Marissa Gonzales; Yolanda Ramirez; Anna San Pedro

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – To commemorate National Surgical Technologists Week from Sept. 18-24, the Surgical Technology program at Texas State Technical College’s Harlingen campus will host its 15th annual meet-and-greet on Thursday, Sept. 22.

Every September, Surgical Technology professionals promote the profession and educate individuals about the vital role that surgical technologists provide in operating rooms nationwide.

They are the heroes behind the masks who work side by side with surgeons to ensure that every operation is successful.

Anna San Pedro, a TSTC Surgical Technology instructor, said the event will provide an opportunity for current students to share their learning experiences with the families who are supporting their college journeys.

“The Surgical Technology program can be demanding and time-consuming for the students,’” San Pedro said. “Therefore, having the support and encouragement from their families is a vital component to the students’ success. (The meet-and-greet is) also an opportunity to network with alumni and industry partners. Preceptors and industry partners will also share their operating room experience. It’s important to learn more about the profession and gain the pride and enthusiasm of becoming a surgical technologist.”

San Pedro added that information will be provided on how to become a student at TSTC’s Harlingen campus.

“The event’s introduction will consist of meeting the faculty members and the preceptors in attendance,” she said. “Then a summary of the expectations of both the didactic and clinical courses of the program will follow. The program’s admission requirements will also be discussed.”

Alumni, the community, family members, friends, industry partners, and preceptors are welcome to attend the occasion.

TSTC alumna Stephanie Lopez, clinical supervisor for Surgical Services at Valley Baptist Medical Center, said surgical technologists are patient advocates in whom patients place their trust.

“A career in this field is all about the team,” Lopez said. “You work closely with surgeons, anesthesia providers, nurses and surgical technologists’ colleagues daily. You learn to trust and rely on these professionals to complete your daily tasks. You will find camaraderie with those who have experienced the same long days, and the joys and sorrows.”

Chuckie Gudino, of Pharr, is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Surgical Technology at TSTC. The first-semester student plans to share with future students who plan to attend the event that anything is possible.

“I’m a first-generation student of eight siblings,” Gudino said. “I had to make many sacrifices to get accepted into the program. Most importantly, I was inspired by a friend who is an alumna of the program. I pursued the program for personal reasons, and to honor her memory.”

The meet-and-greet will be held at the Lucio Allied Health Technologies Building, which is located at the corner of Loop 499 and Jasmine Street in Harlingen.

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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