My Dream of a Lifetime

Topics: Medicine, Surgery, Surgeon Pages: 9 (1968 words) Published: May 13, 2014

My Dream of a Lifetime
Anne Marie West
Baker College of Clinton Township
Informative Research Essay

America has been besieged by natural disasters and acts of terrorism over the last 18 years. So many American citizens are impoverished and cannot afford medical care. My chosen profession, Surgical Technician, positively impacts the United States by providing medical assistance to the victims of disasters, terrorism, and the poor.

Ferguson’s book Careers in Focus (2009, p.194) explains the many roles of a Surgical Technician. One role of a Surgical Technician is being a member of the surgical team and working in an operating room along with surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses before, during and after surgery. In addition, Surgical Technicians are responsible for ensuring a safe and sterile environment, preparing the patient for surgery, and arranging the equipment, instruments, and supplies in the operating room. They are responsible for handing the instruments, needles, sponges to the surgeons, and may be required to administer fluids, hold retractors, and cut sutures. After the operation, they may sterilize the used equipment, and clean and restock the operating room.

The role of a Surgical Technologist began on the battlefields in World War I and World War II. The Army used personnel called “medics” to work directly under the supervision of the surgeon. In the division of the Navy, medical “corpsman” worked under surgeons aboard combat ships. At this time nurses were not allowed on battlefields or aboard combat ships. This new group of professionals, “medics” and “corpsman” were referred to as operating room technicians (ORTs). During World War II, there was a shortage of qualified personnel to assist in surgeries, therefore, the profession of Surgical Technicians began and grew drastically. This was the beginning of formal educational programs for Surgical Technicians. Today Surgical Technicians are required to earn a certificate of competence by attending a community college, a hospital-sponsored program, or vocational or technical school. Surgical Technicians require not only substantial education but also perfect self-discipline and enhanced professional ethics.

The 2012-13 edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor, expects that employment of surgical technologists is going to increase 19 percent from 2010 to 2020 (2012). Today’s economy is very tough and it can be very challenging to find a job. With that being said, working as a Surgical Technician will provide job security and benefits to many individuals who are interested in working in the medical field. Surgical Technicians not only play an important role in their everyday jobs but also in times of disasters and terrorism.

The United States has encountered many different types of natural disasters over the last 18 years such as hurricanes, tornadoes, heat waves, and severely damaging winter storms to name a just a few. In addition, terrorism has become a part of modern life in America.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina was one of the deadliest hurricanes ever to hit the United States (Zimmerman, 2009) causing devastation in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Katrina killed approximately 1,836 people (Zimmerman), left millions homeless, and had estimated damage that reached at least $84 billion.

Another natural disaster, the tornado outbreak of April 25 -28, 2011 was one of the largest tornado outbreaks ever recorded in the United States. Its destruction affected the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and many other areas throughout the Eastern and Southern United States. A total of 358 tornadoes were recorded, killing an estimated 321 people, and causing damage totaling $11 billion (2011 Tornado...n.d.).

Furthermore, the 1995 Chicago heat wave led to approximately 750 deaths...

References: Bendix, Jeffrey.(2010). Tales from the Front. Retrieved from
Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT)
Klinenberg, E. (2012). Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press.
Kotz, D. (2013, April 23). Injury Toll from Marathon Rises. Retrieved from:
National Center for Education Statistics.(2008). Statistical Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives .Washington, D.C. United States Department of Education
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Surgical Technologists. (2012, March 29). Retrieved from:
Zimmerman, Kim Ann. (2012). Hurricane Katrina: Facts, Damage and Aftermath.
9/11 Death Statistics
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