The Outer Banks Hospital (TOBH) is committed to supporting local students in their pursuit of rewarding and successful careers. For that reason, the hospital created a scholarship for students enrolled in the College of the Albemarle’s (COA) Surgical Technology Program. A surgical technologist (surg tech) works side by side with surgeons and anesthesiologists to provide technical assistance during surgeries.

The scholarship covers the cost of tuition for the two-year program, as well as activity fees, books, pinning, and the certification test. All students who are enrolled in the program are eligible for the scholarship and are encouraged to apply.

This award is given to the candidate who:

  • completes a successful interview with TOBH surgical and administration teams
  • is eligible for employment at TOBH
  • agrees to work approximately four hours per pay period throughout their time in the surg tech program
  • can demonstrate in the their application to the program that they hold and live out the values of TOBH
  • is a resident of the OBH service area

Recently, the scholarship was awarded to Jennifer Housand, a resident of Kill Devil Hills.

Originally from Maryland, Housand relocated to the Outer Banks in 2004. Three years ago she decided to go back to school. At the time, she was unsure what her career path would be except that she knew she wanted to go into the medical field. Her advisor at the College of the Albemarle introduced her to the surg tech program. While she had never heard of that career, it intrigued her and she set her mind on completing the course.

A single mother with two teenage daughters, Housand is certainly a model for hard work and dedication. She worked two jobs while she was a student at COA. Fortunately, both places of employment were understanding about her schedule. She says, “They were great to me and really allowed me the opportunity to do my school work when I needed to.” Strong support from her daughters also allowed her to be successful. She states, “I want to make my kids proud of me.”

A professor in the surg tech program mentioned TOBH’s scholarship program to Housand, but, she originally chose not to apply because she was still not sure about entering the field. However, after her first clinical rotation at TOBH, she realized that she loved it. By a stroke of luck, the original award recipient had dropped out of the COA program, which opened up the scholarship opportunity again.

After completing all of the requirements, Housand is now a full-time surg tech at TOBH.

She states that she loves the small-town feel at TOBH and appreciates that everyone helps out and makes her feel like family. When asked what advice she would give others, she suggests, “Ask questions and don’t be afraid. There is nobody out there who knows it all.”