Scrub Technician

Name: Sara Watson

Employer: Mercy Hospital

Taking on the challenge of making a difference, 2015

Sara Watson knew she would be happy in a career where she could help others. Specifically, she wanted to help people regain good health. She turned to Brown Mackie College ― St. Louis to achieve her goal. She approached her studies with determination, appreciating the intense focus on a single class each month. 

“I enjoyed my classmates and instructors,” says Sara. “We worked together in study groups a lot of the time. In classroom and lab sessions, learning was fun.” Sara felt well prepared for “clinicals,” where students work in a hospital, gaining hands-on experience with the theory and skills they learn in the classroom. “For me, sometimes reading a book over and over to understand something was hard. I liked the hands-on learning,” Sara says. 

Sara excelled in her studies, graduating in 2015 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Surgical Technology. It didn’t take long to land her first job as a scrub technician at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. Now she spends much of her time in the operating room (OR). 

It is up to Sara to sterilize equipment and set up the OR for each specific procedure. She relies on her thorough knowledge of surgical instruments to perform her job every day. Sara’s role during a procedure is to assist the surgeon, passing instruments, draping patients, and holding retractors. “I am there to help the surgeon,” she says. 

She enjoys being part of a surgical team that helps patients in vital ways. Sara sometimes encounters people at the hospital who become short on patience under pressure. “Any time that happens, I just let it roll of my shoulders and keep moving on with my work,” she says. 

Always taking special care in her duties, Sara has learned to “throw off” suctions and cords carefully during surgical procedures, making certain to never contaminate a sterile field. She appreciates being in a position where she continues to learn new things every day. 

“You can never stop learning, wherever you end up in life,” Sara says. “Every day take a little bit of everything people tell me. It is important to keep your mind open to new things if you want to go far in life. We all need to be challenged to venture outside of our comfort zones.” 

Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options are subject to change. Brown Mackie College – St. Louis. #2 Soccer Park Road, St. Louis, MO, 63026  ©2015 Brown Mackie College. Our email address is

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Oliver Hollaender

Field Service Engineer

Name: Oliver Hollaender

Employer: OrthoScan, Inc

Veteran Utilizing Degree as a Field Service Engineer , 2014

Oliver Hollaender has endured physical attacks during both military service and civilian life. Serving in the United States Air Force from 2002 to 2006, he spent two years in Iraq as a combat medic, primarily serving in the Fallujah area. He came under an improvised explosive device (IED) attack twice during his deployment and was shot once.

“I was part of a special Patient Decontamination HAZMAT(Hazardous Material)Team in Iraq, and worked as an ID-EMT (Infectious Disease-Emergency Medical Technician) at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona when not deployed,” he says. Oliver was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant (E5) before separating from the military.  He was awarded the Purple Heart for the injuries he sustained while in Iraq and also received an Air Force Achievement Medal.

He began his medical training in the military and continued in the career field when he returned to civilian life. “After a few years of working as a paramedic, I specialized in hemodialysis and became a certified clinical hemodialysis technician,” says Oliver. About five years into this career, he experienced a bizarre attack by a patient.

“One of my patients stabbed me with a dirty syringe at work,” he says. “That’s when I decided to return to school. I wanted to remain in the medical field, but get out of direct patient care.” Oliver explored Brown Mackie College ― Phoenix and was drawn immediately to the Biomedical Engineering Technology program. “Repairing hemodialysis machines was something I enjoyed at my last job, so transitioning to biomedical engineering technology was a natural step for me,” he said.

Oliver entered college with an eye toward a promising future. He had moved ten times in the previous nine years, and was dealing with financial issues, as well as raising his two-year-old child as he began the program. He enjoyed the curriculum and excelled in class, which led to membership in Alpha Beta Kappa Honors Society during his studies.

“My education gave me the general electronics knowledge base that I was lacking beforehand,” says Oliver. “My knowledge of physics and mathematics increased throughout the coursework.” Graduating in 2014, earning an Associate of Applied Science degree in Biomedical Equipment Technology, Oliver found employment with the help of the Career Services department.

Working now as a field service engineer at OrthoScan, Inc in Scottsdale, Arizona, Oliver is happy with his career. “I travel to various medical institutions nationwide to repair, maintain, and calibrate state-of-the-art mini C-arm and fluoroscopic systems.” Additionally, he helps customers resolve various issues on X-ray C-arm systems by phone.

“I enjoy traveling and specializing in radiological biomedical equipment,” Oliver says. “I’m proud of my military service and proud of finally earning a college degree. I intend to remain in my current position as field engineer for a few years before probably moving on to a more localized position at one of the major hospitals around town.”

Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options are subject to change. Brown Mackie College – Phoenix. 13430 N. Black Canyon Hwy, Suite 190, Phoenix AZ 85029 ©2015 Brown Mackie College. Our email address is

See for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, federal salary data, alumni success, and other important info.