Student Success Students 

A Career Path Change Leads to Changing Lives

February 24, 2022

During February’s National CTE (Career and Technical Education) Month, Illinois Central College honored students for their achievements in CTE programs. The ICC Surgical Technologist program is a CTE program, in particular, that allows students to pursue their dream to change lives.

And for Audra, it did just that. Audra actually began her college journey at a different community college and was focused on studying nursing. After she experienced a surgery clinical, however, she decided to change career paths.

“After that clinical, I knew I wanted a job involving surgery on patients,” said Audra. “I did some research and found the Surgical Technologist program at ICC. I immediately made the switch.”

Upon transferring, Audra was able to take advantage of the hospital-like learning environment within ICC Health Careers. She practiced skills and decision-making in labs with high-fidelity human patient simulators, all designed to mimic real-world surgical scenarios.

When she graduated from ICC in 2020 with an Associate of Applied Science as a Surgical Technologist, she credited these simulation labs and clinics with helping prepare her for the future.

Audra said, “I encourage students to take advantage of every opportunity given to you and to gain as much experience as possible. Remember you will not always see every type of surgery in clinical, so the more you prepare during labs and clinicals, the better off you will be when you start your career.”

Before graduating, Audra had worked part-time for four years at UnityPoint Health-Methodist as a Patient Care Technician. Now, thanks to her ICC CTE certificate, she works full-time at UnityPoint Health as a certified Surgical Technologist.

“Surgery is a different part of health care, but still just as important. I get to leave work every day knowing I changed someone’s life.”

– Audra

So during this National CTE Month, we salute Audra, along with every CTE program graduate. We commend you for earning your CTE certificate and for the many lives you are changing in this world.