For Mollie Weitz, working in the medical field has always been in the cards.
For eight years, Weitz was a Certified Veterinary Technician working at an animal emergency room (ER) as the Overnight Veterinary Technician. Overall, she enjoyed what she was doing — especially being in an operating room — but she felt working in an animal ER wasn’t something she could do for the rest of her life.
“As a Veterinary Technician you have a very broad scope of practice, and I was tired of taking radiographs of fractious cats and angry chihuahuas,” said Weitz. “I knew working in an operating room was an area I would want to focus a career on.”
Weitz heard of a fellow Veterinary Technician and a friend of hers who had recently left the field and began College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Surgical Technology Program in 2021. It was at that moment she began tossing around the idea of becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) herself.
The Surgical Technology program at CWI prepares students for an exciting career as a CST in the growing healthcare industry. Working under the direction of surgeons, CSTs can facilitate the safe operation of invasive procedures maximizing patient safety and care.
In the Surgical Technology program, students learn to set up surgical instruments, prepare and pass medications, provide direct patient care, maintain sterility, and set up surgical equipment in an operating room environment. In addition to those skills, students will also gain great understanding of the application of sterile and aseptic techniques, human anatomy, surgical procedures, and more.
To ensure this was the career path she wanted to pursue, Weitz began work in West Valley Medical Center's Sterile Processing Department in June of 2021 where was able to get insight into how an operating room worked and the overall role of a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).
“This was a huge learning experience that really helped me prepare for the program.”
Once she built enough knowledge and confidence, Weitz felt it was time to enroll in CWI’s year-long Surgical Technology program. She was able to keep a part-time position at West Valley where she felt support from her colleagues along the way.
“Many of the CSTs at the hospital attended the CWI program and were always the cheering section a busy student needed.”
Upon completion of the Surgical Technology program in May 2023 and passing the CST exam from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA), Weitz will begin a career as a full-time CST position with West Valley Medical Center in Caldwell.
“This program has really shown me how much you can accomplish with hard work and dedication. In the beginning, it takes five minutes to get your gloves on the correct hands. Nine months later, we are rotating through different hospitals getting to be a part of various surgeries across all specialties. I am forever thankful to have chosen this career path and look forward to continuing my education as a Certified Surgical First Assist in the years to come.”
Applications for CWI’s Surgical Technology Program are open through Friday, April 7. For those with questions or in need of more information about the program, contact Mona Bourbonnais at email@example.com or 208.562.2310.