Surgical Assisting Newsletter

Our surgical assisting newsletter brings you news and stories helpful and interesting to your career.

We will also be featuring students and graduates to give you a closer look at our program.

In this issue, RASA graduate Christina Gonzales is featured. Christina has made the transition from working in an office clinic setting where she scheduled and prepared patients for surgery to actually moving into the Operating Room as a Surgical Assistant and working with those same patients during their procedures Christina passed her SA-C certification exam in 2019 as well!

This month we will show you how life can change as an SA-C.

alice surgical assisting newsletter Meet our Program Director Alice L. Dungen!

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Recent Updates:

Did you know RASA can now set up a business-to-business contract to get you trained as an employee? We will work directly with your facility to get you trained, so that you, as the student, do not need to pay for anything.

Most facilities have education allowances that go unused each year, and with the end of the year upon us now is the time to use it! 

There are many benefits to setting up a contract between RASA and your facility as it:

  • Streamlines setting up facility privileges, which can minimize delays in clinical privileges 
  • All students from the same facility benefit – new students can start even faster
  • Widens enrollment options in more states

Contact us to get information!

Student Spotlight…

Happy Halloween – October 2019

Gonzalez Surgical Assistant

A hearty congratulations to Christina Gonzales on her recent graduation from RASA and successful passing of her Certification Exam for SA-C in 2019. Christina has made the transition from working in an office clinic setting where she scheduled and prepared patients for surgery to actually moving into the Operating Room as a Surgical Assistant and working with those same patients during their procedures. She then follows up with them after surgery. Her specialty is in Orthopedic Spine Surgery and she works for one specific surgeon in a large practice. Her 16 years of operating room experience gave her a great base to begin the Surgical Assisting program.

What did you like about the RASA Surgical Assisting Program?

When I asked Christina what she liked about our program, she stated that she really liked how she was able to complete the program and still hold down a full time job. RASA’s ability to offer a flexible learning situation provided her a lot of avenues to complete the training pretty much on her own terms. She was not able to find this flexibility in other programs and was grateful that she could do this while supporting herself at the same time. She enjoyed the curriculum very much!

What were your best and worse cases you worked on during the clinicals?

Her most rewarding cases during the clinical portion of the program were total knee replacements. She shared that the methodical nature of everyone knowing what they were doing and preparing for the next step was enjoyable for her. Similar to completing lumbar fusions, she enjoys the concept of everyone working like a “well oiled machine.” When she became a part of this “well oiled machine” it felt like a great accomplishment.

Challenging for Christina were the shoulder surgeries. She would like to gain further experience in this area in the future. She, like many of us just starting out, had a hard time distinguishing landmarks in MRI’s and indications to move towards an open procedure from an arthroscopic procedure. This absolutely will come with time. However, my bet is that her new position as a Surgical Assistant in Orthopedic Spine Surgery will keep her pretty busy!

“Do you have any pearls of wisdom to share with future SA students?”

Well, the beauty of this program is that it allows you to work basically at your own pace during the didactic portion. When you move into the clinical portion of the program, it’s a good idea to align yourself with some good teachers who are willing to teach you and guide you in the right direction. You can’t be shy – you have to reach out, do your research and be willing to ask lots of questions. Ask for help if you need it and don’t feel bad about it; otherwise, you will find yourself stalled. This isn’t something you can do on your own. Be willing to try, sometimes over and over, until you get it right! You may find that some are willing to help you and some are not so keep asking until you find the right person who wants to help. Lastly, you MUST be confident in yourself!

Now that she’s “on the other side,” Christina is very happy that she chose to this career path. Before, she worried about job security and now that she’s a highly trained SA-C, feels much more secure about her future.

How has your life changed now that you’re an SA-C?

As for lifestyle changes, she readily admitted that her days are a little different than holding a typical 9-5 job. Many times she may need to change her plans as the days may not end when she thinks they will. Be flexible and roll with this; sometimes you are out of work early, sometimes you are not. The good thing is that every day is different in some way so this is empowering and fun.

Student Spotlight by Alice L. Dungen Program Director, Independent Surgical Assistant

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