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ACC-Ontario Surgical Technology Graduate Taking Next Step in Medical Journey


Heather Fischer always wanted to work in the medical field. When her daughter underwent surgery several years ago for scoliosis, Fischer got to know one of the pediatric intensive care unit nurses who shared about his work in the operating room and she started looking into schools. 

After speaking with a friend in the industry who mentioned American Career College and a few other schools, Fischer started doing her own research. 

“I looked up ACC online and it has the highest pass rate for the CST exam and it is an associate’s degree program which was a huge push for me as well,” Fischer shared. 

Heather completed her associate of occupational science degree in surgical technology and earned her certified surgical technologist certification in January 2016 and has been working in the OR the Loma Linda University Medical Center for five years. 

Over the past year, Heather’s love of the medical field became even more focused as she got to experience hands on care with patients and their families outside of the OR during the pandemic. 

“When COVID-19 numbers spiked, I was put on a neuro trauma COVID unit and I got to be a part of the nursing team in the role of a certified nursing assistant (CNA), and the amount of care that you give on the floor is incredible,” Fischer said. “There are so many things you do on the floor as a nurse and your decisions can impact care.” 

Now the mother of two is now continuing her education and pursuing her bachelor of science in nursing at West Coast University-Ontario. Heather shared that her daughters see her studying and sometimes join her virtual classes and pick up knowledge too. Now Fischer’s oldest daughter wants to become a surgeon, inspired by her mom’s work. 

“My colleagues are all very encouraging and keep telling me to keep going with my education,” Fischer added. “I don’t know if I want to stay in the OR or ED or maybe get my nurse practitioner’s license and become an orthopedic specialist, but I am staying motivated and taking it one day, one week and one class at a time.” 

ACC cannot guarantee employment. Programs vary by campus. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.

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