Concorde Blog - Apr 29, 2020
Emily Voss grew up in an extremely close, tight-knit family. So when her parents made the decision to uproot that family and move from their home in Chicago 500 miles south to Memphis, Tenn., Voss said she had little hesitation deciding to uproot her life and move with them, despite being two years into her undergraduate studies at a local university in athletic training.
It was a move that eventually brought Voss to Concorde and the health care field of a surgical technologist.
A Surgical Technologist connection
As it turned out, Voss' mother had a friend, April Tucker, who previously attended Concorde's campus in Memphis and is a certified surgical technologist in the area. She recommended the Concorde ST program to the Vosses for Emily, and Emily decided to give it a try.
"Once we got settled in (Memphis), I went down and visited the campus and just immediately felt comfortable there," she said. "Everyone just seemed so nice and welcoming."
Voss leaped with great enthusiasm into the surgical technologist program and quickly discovered she had found the career for her. She loved that every day of a surgical tech is unique. And, she realized the great satisfaction she derived from helping others ... both patients and those on her surgical team.
Loved Concorde's Surgical Technologist program
Voss earned her Surgical Technologist diploma within a year (in 2016) and said her experience in the program couldn't have been better.
"Concorde was great," she said. "They enabled me to get to where I am today, doing what I really love every day."
"I met some good friends who I'm still in touch with. There's only so much you can really prepare for in this field. But I had all the basic necessities I needed to be a surgical tech."
Voss said she found her externship experience at the end of her program particularly valuable.
"I'm very much a hands-on learner, so the externship really helped me," she said. "And, I now work where I did my externship. It helped me get this job."
More on her current job in a moment. Because, as it turned out, graduating and receiving her diploma wasn't the end of her Concorde journey.
Completing a Surgical Technologist degree
Because of the general coursework, she'd started during her undergrad studies back in Chicago, Voss discovered she only needed to complete one more class to earn an associate degree in surgical technology.
"I thought, why not when I'm so close," she said. "Eventually, surgical techs might need associate degrees. I figured I might as well get it now."
Voss enrolled in Concorde's online Surgical Technology Degree Completion Program, completed the course online, at her convenience, and received her degree earlier this year.
Concorde even covered the cost of the one class.
"It was really convenient," Voss said. "I could do it at home and still work. Being able to study at your own pace ... it was so much more convenient than coming to the campus for class. I even got to do schoolwork in my pajamas!"
"Concorde was gracious enough to cover the one class and get me my degree."
The career of a Surgical Technologist
After graduation, Voss went straight to work for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, dealing mostly with ear, nose, and throat and plastics and serves on its transplant team. Perhaps not coincidentally, one of her colleagues at Methodist is April Tucker, the woman who started her on the journey to Concorde and being a surgical tech. She also picks up shifts as a PRN once or twice a week at the East Memphis Surgery Center.
"I love what I do," she said. "It's something different every day and knowing I'm making a difference in the lives of others... Right now, this is really all I want to do."