Esmeralda Sierra with Advanced Orthopedic PA and DR

CAC TRIO Student Completes Successful Career Shadow Opportunity

By Angela Askey, Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing

Esmeralda Sierra, a student in Central Arizona College’s TRIO Student Support Services program, completed a career shadowing experience with Advanced Orthopedics in Casa Grande, AZ this past summer, allowing her to gain greater knowledge about public health administration.

During Esmeralda’s time with Advanced Orthopedics, Vanessa Gordon, Physician Assistant (PA) provided her with office training. She had direct communication with patients, both in person and by telephone and became the Spanish language translator for patients and staff.

Esmeralda explained, “I saw the relief in Spanish speaking patients knowing there was someone they could communicate with fluently in their first language and that their concerns and questions were being answered. It was rewarding to know that I was a valuable resource to the clinic and the patients.”

Additionally, Esmeralda gained further insight into the medical profession by serving as a direct back up for the office’s medical assistant when she was out of the office or when she needed additional assistance. During her final weeks, she was given the opportunity to observe more than 20 surgical procedures including a total knee replacement, partial hip replacements, knee and shoulder arthroscopies and an open reduction internal fixation of the wrist.

“I was able to dress and prep for the observation of the surgical process allowing me to wear complete surgical gear from head to toe, stated Esmeralda. “It was an amazing experience to see Dr. Matanky and PA Gordon demonstrate their skills of showing total control during the surgical process and that every detail was taken to ensure each patient’s medical needs were met, corrected, and completed in a timely and professional manner.”

For Esmeralda, this career shadowing experience allowed her to observe and to be an integral part of a health professional team whose priority was the care and safety of their patients first.

“All of my experiences resulted in an expansion of my public health knowledge, including how to be aware of patients’ needs, teamwork, and the importance of communication in a clinical setting as well as during surgical procedures,” added Esmeralda. “I would like to thank the Clinical Staff, Dr. Matanky, and Physician Assistant, Vanessa Gordon for the opportunity. This experience helped to solidify my desire to pursue my bachelor’s degree in Public Health Administration.”