I am very thankful to God that He helped me to pass my final exams for my medical assistant program in mid-July 2020.
Going into the oral exam, I was nervous because we had done only a few blood samples during the practical portion of my studies. I knew that I would be fully dependent on His help for the practical exam on laboratory procedures. Since March, we had been allowed to come to school only for written examinations because, unlike the other classes, we come into contact with people every day. Normally, all students in this particular program get an extra practice course for laboratory work after the written examination, but this was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, a teacher showed us around the school laboratory via video.
At the beginning of the exam, we had to choose from one of several theoretical scenarios. I prayed one more time before sitting down to go through the case file and take notes. At first, I was confident. I had practised the second task with my colleagues several times and knew that God would grant me success. The third task had to do with drawing blood, and although I knew exactly how to conduct the procedure, I did not know what each tube color meant or what the standard values were. Turning the page, I saw another laboratory task that I had a reasonably good understanding of. However, when I read the last task, I felt tears spring to my eyes because I did not know anything about this procedure.
They had told us in advance to enter the exam room with confidence, so I opened the door and stepped in. I gave them my name, but before I could say another word, the examining teacher quickly told the other examiners who one of my two bosses was. This did not give me a chance to explain that, apart from the blood sample, none of the test procedures would be part of my daily practice.
The test began, and with every word I spoke, I felt worse. For the blood sample, we switched rooms and went into the big school laboratory. I was supposed to select the blood sample tubes and then, due to coronavirus restrictions, just explain the procedure instead of performing it. I pointed out that we would not test for these values in my particular practice, but the teacher told me to pick out some of the tube packages lying in front of me anyways. She seemed satisfied with my explanation of the procedure, and we moved on to the next task. The doctor let me choose whether to conduct the test or just to explain it, and I settled on the latter. Then, she asked me for which diseases the test was applicable and what certain results could indicate. I answered as best as I could, but she did not seem satisfied. For the last task, we returned to the classroom, and I tried to read the task extra slowly. I again felt the urge to cry, but I bit back my tears and confessed to the examiners that we had only covered this test briefly because of the coronavirus restrictions. The teacher pushed a test towards me and said that I could read the operating manual and repeat it in my own words.
Overall, the doctor testing me did not seem satisfied, and the third examiner did not appear to be pleased either. All of my initial courage was gone. Only the teacher was smiling, and only she had a kind word for me when I left the room.
I was certain that I had failed the exam, but, thanks be to God, I passed with a grade that I am relatively content with. I am very grateful to God and to everyone who prayed for me!
Katharina Raiser, Pforzheim (DE)
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