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Your Life as a Health Care Professional



Your Life as a Health Care Professional

A career as a health care professional can look many different ways, from processing care and treatment information in an office environment to providing treatment to patients in a clinical setting. ANU offers a variety of health science programs to get your career started in this fast-growing field, no matter what your interests.

Many of our health science programs allow students to learn through hands-on experience in externships. These externships are highly praised by students because the experience prepares them for the jobs they want after they graduate and gives them an opportunity to further themselves in those careers. Chrissy Holstein, a student who completed the Phlebotomy+ ECG program,described her externship at Saltville Medical Center as “fantastic.” “We didn’t just do venipuncture. We did capillary [punctures] and urine samples; we spun the samples down; and we prepared collections for the lab pickup,” she explained.

Another student, Heather Lynch from our Medical Assisting Associate's Degree program, landed a job with Southwest Virginia Community Health System after her externship with them. When talking about her new job and how well her externship prepared her, she says, “They gave me the computer and within 30 minutes, they left me on my own,” she said. “I was very comfortable.”

For other students, the externship helps solidify their potential career choice. As explained by DeVonda Chilton, who studied in our Pharmacy Technician Program,  “I wasn’t sure I knew where I wanted to be until I started my [externship]… When I started my [externship], I knew this was exactly where I wanted to be…You see so much by working in the immediate care, and I’ve learned so much from working there.”

Along with the experiences students have outside the classroom, the flexible online classes and encouraging staff make it easy for busy students to attend class and obtain the support they need to make the most out of their time at ANU. Zelma Watson, a student who studied in our RN to BSN Program, liked the convenience of the online classes because it “allowed [her] to actually do it at home, or on [her] lunch break.”

Debrah Elvish was a student at ANU who was enrolled in the eUniversity Health Information Management program. “I loved [my experience here!],” she says. “The people are fantastic; they are [always available] if you have questions."

No matter what health science program you enter, here at ANU, you can rest assured that you will have the knowledge you need to succeed.  

Original Story: Your Life in the OR as a Surigcal Technologist

More than 50 million surgeries are performed each year and the professionals who staff the operating room must be well-trained, knowledgeable and committed.1 Surgical Technologists are important members of those surgical teams. If you’re interested in an exciting career in healthcare, surgical technology is a growing field with a lot of opportunities.

Here is just some of what you will do as a surgical technologist on a typical day in the operating room:

Before the surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses step foot into the OR, as a surgical technologist, you have already been there prepping the room for the surgery. You set up and sterilize instruments and equipment, and make certain everything is functioning properly. You take inventory and stock OR supplies, with meticulous and consistent attention to detail.

Getting the patient ready for surgery is also your responsibility. You might wash, shave and disinfect incision sites before transporting your patient to the OR. Once there, you help get your patient onto the operating table and properly cover them with surgical drapes. You also take vital signs and check medical charts and monitoring equipment.

"More than 50 million surgeries are performed each year and the professionals who staff the operating room must be well-trained, knowledgeable and committed."

In addition to the patient, the surgical team depends on you to help them put on sterile gowns and gloves. Once the operation begins, you’re called on to assist by passing instruments and supplies to surgeons and surgeon assistants. You might hold retractors to keep an incision open while the surgeon works or even help perform the surgery.

After surgery, surgical technologists sometimes dress and suture the incision sites before transferring the patient to the recovery room. And when the surgery is complete, even though your patient is done, you’re not. One of the most important jobs you have is ensuring the OR is clean and perform a re-inventory. You need to make certain that every swab, sponge, and piece of equipment used in surgery is fully accounted for, properly disposed of, or sterilized and prepared for the next surgery. You don’t want anything left behind in the OR that could be a potential health hazard for your next patient!

This program is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools and the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs and prepares you for the nationally recognized Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) certification.2/3

1 http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/inpatient-surgery.htm

2 http://www.acics.org/

3 http://www.caahep.org/

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