical field, and DMS seemed like the right fit for me. The work environment and the challenges of the work really appealed to me.

Q: Write a few lines about the quality of classroom education as well as the clinical, hands-on instruction.
A: The class size was ideal for individual attention, the material was systematically presented, but above all else, the teachers were what made the difference. Mr. Sessa and Mrs. Gosnell are both knowledgeable and always willing to help. They truly have a vested interested in every student. Lab time was utterly beneficial. It was a pressure-free environment where students can practice scanning and learn at their own pace. There are plenty of opportunities to practice and hone those skills. I felt comfortable starting my clinical rotations with the foundation I built in the classroom.

Q: How confident were you interviewing for you Diagnostic Medical Sonographer position(s)?
A: Naturally I was nervous, but I knew I had the skills and personal experience to showcase properly.

Q: What words would you have for someone considering the Diagnostic Medical Sonographer program?
A: It’s so worth the time and effort. I am proud to tell people what I do for a living. I couldn’t be happier with my career.