Student Stories: Emma Brassea

Emma Brassea


Major: Anesthesia Technology

While precepting new hires and nursing students as patient care and cardiac monitor technicians at St. Joseph Hospital in Tucson, Ariz., Emma Brassea had the opportunity to be present for surgeries in the OR, where she was intrigued by the anesthesia team.

“The interaction, the performance and the teamwork fascinated me,” she said. “The way the team leader and the rest of the team performed their job and were aware of every aspect regarding the patient’s anesthesia treatment, as well as the safety around the patient before, during and after surgery, made me think that this was exactly what I wanted to do as a health care provider.”

Brassea looked for an Anesthesia Technology program in Arizona but with no luck. In fact, the state had few technicians who were certified. She then called the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and asked about accredited schools online, and they recommended College of DuPage.

After taking prerequisite classes at Pima Community College, Brassea contacted COD Professor Kathy Cabai, coordinator of the Anesthesia Technology program, and applied to the program.

“I had the greatest experience in being a student at this excellent college,” she said. “The prestigious reviews, the staff and their remarkable way of teaching, and the customer service are more than you could expect from an online program.”

Brassea completed the program in 18 months and earned her Associate in Applied Science degree. In doing so, she became the first student to be trained as an anesthesia technologist through an official contract between St. Joseph Hospital (Tenet Health) and COD.

Now working in her new field, Brassea is drawing upon her vast wealth of experience since entering health care in 1976.

“The combination of my past academic performance and my personal standards of excellence in all I do are providing my foundation as a Certified Anesthesia Technologist,” she said. “Thanks to COD’s program, I am ready to be part of an anesthesia team and can inform others about pursuing this career through an accredited online program. I want to thank Kathy Cabai for her excellence in every detail and the dedication she gives to her students during class, the study resources, calls and teachings. This is a dream that came true!”

More about the Anesthesia Technology program