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Student Shines in New Program at BTC

September 9, 2020

When it came time to choose a path for higher education, Kayla Meier realized that the best choice for her was close to home. As family, friends, and coworkers were encouraging her to check out local options, Blackhawk Technical College was advertising its new surgical technology program. The program launched in fall 2019.

Kayla pictured at right and instructor Jessica Donahue at left

Kayla has always had an interest in the healthcare field and surgery and said, “This program opened up at the right time, and it has been the perfect fit for me.”

Kayla’s instructors agree. “Kayla is an excellent student and a true mentor to her peers and incoming program students. You can see the drive in Kayla to want to become a quality surgical technologist,” said Jessica Donahue, BTC Surgical Technology instructor.

(Pictured left to right: Kayla Meier and Jessica Donahue)

Surgical technologists prepare and sterilize instruments and surgical supplies, assist physicians during surgical procedures, ensure necessary equipment is properly maintained and available when needed, handle surgical specimens, maintain a sterile atmosphere in the operating room environment, and complete necessary paperwork related to surgical procedures.

Being involved in a healthcare program during a national healthcare crisis has been especially challenging. Like many students, Kayla has had to balance work, school, clinicals, and keeping herself safe during a time of great uncertainty. “I have been fortunate enough to have excellent instructors within the program,” she said, “especially during this pandemic. Overall, I believe BTC handled the last few months very well.”

One of the things that Kayla appreciates most about BTC is that students have the opportunity for extensive hands-on learning in a simulation lab that closely mirrors that of a hospital surgical suite. Along with surgical suites, Blackhawk has Surgical Chloe which is a full-body female surgical simulator. She can be used with real surgical instruments and reproduce real surgical competencies. She has a patient monitor that displays real patient vitals during surgery. This simulator can simulate minimal and invasive procedures while providing real feedback.

Kayla encourages students to “Take all the opportunities that Blackhawk has to offer. It is a small school but has many options. Do not be afraid to reach out to faculty or any of the advisors, as they are very willing to help you begin your education and guide you on your way to your dreams.”

Once finished with her BTC program, Kayla plans to pursue work in the growing field of surgical technology and is “excited to see where it will take me.” Needless to say, Kayla is likely to be wearing a face mask for many years to come.

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