Program: Surgical Technology
After high school, Anna Campbell was working as a pharmacy technician at Elmhurst College when she saw an ad for surgical technology.
“I have always been a hands-on learner,” she said. “I completed my certificate in Surgical Technology and started working in the operating room when I was 20, and I immediately fell in love with it.”
Campbell has worked as a surgical assistant or surgical technician throughout the Chicago area for more than 25 years. She always felt the need to help others, which was fulfilled through her work in health care.
But then she realized she could help in a different way and began taking classes at College of DuPage while still working in the OR. Campbell then transferred to Trinity Christian College, where she completed her bachelor’s degree in History and a Secondary Education certificate.
“I was a first generation college graduate and was excited to set an example for my four children,” she said. “While working in the OR one day, Kathy Cabai, a former co-worker and then-coordinator of the Surgical Technology program at COD, came to me and asked if I would be interested in teaching surgical technology. While I originally intended on teaching high school students, I was thrilled to find a career that combined my love of the OR with my passion for teaching.”
That passion continues to grow as well as her pursuit of education. Campbell completed a Master of Science in Health Care Education and currently is working on her Ph.D. in Education with a focus on curriculum and instruction.
Campbell also continues to work in the OR, assisting a well-known orthopedic surgeon with total hip and knee arthroplasties, which she has done for nearly 15 years. She finds it important to stay relevant in the field while teaching because it offers opportunities to discuss current issues and trends with students.
“I hope students leave my classroom with a passion for medicine and an addiction to helping others,” she said. “I hope they bring a culture of care and compassion into health care that is contagious to those around them. Finally, I hope my students realize how much I care for them as individuals and trust that I will be there for them well after class has ended.”
In return, Campbell is inspired by her students.
“The ability to watch students persevere through the challenges that come with balancing life and education is an honor that inspires me daily. I feel blessed to be a small part of a student’s journey toward a better future.”