Opportunity or Distraction?

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Day two of my new job is complete. I have spent the last two days in training and have completed my training early. There is a lot of free time so when I was checking my email this afternoon, there was an email regarding a medical assistant apprenticeship.

Now let me backtrack. I am currently in my first year in getting my Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from a university and intended to get my Master’s in Social Work to one day become a Designated Crisis Responder. A DCR is someone who responds to emergency situations regarding mental, behavioral health, and addiction issues. Essentially I would de escalate situations with or without assistance from police and see if they need to be admitted voluntarily or not to a mental health facility. I chose this job field in particular because I think it sounds exciting and not dull.

Dani, why would you want to become a medical assistant if you are pursuing something else? There is more than one way to become a DCR in my state. One of them consists of becoming an ARNP (Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner) which requires a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and my master’s being an ARNP. Being a psychiatric ARNP would allow me to work as a Nurse Practitioner and even write prescriptions and do what I want to do. Plus I would have the ability to still work in medical and mental/behavioral health settings and basically have more options for work and for pay than a social worker would.

So I get this email and it says I can apply for the apprenticeship next week, and get interviewed into the program before March and classes would begin in April. I would be working as a medical assistant apprentice, actually doing what medical assistants do. The best part is that I would work 40 hours a week and get paid and then they pay for me schooling too. I am not sure if it’s an associate degree or an accelerated MA program but I should find out soon. If they provide me with my associates degree and pay for it, it helps me pay off my current student loans and I can use my credits toward a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in Nursing and Psychiatric ARNP, respectively.

I would be forfeiting the job I have now which is a Patient Service Center Agent which basically means I schedule patients and answer questions. It seems very dull to me but a job is a job. I signed up for retirement yesterday. We have no employer match, but I still decided to throw a hundred bucks each paycheck tax free toward retirement because I want to retire someday. I have insurance through my parents for two more years so I waived my insurance plan options. I also get a free gym membership to the YMCA and there is one two blocks from my office so I plan to cancel my current membership and go there instead. I also get a plan for savings for my phone bill so I have to call T mobile to get that credit on my bill.

I asked Diego if I should do the apprenticeship and he said I would be a fool not to do it. If I can become a designated crisis responder and pay less toward school and have more opportunities and higher pay than why not. I asked my mom and she said the same thing.

I am afraid to tell my dad that this might be my last semester at WSU. Not because I am quitting school, but because this apprenticeship and work will take up the majority of my time. I feel as though he might think we wasted this last year’s money on school when I was uncertain of what I wanted. I think that’s what he would say. And the answer to that is that I am not wasting my education credits I have gotten, all I am doing is getting a “free” ride and will continue going to school and for work, just with a slightly different plan than originally anticipated.

There are a lot of unknowns about this still and I won’t mention this to my dad until I have those unknowns answered. But getting my master’s in nursing versus social work makes me think it’s an all roads lead to heaven sort of thing. I still get to work in the psych field, make more money and Gonzaga has a great Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner – Master of Science in Nursing program which is a private, but in state university. (My dad’s protege at work is a Zag Bulldog so I think he might like that I want to go be a Zag myself… he may not like the 50k a year price tag for nine semesters of a master’s degree. But that’s a Dani problem not a dad problem).

In other news I made a friend at work and got a 100% on my first biology lab so there is hope for me!

Much love,


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