Meet Surgical Technologist – Christine Mejia

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"Wow - so much has changed in just one year." That's what Christine Mejia has to say about her career as a surgical technician. The 2015 graduate of Concorde Career Institute - Miramar surgical technology diploma program is amazed at how far she has come since she decided to enroll in the program just 13 months earlier. Today, Mejia is a surgical technologist for North Shore Medical Center in Miami - a job she finds challenging, which "makes it very interesting." She also finds it highly rewarding and says her job definitely keeps her on her toes. She enjoys the variety of responsibilities she is tasked with and says the best part is that she is making a difference by helping people when they are in need.

Why she decided to become a surgical technologist

Mejia was working at a local blood bank when she decided she wanted more. "Before I got too much older, I wanted to make a change and do something else," she said. Mejia didn't just want a job, she wanted a career. After doing a little homework, and looking at surgical tech schools, she decided on Concorde. The relatively short training period, median pay and higher-than-average projected growth rate for surgical technologist jobs were all attractive. She also loved the fact that the experience she would gain could act as "a stepping stone" if she decided to pursue a nursing or physician's assistant degree in the future.

What the Concorde program offered

Once she made the decision to enroll in the surgical technology program, her focus turned to where she would enroll. She selected Concorde's Miramar, Fla. campus for a number of reasons - one of the most important was its accreditation status. "What I learned during my research was that I wanted to graduate from a program that would enable me to become a Certified Surgical Technologist," note Mejia. The curriculum taught by Concorde meets Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in Surgical Technology as established by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and as required by the Accreditation Review Committee on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA). By attending one of the local surgical technologist schools, Mejia's classroom and lab experiences ensured that she was able to grasp the information. "There were a good simulation, real instruments and a lot of one-on-one instruction," she said. "I loved the lab and I had a great instructor who is also a surgical technician. He made it easier to understand and recall information about complex subjects like cell structures."

The Future is Now

As part of the surgical technologist degree program's requirements, Mejia completed her clinical training at North Shore Medical Center, giving her hands-on experience in a real surgery setting. When she finished her training, a surgical technology position at North Shore opened up and she was hired. Mejia noted that her clinical experience was a big help since the staff already knew her and she was already familiar with North Shore's culture. "Concorde doesn't just say 'goodbye' and throw you back into the real world when you have completed your training," Mejia said. "They made sure I was prepared to interview and ready to start my career as a surgical technician." ** Photo is stock image **
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