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Kehley Coons

Kehley Coons

Name: Kehley Coons
Residence: Claremont, New Hampshire
Employer: Dartmouth-Hitchcock
Current Role: Medical Assistant Apprentice, Dermatology

Career Pathway

Kehley spent the first seven years of her career in the United States Navy, four of which she worked as a hospital corpsman. She spent two and a half years working at the licensed practical nurse (LPN) level in labor and delivery, and another year and a half working at the medical assistant level in obstetrics and gynecology.

After completing her tour of service with the Navy, Kehley knew that she wanted to pursue a career in healthcare, but had to overcome the challenge of obtaining the required credentials in the civilian healthcare system. Through the Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program Kehley has been able to quickly upgrade her knowledge base, acquire the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant certification, hone her technical skills, gain entry into the civilian healthcare system, and receive college credits...all while earning a wage and benefits.

Kehley feels that the two most valuable aspects of the apprenticeship program are the monthly training review with a supervisor, and the opportunity to work alongside the physicians. Regular feedback allows her to understand her supervisor's expectations, build confidence and stay closely connected to her training plan.  She appreciates being in a working environment that values learning. The physicians understand that they have an important role in her apprenticeship and they take every opportunity to share information about everything from the importance of blood pressure to a patient's final treatment plan. The on-the-job teaching and additional knowledge has helped Kehley to ask more insightful questions which in turn allows them as a team to better care for patients.

The Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program opened the door for Kehley to continue her career in healthcare after leaving the military. With a love for science and health, Kehley plans to return to school in the near future and complete her bachelor's degree in clinical laboratory science as her long-term career aspiration is to become an epidemiologist.