Health Care Careers That Deal With Gore

Today, on Halloween, we celebrate the most ghoulish day of the year. It’s the time of year we don’t mind a little spookiness, a scary monster here or there, even a bit of blood and gore.

Many Concorde students aren’t immune to the latter, even on days where it’s not highly anticipated. Certainly, students in Concorde’s Surgical Technology programs have to be ready and accepting of seeing a fair share of blood and exposed internal body parts on any given day. Same can be said of Nursing students going into high trauma, emergency or surgical fields. Heck, even Dental Assistants have to contend with a fair amount of blood during tooth extractions, root canals or routine dental surgeries.

For many of these Concorde students, every day is Halloween.

Holding hearts in hands during Surgical Technology program

“I was having a hard time coming up with words/phrases that are politically correct,” said Gerald Hale, AAS, CST, Surgical Technology Program Director at Concorde’s campus in Portland, Ore., “but a few words that one of my instructors came up with are dismembered bodies, amputation, squirting blood and pumping hearts in our hands.”

Indeed, part of the Surgical Technology program at Concorde – Portland’s curriculum is the dissection of an actual human heart (see photo). It’s a part of the program Hale said most of his students enjoy.

“I don’t believe anyone in the class was squeamish,” Hale said. “This lab is always something that the students look forward to because they have only been in the classroom up until this point, and it gives them a chance to connect some of the dots from what they’ve been learning in lecture.”

An even more ghoulish Halloween story

Martin Davis, CST, MBA, Surgical Technology Program Director at Concorde’s campus in Grand Prairie, Texas, recounted one of the most frightening, intense scenes he ever encountered as a Surg Tech in the operating room.

“It was Saturday evening, and the house supervisor called and said we had an ER full of gang-bangers that were all shot up,” he said. “So, I beat it to the hospital and got set up for the first one. Well, we had six patients that night, one after another. The last one that came in was already intubated and blood pressure dropping. The guy was bleeding out internally, and we had to find the bleeder.

“As soon as we cut him open, blood was shooting all over the place. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that blood hit the ceiling which was 12 feet high. The bullet nicked the abdominal aorta. Every time his heart would beat, which wasn’t very strong, blood shot out at us. The patient ended up with three bullets floating around in his intestines. Fourteen units of blood later, he was OK and on his way to ICU.

“The amount of blood the patient lost was incredible. I had so much blood on me, in my mask, in my shoes; it looked like I’d run through a sprinkler spraying blood. I went home the next morning without shoes or socks.”

Now how’s that for a ghoulish story of blood and gore? It just goes to show that, be it Halloween or any other day of work during the year, Concorde’s Surgical Technology students and graduates must be prepared to handle scary situations at all times.

surgical technologists

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