Students enrolled in the Allied Health program at the New Community Workforce Development Center have a new instructor who practiced internal medicine for more than a decade helping them gain the skills needed for a fulfilling career: Seham Abouelhassan.
Abouelhassan became a certified medical assistant instructor at the Workforce Development Center, 274 South Orange Ave., Newark, July 26. She has been an instructor in the medical field since 2004, working at the now closed Drake College of Business in Elizabeth and the Westchester School for Medical/Dental Assistants. Prior to that, she practiced internal medicine in Egypt for 12 years.
“We are pleased to have Dr. Seham. She brings a wealth of experience, having worked as a Certified Medical Assistant instructor for several years and adds great value to our Allied Health care programs and school,” said Workforce Development Director Rodney Brutton.
Abouelhassan became an instructor after coming to New Jersey from Egypt. To practice medicine in the U.S., she would have had to go through residency again and at the time her children were young. Though it wasn’t her first career choice, she found teaching to be fulfilling.
“After that first job, I felt that I was born to be a teacher,” she said.
Her experience as an internist helps guide the instruction. She said she is able to give her students more information about diseases and diagnoses which is helpful when seeing patients. She also knows the ins and outs of ethics in the medical field, which she said is very important for the students to know.
Abouelhassan said her favorite part of her job is seeing students do procedures correctly and understand patients’ rights.
“You can see the results of your work. This is the best thing,” she said.
The scope of instruction is wide. Abouelhassan teaches students phlebotomy and how to conduct an EKG and take vital signs. The students learn how to work in an office and about safety in the workplace. She also introduces them to financial office management and billing and coding.
Abouelhassan said she believes many of her students will make good certified medical assistants.
“The way they pay attention in class and do procedures, I’m optimistic they will do fine and have good jobs,” she said.
Abouelhassan has advice for her students, which can be applied both to their studies and outside the classroom.
“I always tell them there are no automatic doors in life. You have to put forth some effort to get what you need,” she said. “I help you, but you have to help yourself first.”
Abouelhassan lives in Jersey City. She has a husband and two daughters, ages 26 and 24.