I am a Registered Nurse and a Surgical Technologist. I have worked my entire adult life in the Operating room as either a Scrub or a Circulator. I was offered a position at the College of Southern Idaho as an instructor for the 1 year old surgical technology program
I have worked at CSI since 1997 at a job that I am (now) quite well suited for.
I knew that I wanted to introduce and excite my surgical technology students in the career that I have always loved and I wanted them to learn in a good humored and non-intimidating climate and I set out to do just that. In 2001 my program won the Idaho State PTE Program of the Year and from there went earned in 2001 the National status of Promising Postsecondary Career and Technical Program. This Program status is only shared by the top 3% of Vocational programs in our nation. In 2003 my class of students nominated me for the CSI Teacher of the Year, which I was proud to accept because it came from my own class of students.
My educational philosophy starts with an Experimentalist Theory. Because I teach in Health Science I believe that we are learning the “Practice of Medicine” and that it will require practice. We will make mistakes: this is not the perfection of medicine. I insist that the program of study remain a “hands on” approach as the job is also hands on. We will accomplish this hands-on Experimentalism in our natural environment which will become the operating room suite. Health Careers encourage continued education to remain current on new ideas and new technology and so education is for students, and graduates and instructors. We will all be teaching each other, and we will learn from our surgical patients.
In our lab setting we will “role play” hosting mock operations where students may be involved in a mock surgery. Each successful student will need to critically think through mechanics of the surgical procedure before they put a knife to the patient. Students will need to develop surgical skills that include not only manual dexterity and physical skills but also excellent critical thinking skills because the OR is a trauma unit and it is very fast paced. Teaching students to critically think takes time, patience, organization, mutual respect. I can demonstrate this best by being a good role model.
I am an Essentialist and believe in learning the simple basics first and setting down a strong foundation of understanding in surgical asepsis on which to build a solid surgical practice. I have a very fun, relaxed, non-intimidating, interactive classroom and laboratory. I believe that students can learn even very difficult information, quickly and proficiently, if taught in a relaxed and organized setting.
In Critical Theory the historians suggest that teachers need to recognize that they must not ignore human suffering, manipulation and exploitation, when I take this theory to the classroom I teach my students that they must be a voice for their sleeping patients by being good advocates for what is right and that it will not always be easy. Much of the information my students learn in class as well as in clinical has a very serious nature. Our hospitalized patients desire and deserve the best care we can give them. I believe as did Aristotle that in learning our very special craft students should be well rounded as individuals, they must know who they are spiritually, intellectually and socially before they can begin to take care of another human being.