(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College alumni Louie Munoz and Julio Hernandez recently conducted a seminar to TSTC Surgical Technology students. The purpose was to share with current students the proper procedures on how to apply an arm cast.
This is the second year in a row that the graduates have offered their professional insights to allied health students at TSTC’s Harlingen campus.
Munoz said that being chosen to teach is fulfilling.
“When I applied for the program, I was not an ideal candidate,” he said. “I scored very low on the entrance exam and my grade point average was not very good. The program lead, Anna San Pedro, had a good feeling and advocated for me. Her simple act of kindness has led to my 16 years of success in the industry. I am forever grateful.”
Hernandez noted that the educational opportunity is gratifying.
“I have already been in this industry for more than 20 years,” he said. “I feel very proud that I was recognized and joined by my colleague (Munoz). The program is very intense – in a good way. It prepares you for a great career.”
Amber Rodriguez, a TSTC Surgical Technology student in her second semester, is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree. She is thankful for the graduates’ professional support.
“It gives me a point of view of what the patient is going through during the process,” she said. “The patient provides feedback, so we do not cause any injury to them. Whenever the patient awakes from the surgery, the first thing they notice is the dressing of the cast. If it is done correctly, they have peace of mind.”
Munoz earned a certificate of completion in Surgical Technology from TSTC in April 2004. He earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Surgical Technology in May 2005.
He began his career as a certified surgical technician with Harlingen Medical Center in August 2007. A year later, he became a certified first assistant at the medical center. Then he transitioned to the role of a licensed surgical assistant. He is now a licensed surgical assistant with Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in McAllen.
Hernandez earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Surgical Technology in August 2009. After a few years of practice, he pursued a first assistant certification with Meridian Institute of Surgical Assisting in Nashville, Tennessee.
His career pathway started as a surgical technologist with Harlingen Medical Center in August 2009. Four years later, he became a surgical assistant at the medical center. That experience led to a new career as a certified surgical first assistant with Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in McAllen.
According to onetonline.org, surgical technologists can earn a yearly median salary of more than $49,000 in Texas. Jobs are expected to increase 14% in the state by 2028.
TSTC offers Surgical Technology at its Harlingen campus, where students can earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in the program.
For more information, visit tstc.edu.