Surgical Technologist and Beyond – A Graduates Story

This is a true story of success.  Heather Crocker graduated from the Surgical Technologist program in May of 2012 and in one year, she’s completed the final phases of her Perfusion training and has now joined the elite group of Kidney Perfusionists.  She works for LifeGift and according to the Assistant Managing Director of Clinical Operations, she’s become one of the youngest Kidney Perfusionists to join their team. 

Below are a few words from Heather:

“My official title is Donation Recovery Specialist. In this position I coordinate the allocation of organs being offered for donation between Life Gift and the transplant centers. I also coordinate the entire O.R. during recovery of these organs ensuring all organs are perfused properly and packaged correctly with regards to sterile technique and UNOS standards. Shortly after completing my training in this role I was promoted to Kidney Perfusionist. In this role I am responsible for the kidneys after recovery. I take anatomy of the kidneys, dissect away fat surrounding the main renal artery/arteries and prepare the kidneys for cannulation, cannulate the kidneys, take biopsies of the kidneys, and put kidney's on the perfusion pumps. After this process I am responsible for monitoring these kidneys while on the pump and smooth delivery to the transplant centers for transplant. The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that every day I played a role in saving someone's life! I don't know how any job can have any better reward! I completed my schooling while being a single mother and raising my 2 year old son at the time. This was not an easy task, but well worth the hard work and dedication. My son tells me everyday I'm like a super hero to him! I owe all of my success to the wonderful staff at The College of Health Care Professions and especially my wonderful instructors, Mrs. Crouch, Mr. Kelly, Mrs. Jones, and Mrs. Cain. You all made this possible for me and I thank you kindly!"

Once you've graduated, career paths are endless.  Heather is proof that hard work and determination will pay off.  The faculty and staff at The College of Health Care Professions are very proud of Heather Crocker, DRS!

Did you know one individual donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation?  To learn more about LifeGift, please visit their website.