Student Spotlight: Lauren Melnick
Major: Surgical Technology
Lauren Melnick always wanted to help people through working in the medical field.
“After considering nursing, I wanted to be in the operating room so I found out more about the person in the OR who passes the instruments to the surgeon,” she said. “That profession turned out to be surgical technology, and now I know that a surgical technologist does so much more.”
Melnick’s own health scare fueled her desire for a health care career. She survived a ruptured brain aneurysm and surgery, so becoming a surgical technologist became part of her purpose.
“It is now my dream to one day scrub in side-by-side with the neurosurgeon who saved my life,” she said. “This time, it won’t be my life that needs saving but the lives of others.”
Fate led her to College of DuPage. Melnick met Admissions Representative Debbie Jeffay in a hospital cafeteria where Jeffay was handing out information about the College.
“I stopped and told Debbie I had been thinking about enrolling in the Surgical Technology program but hadn’t taken classes at COD in a while,” she said. “We scheduled an appointment for me to meet with her, where she laid out everything I needed to enroll in the 2017 program. I cannot thank her enough for how much she helped me get on track to pursue this dream.
“Now that I am in the program, I have phenomenal instructors who know the field in and out and support our class in every way possible. This program is demanding and intense, but it’s worth it knowing we have the support, knowledge and encouragement from our instructors.”
After earning her Associate in Applied Science degree, Melnick plans to begin working right away. She would like to return to COD and enroll in the Surgical Assistant program and eventually pursue a bachelor’s degree.
Melnick is grateful to College of DuPage for helping her achieve her goals. She encourages others who have a passion for surgical technology to enroll in COD’s program.
“This is not a career that someone should be in just for a paycheck,” she said. “At the end of the day, each and every patient has a story and they depend on the operating room staff to care for them. If you have a commitment and love for this profession, it will take you far.”
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