"Penn College has offered amazing education in person, as well as online. And even though this degree is online, I still feel very connected to my instructors."
- Surgical Technology
- Healthcare Leadership & Administration
- Applied Health Studies
She's living her dream, pursuing a career in healthcare, and working as a surgical technologist at one of the region's leading providers. Meet Kayla, learn how she's leveling up in an online bachelor's program, and discover how she's preparing for a future of opportunity.
Applied Health Studies is now being offered as Healthcare Leadership & Administration.
TAKING THE LEAD
Q&A with Kayla
WHY PENN COLLEGE?
WHEN DID YOU DECIDE YOU WANTED TO PURSUE YOUR BACHELOR'S ONLINE?
I decided during my second year of college that I wanted to further my education and continue with my bachelor’s in applied health studies. During this time, I was still completing my associate's in surgical technology while beginning my bachelor’s.
WHAT FACTORS WENT INTO YOUR DECISION TO EARN THIS ONLINE DEGREE?
I decided to pursue this online degree because it will help me progress up the work ladder into higher positions in a health facility. I also knew that if I ever wanted to alter my career path, I need a bachelor’s degree for entry-level for most occupations. Another key component that went into my decision to pursue this degree was the ability to work full-time in my hometown while still attending Penn College.
WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO DO AFTER GRADUATION?
After I graduate with my bachelor’s degree, I still plan on staying a certified surgical technologist. Currently, I do not have any strict future plans for the use of my bachelor’s degree. I would like to gain more experience in the operating room before I try and further my career in this department. Eventually, I would like to get into the management side of the operating room, or become a representative, which is where my bachelor’s degree will be required for advancement within my profession.
HOW WILL THIS DEGREE POSITION YOU FOR LONG-TERM SUCCESS?
DO YOU FEEL CONNECTED TO YOUR INSTRUCTORS?
Even though this degree is online, I still feel very connected to my instructors. Most instructors of the bachelor-level courses will send emails weekly regarding the assignments. Along with, the instructors will set up meeting times or answer emails quickly if I had any questions regarding the assignments or readings. Some instructors will make videos going over the PowerPoints, similar to an in-person lecture. The instructors are still there for students and want to help students succeed in this online degree.
IF SOMEONE WERE CONSIDERING AN ONLINE DEGREE FROM PENN COLLEGE, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THEM?
I would tell them to go for it. Penn College has offered amazing education in person, as well as online. The quality of education that students receive does not lessen through online degrees. Students should not fear they will not receive the same education as they would in person. Professors who teach these online courses are still extremely helpful and are willing to be as helpful as needed to benefit students. The only difference in the education is the format the education is given. I would 100% recommend someone to complete online degrees at Penn College!
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO BALANCE WORK AND COURSES?
After graduating from the surgical technology program and getting a full-time job as a surgical technologist, I was worried I was going to struggle with my classwork. However, it was not as difficult as I expected it to be. For the past two years, I have been taking 2 courses per semester. This has helped a lot to not have a heavy school load like a full-time student. Along with working 12-hour shifts three times a week has been helpful. I have two days off during the week where I focus on completing assignments and studying.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY LIKE FOR YOU?
I have two different “typical” weekdays. Three days of the week I spend my time at the hospital caring for patients in the operating room. During those three days, I typically am the surgical technologist in GYN/GU robotic surgical procedures. On the other two days, I spend my time at home. During my time at home, I work on my class work as well as do things around the house.
From procedures and protocols to specialty instrumentation, surgical technologists master it all.
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