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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Surgical Technology program supports local food drive and distribution

October 14, 2021

SJVC Bakersfield Surgical Technology students volunteer at food drive“Our Surgical Technology program participated in the Cirugia Sin Fronteras  food drive and over 350 local families were fed this morning,” enthuses Viridiana Rodriguez, Clinical Coordinator for SJVC’s Bakersfield campus Surgical Technology program.

It was an important event for the community that Cirugia Sin Fronteras conduct several times each year. ’“Founders of this organization are our local surgeons that teach and train our students out at the clinical sites, says Viridiana.”

Surgical Technology students work with many of these surgeons during their clinical rotations in actual medical facilities, such as Dignity Health Medical Group and Adventist Health. “We have had a relationship with these hospitals for many years,” says Viridiana. Hands on experience is an important component of Surgical Technology students’ training and experience.

Although this food drive and distribution was open to the public, many of those receiving food supplies were previous patients or family members of previous patients at these medical facilities and their participating surgeons.

Cars formed a long line at the CSF (Cirugia Sin Fronteras) office where a couple of dozen volunteers helped families receive donated food from four different booths: pre-packaged meat, produce/pasta, milk/canned food and fresh peaches. Each car could claim up to three families who each got supplies from the four booths.

Helping others is a big motivator for most students in any of SJVC’s medical programs. “It’s good for our students to come in and help,” says Viridiana. “I tell them they are going to see patients they will see in the future (for medical issues). It makes them humble and opens their eyes to these organizations that help low-income families with health care and other resources.”

Viridiana has been involved with Cirugia Sin Fronteras for about five years and knows the value of supporting local communities and establishing relationships with future medical coworkers and administrators. “I thought it would be a good way to get the students involved and get to know the surgeons better outside the clinical sites. And it’s good for them to come in and help because they’re going to meet patients they will see in the future.”

Those surgeons spearheading this community event are investing in the welfare of patients who may be able to sustain better health through these kinds of efforts and support.

And these same surgeons are noticing who shows up to carry this message of community spirit. “These surgeons see them (SJVC Surgical Technology program student volunteers) out at clinical sites and helping on these kinds of events that show they go above-and-beyond,” says Viridiana. Anyone who goes through this (ST program) can have the skills and training, but to have the heart, you’ve got to want to love what you’re doing. To add that personal touch of volunteerism – it looks good to those important people watching.”

This recent September event is the first time SJVC Surgical Technology program provided support for this food distribution, but students are looking forward to participating even more directly in the next food drive and distribution scheduled for October.

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