As a registered medical assistant, Airika Gibson already had experience in the healthcare field. Our Health Coach certificate took her to the next level. With her new education and training, she is looking toward the future and her ability to enhance lives.
Airika began working for a bariatric office in 2015 and found it quite to her liking. She said, “I have worked in different genres of the healthcare field and none have compared to bariatrics. [It] has a special population of patients and a major component in psychology than the other fields I have worked in.”
Her day-to-day responsibilities include but are not limited to patient-care liaison, surgery scheduling and administration, and assisting in minimal invasive procedures. However, her experience at the clinic opened her eyes to problems associated with obesity – something she describes as an epidemic.
“I wanted to break away from the imprisonment of childhood and adult obesity and be an advocate for others in my shoes,” Airika said. Her goal was to absorb as much knowledge as possible, better understand her patients, and discover where she could meet them in their journey.
Our Health Coach certificate was her answer. Airika found our program online and learned it could help prepare her for the American Council on Exercise Health Coach Certification exam.
She also received one of our scholarships and enrolled in the fall 2018 course. Airika said the instructors created a welcoming learning environment, and she was able to explore a diverse set of topics and skills over the 10-week course.
“What I find most interesting [and] exciting about the field is the chance to learn about nutritional science, different viewpoints on diets, legality of being a coach, understanding the risk factors for each individual, and getting to know the psychology of behavioral change,” she said. “Traditional health coaching was once sought out to be a liaison for patient follow-ups and minimal care, but the way of the world has changed, and people need more from healthcare. Health coaching fills a void in our current healthcare system for patients who need personal assistance achieving life-changing goals.”
Airika encourages anyone interested in the program to target a population they wish to serve. She said, “Work toward that to narrow down the audience of choice. Starting with the [Health Coach] course will help tremendously with the educational piece and open the door to the health community.”
As she prepares for the ACE exam, Airika is also interested in pursuing nursing and developing her own business. Her long-term vision is to reach as many people as possible in bariatric practices across the country.
Armed with her professional experience and Health Coach certificate, Airika knows she can achieve a better foundation for patients by helping them to enhance their lives through wellness.
“This is the catalyst to the bigger plan that I have set out for myself,” she said. “I aspire to be the voice for lifestyle change through health, fitness and wellness for the bariatric community.”