‘Tis the Season to Give Back

Goodwill and Cheer from Programs Across the Country

Surgical technology and surgical assisting students are, by nature of their career choice, invested in the well-being of others. As the holiday season is in full swing, many programs are extending that goodwill outside of the classroom and into their own communities.

Hear from program directors across the country on how their students are spreading holiday cheer and embracing the spirit of giving back this time of year.    

Generosity Grows in Glendale, CA
By Matti Maya, CST, Surgical Technology Program Director, Glendale Career College, Glendale, CA

The surgical technology program at Glendale Career College encourages its students and faculty to participate in activities beyond the classroom throughout the year. The holiday season is special to all of us, and this year we chose the Burbank Temporary Aid Center and Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission as recipients of our holiday donations. 

Faculty and students collect and distribute large quantities of winter attire such as socks, underwear, hats and beanies for men, women and children. Both organizations tend to the poor and the homeless and are in close proximity to our campus. 

“We train students to work in a fast-paced environment and to keep the patient first in their minds. At the same time, we try to increase humanitarian activities and projects, to enhance their emotional awareness and growth as a person.”

As surgical technology educators, we encourage our students to share and give back to our communities and demonstrate compassion and gratitude to our neighbors in need. We train students to work in a fast-paced environment and to keep the patient first in their minds. At the same time, we try to increase humanitarian activities and projects, to enhance their emotional awareness and growth as a person. By doing so, we will help them achieve professional growth, instill a sense of purpose in their lives, make a difference in society and help those who are in need the most.

Scrubs Give Love in Las Vegas, NV
By Silviana Vina, CST, Surgical Technology Program Director, Nevada Career Institute, Las Vegas, NV

The Nevada Career Institute surgical technology program is honored to announce that operation “Scrubs Give Love” is kicking off in time for the holidays and beyond.

Our Las Vegas community is full of sparkles, good times and luxurious parties, but somewhere hidden is another kind of life, in nursing homes and amongst people struggling every day to make ends meet. We can’t change everything, but we can show love to our community and give back to those in need for the holidays.

Our surgical technology students gathered and made a plan. Under the leadership of students Tanisha Myers, Trevor Laporte and Brianna Rosenthal, they came up with the following activities in December and January:

  • Lunch and necessities for the homeless: Students will join up in groups to help the homeless in a park near downtown Las Vegas, where many are living in tents. Lunch will be brought to those in need, along with toiletry bags, blankets and socks.
  • Volunteering at Royal Springs Healthcare Nursing Home: Students will decorate the nursing home, bring gifts and spread holiday cheer by spending time with the residents.
  • Serve food for those in need: Students will join the Catholic Charity of Southern Nevada to serve breakfast.
  • Sort-A-Thon for Three Square: Students will help sort food donated by many businesses in Las Vegas, with the not-for-profit organization Three Square.
  • Participating in “Goodie-Two-Shoes”: Students will help fit children for shoes donated by businesses in Las Vegas.

The holiday season is very meaningful to everyone, and for our surgical technology students it means preparing for a lifetime of giving back. Our profession entails taking good care of others and to never be selfish or self-centered. We wouldn’t have it any other way!

“The holiday season is very meaningful to everyone, and for our surgical technology students it means preparing for a lifetime of giving back.”

Through “Scrubs Give Love,” we are proud to make a small difference in someone’s day and we hope to inspire everyone to remember: fortune comes in different colors, love is powerful, giving is selfless, receiving is usually not needed, and the holidays are about a good spirit, a positive soul and a cheerful smile.

Operation Christmas Child in Long Beach, CA
By Jinnie Gardiner, AA, CSFA, FAST, Surgical Technology Program Director, North-West College, Long Beach, CA

The surgical technology program at North-West College sent Christmas boxes to children in third-world and war-torn countries this holiday season. The boxes contain things like hygiene items, coloring books, art pads, crayons, silly putty, small toys, socks, underwear and more. 

Serving on a third-world medical trip, I saw what having nothing looks like, and the children we will send the boxes to have nothing. The things we take for granted, such as a toothbrush, are non-existent in many countries.

It is important to do what we can to help and for our students to understand what “nothing” actually means. Students were humbled, and extremely generous when taking part in this global program.

Our goal was to send 10 boxes, but the students exceeded expectations — we were able to send 15 boxes.

Our goal was to send 10 boxes, but the students exceeded expectations — we were able to send 15 boxes. The boxes were mailed in late November and sent to a central dispensary to be sorted and flown to multiple countries in need.

Giving the Gift of Warmth in Chicago, IL
By Julie Wedster, CST, Midwestern Career College, Chicago, IL

Our surgical technology program is heading up a coat and clothing drive this holiday season. We have four different facilities where we plan to set up collection boxes.

The students feel lucky that they have access to a quality education so they can go out into the workforce, secure a great job and be able to raise a family. But not all people are as lucky, and with the holidays being the season of giving, our students want to give back. It’s very sad to see the homeless  struggling to just get warm. We want to at least give them the gift of warmth this year.

We intend on taking our collection to different homeless shelters in the community. Our Naperville facility is collecting for the Hesed House in Aurora. Our Chicago facility is collecting for the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago. 


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