Baker College of Cadillac student April Pierce is one of 15 students nationwide to receive a 2015 Foundation for Surgical Technology scholarship. Her $350 award is funded by the Michigan State Assembly of the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST).
The AST scholarship encourages and rewards educational excellence in the surgical technology field. Pierce, a native and resident of Traverse City, will graduate with an associate degree in surgical technology after 2015 summer quarter.
"We're extremely proud that one of our students was selected for this award," said Kelly Smith, Baker College of Cadillac president. "April's passion for her surgical technology studies is setting her on tract for a rewarding and meaningful career."
As an adult student, Pierce entered the program with
work experience garnered from multiple medical-related positions – firefighter, emergency medical technician and emergency room medical technician.
“I’m thrilled to be able to combine my love for medicine and patient care as a surgical technologist performing a critical role in the operating room,” she said. “Collaborating with intelligent, skillful colleagues and supporting them in an atmosphere of trust is the perfect job for me. I believe that I was put on Earth to help people, and I am looking forward to a career in which I’m able to make an important difference in the lives of others.”
In a featured article about the scholarship recipients in the August issue of the national AST magazine, Pierce thanked the instructors at Baker College of Cadillac who have “touched my heart with their love of learning and teaching, and their sincere commitment to all their students.” She also credited work colleagues at the Northwest Michigan Surgery Center, Traverse City, where she performed her clinical rotation, for the opportunity to learn directly from them. The magazine is distributed to more than 36,000 AST members who are surgical technologists, surgical assistants, educators and students.
To be eligible for the AST awards, applicants must be enrolled in an accredited surgical technology program and eligible to sit for the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) certified surgical technologist exam.
Surgical technologists, sometimes referred to as scrubs, are an integral part of surgical operations. Working under the supervision of a surgeon, they help ensure the operating room is safe, that equipment functions properly, and that the operative procedure is conducted under conditions that maximize patient safety.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2014 mean annual wage for surgical technologists was $45,010. Employment in this field is projected to grow 30 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Advances in medical technology have made surgery safer, and more operations are performed to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries.