Fernando Mendoza, CST, President
This past February, CASA President Fernando Mendoza visited the UCLA campus with the goal of promoting Surgical Technology. Mendoza covered various topics, including: certification, team building, and being passionate about the Surgery Technology profession.
Regarding Certification, Mendoza strongly encouraged all Surgery Techs to strive toward being certified. While not a requirement, Mendoza explained that obtaining the knowledge and credentials that come with the process of certification provides a sense of empowerment in the workplace and pride in the profession.
Mendoza spoke in depth about the passion involved in being a surgery tech and the importance of operating as a team. While every Surgery Tech is strong individually, the field relies on teamwork that can only be achieved through communication, trust, and by uplifting one another. Team building activities outside of the work setting was suggested by Mendoza as a great way to build morale and trust among fellow Surgery Techs.
While building a great working relationship with fellow Surgery Techs is encouraged, Mendoza also stressed the importance of building a great relationship with management. Mendoza elaborated on the subject by speaking of the great relationships his current employer, UCLA Santa Monica, has with one another and with their management teams; stating that their management is very supportive of Surgery Techs seeking further education and reimbursement of such.
Upon conclusion of Mendoza’s first visit to the UCLA campus, staff provided feedback that was both positive and constructive for future visits. Constructively, the staff felt that future visits could include more visual aid to accompany the information, along with hardcopy documents that could go more in depth on discussion topics. Suggestions for future visual aids included: a slideshow, copies of a handout, supportive research for individual Policies of reimbursement, and documentation to support and inform of the upcoming Union negotiation.
While providing constructive feedback, many staff also expressed their appreciation and positivity toward Mendoza’s visit. One staff member stated, “I have never felt empowered and supported as a CST, and that this can be a career until Fernando came to speak to us.” Another staff member said, “I would love for him to come back and speak; bring anything he wants to share.”
The UCLA campus visit was an educational experience; not only for UCLA staff, but also for us, as the Board Members of CASA. I feel that we can utilize the feedback from the UCLA staff and apply it to future visits (whether to UCLA or other locations). Seeking out these opportunities to speak with staff members directly and getting feedback will provide us with the knowledge to most effectively represent the Surgical Technology field and all of the members within it.