Samantha Pelletier '13
Samantha Pelletier graduated from Great Bay with an associate’s degree in surgical technology in May 2013. She worked at her hometown Elliot Hospital in Manchester, N.H., before taking a job as a traveling surgical technologist. We caught up with her during a break from her current job in Bismarck, N.D.
How did Great Bay prepare you for your career? How did you training and education enable you to succeed in your profession?
Great Bay prepared me for my career exceptionally well. We had so many choices as far as clinical locations go, between New Hampshire and Massachusetts hospitals. Elliot was a great hospital to learn at (because) we got the cases we needed right away. From there I was able to develop the confidence in my sterile technique and to be able to solo-scrub the difficult cases that came through the door. I was not afraid to speak up to my charge nurse and ask her to put me on cases that I needed more experience in. By the time my second semester of clinical a came around, I was offered a job as a student surgical tech and I would work from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Elliot after my clinical day of 6:30 a.m. to 3 pm. It was awesome. I was already offered a per-diem job at my hospital and was on the list for a full-time career.
What influenced your career choice?
Choosing a career path is always very difficult. I first heard about surgical technology when I was at tech school in Laconia, N.H. The college staff came to us and started talking about future career choices as juniors in high school. I was really interested in surgery, but I knew that I did not want to go to nursing school. It just wasn't what I wanted. Then they started talking about surgical technology, and my friend nudged my arm and was like, “Hey, Sam, there you go!” So when I was a senior in high school I started looking into schools that offered surgical technology, and lucky for me I could only find Great Bay.
Where are you working now?
Right now I am in Bismarck, N.D., on a 13-week traveling assignment. My last assignment was in Kauai, Hawaii. Talk about amazing experience. I have no idea where I'll be working in another 13 weeks, it's amazing. I love my job!
Why would you recommend it to other prospective students?
I strongly recommend surgical technology to anyone thinking about going back to school or going to school for the first time. Great Bay offers a two-year program and includes your certification at the end of your clinical rotation, which is becoming almost mandatory across the board. Not to mention the wonderful instructors you get to work with and learn from. Great Bay will always be my home and I am forever grateful to the amazing people at school and at Elliot who taught me everything they know.