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Surgical Tech Alumnus Reflects on His First Year of Teaching at TSTC

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Mark Braswell is a TSTC alumnus and a Surgical Technology instructor at TSTC’s Harlingen campus. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)
Mark Braswell is a TSTC alumnus and a Surgical Technology instructor at TSTC’s Harlingen campus. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)
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HARLINGEN, Texas – For Mark Braswell, it was like coming home when he returned to Texas State Technical College’s Harlingen campus to teach Surgical Technology after working as a surgical technician at St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital in San Antonio. 

Braswell graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Surgical Technology from TSTC in 2009. 

“It’s been rewarding to see the students’ progress in their education after my first year of teaching,” he said. “They begin this program by having minimal knowledge. It takes focus to get the students where they need to be. By the second year, students are thriving in advanced procedures and are confident in surgery.”

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Braswell added that his job gives him purpose.

“It’s great that we are training current students to become surgical technicians, who will train a future generation of surgical technologists,” he said.

While working at St. Luke’s, Braswell accepted a part-time job teaching surgical technology at some San Antonio-area medical schools in 2013. He transitioned back to the Rio Grande Valley and was hired as a part-time lab instructor in TSTC’s Surgical Technology program in 2022. Six months later he was promoted to a full-time faculty instructor in the program.

Yolanda Ramirez is TSTC’s Surgical Technology program director.

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“Mark’s commitment to bridging the gap between theory and practice ensures that students receive a comprehensive education by preparing them for the demands of the medical industry,” she said. “His genuine passion and commitment serve as an inspiring example and foster a nurturing and supportive learning environment.”

According to onetonline.org, surgical technologists can earn a yearly median salary of $53,460 in Texas, where projected job growth for the profession was forecast to increase 18% from 2020 to 2030.

TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Surgical Technology, as well as an occupational skills achievement award in Sterile Processing, at its Harlingen campus.

For more information, visit tstc.edu.

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