Medical Assisting Program Director, Virginia Beach Campus
During his 25 years as a naval hospital corpsman, Randal Beard has worked in just about every type of healthcare environment imaginable, including emergency rooms, ICUs, and shipboard medicine, as well as hospital education and training. A former chief petty officer, he is a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, Phlebotomy Technician, EKG Technician, Billing and Coding Specialist, Electronic Records Specialist, and Medical Administrative Assistant.
When Randal first retired from the military, he worked with a company that supported the Navy’s medical office software which tracked immunizations, supplies, and appointments. He taught new users, performed testing, and installed the software on a variety of computer platforms. When the Pentagon decided to create the Tri-Service Electronic Health Record for all branches of the military, he was once again asked to help develop and test it, as well as teach new users how to operate the system.
Why do you enjoy teaching?
“My love of the medical field began while in the Navy. I found that just reading medical books does not work well. You need someone to show you how. I also found that I was good at training people the various skills. New students need to realize that school is not just books, but knowing the subtleties of patient interaction. My motto is the best way to learn is ‘see one, do one, teach one.’ Teaching allows me to learn more every day.”
Please share an experience you had as a teacher that was especially memorable.
“There are so many. I got a call from a recent graduate who told me she had just been promoted to the lead medical assistant in her clinic with a significant raise. The emails and calls from students who are so proud that they passed their national certification test is also rewarding. Going to my own doctor and having one of my MA graduates assisting the doctor with my care is another one of those moments.