Name: Alan Salazar Graduating class: 1999
Specialty/Field: Preoperative Services-Operating Room Circulator at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital
What made you decide to pick your specialty, or did you always knew you wanted to work in the OR? A: I’ve always knew I wanted to work in the OR, and have been in this field for 17-18 years. I love it, things [surgeries/procedures, equipment] is constantly changing, and you’re always moving around.
Did you feel that Santa Ana College prepare you for working as a nurse in the OR?
A: Yeah, but the OR is a specialized field, so no matter what school you went to, you have additional training on top of that that you have to do. I liked Santa Ana, I felt it prepared me as much as it could have.
Is there anyone at Santa Ana that positively influenced you or that you found memorable? A: Gina Giroux helped me a lot. At that time, she was my clinical instructor and theory professor. I was struggling in 2nd semester with OB/Peds, and I didn’t think I would make it. At that time, I was living out of my car and was having a rough time. I told Gina that I don’t think I would make it and was considering dropping out, and she told me “No, you’ve passed 1st semester, and you’re passing 2nd semester.” She told me to keep going and that I would make it. I didn’t know it at that time, but she and some of the other instructors (Teresa Simbro) gathered some funds to help me financially. So, Gina Giroux was my most positively influential professor.
If you were to give advice to today’s current students, what would it be? A: Just keep going! Keep in mind that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even though you may not be able to see it.
Lastly, what traits would you want to find in a recent graduate who wants to work in the OR? A: Have some initiative. OR nurses need to have initiative to get cases [surgeries] going, and not be afraid to speak up if information is missing, or if something might affect patient safety.