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Graduate Discovered a Passion for Surgical Technology



Sep 15, 2014

D.J. McKay, a graduate of the Youngstown Campus, is working as a certified surgical technologist at St. Elizabeth Hospital, where she assists with a wide variety of surgical procedures. “I love getting to see new things every day.  It’s never boring,” D.J. says of her work in the operating room.  “Every patient is different.  Every outcome is different.”

As D.J. talks about her passion for her career, it’s hard to believe she wasn’t even aware of the surgical technology career field just a short time ago.  She was taking classes online, working toward a degree in psychology through another university, when she took a career aptitude test which indicated that she was well suited for the medical field.  “It was going to take me too long to finish my degree [in psychology],” D.J. explained.  “With my situation, I thought I needed [a program that was] more short-term where I would be able to make decent money, and something that I would enjoy.”

After searching for options for careers in health care, D.J. discovered the field of surgical technology, and after further research, she found that American National University was one of the few colleges in her area that offered a surgical technology program.

After being accepted into the program at National, D.J. was immersed into her surgical technology classes right away.  She also participated in clinical rotations at several area hospitals, where she first observed, then later scrubbed in for surgeries.  “I thoroughly enjoyed my clinicals.  I was excited to come every week, and excited to see what new case I was going to get in,” said DJ.  “I remember my first experience where I scrubbed in.  Everything just came full circle for me, and I had this big epiphany…‘I’m really doing this on real people.’”

Although D.J. was nervous during those initial visits to the OR, she now has confidence in her abilities after becoming certified in her field and being hired by St. Elizabeth.  “Thankfully, now I’m very comfortable in my position, and I absolutely love it,” she said.  “I’m excited to get up every single day and come to work.  I love being able to help people.  I’m just really very passionate about this [career], and really happy that I chose this.”

Graduate D.J. McKay is working as a certified surgical technologist at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown.

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tags: OH-Youngstown Medical: Surgical Technology - Associate's Degree (SRG)