Faculty Spotlight: Sugey Briones
Meet Sugey Briones: CBD College’s Surgical Technology Program Director
We sat down with our new Surgical Technologist Program Director, Sugey Briones, to get her take on the field, and understand her goals for CBD College Surg Techs. Read her inspiring story and advice below!
Have you always been a Surgical Technologist?
I wanted to be a doctor my whole life, I was raised by my uncle, a General Surgeon. I actually went through pre-med when I was in my early 30s, but decided to go with a different route-keeping in mind that I was a single parent of five. So I finished my Surgical Tech program in 2005 and finished with a Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration. I’ve been active in the Surgical Technology field since graduation. The day I finished my externship was the day I was hired and started doing surgeries. It’s really been my whole life.
What led you to pursue instructing/being involved in education?
I have also always wanted to be a teacher. Now, here I am as a teacher, program director, and surgical technologist. I had the desire to do it, and I’ve been lucky enough to have both of my loves all in one. I love what I do. You have the best of both worlds in this profession You get to see changes in people’s lives, and you also get to save someone’s life.
The testimony I give my students in class about when I’m in the operating room relates to how I can change people’s lives just by making them feel better. Whether it’s putting a leg together or a facelift you’re saving people’s lives and bettering people’s futures.
Certainly all jobs have things that you have to do and policies you have to follow, but when you do it for so long and for the right reasons then being in the classroom or the operating room is an easy task. My favorite part is sharing that passion and the knowledge. I cannot stress enough how grateful I am for this career and what it offers to people..
You plan your life one way, and it always turn out another. However, I always tell my students, if you have a plan things may not turn out the way you wanted, but life will take care of those things. Don’t lose focus.
Who has been your greatest inspiration or mentor?
I think life itself-I became a single mother at 27, I had my 5th child and then10 days later I started school. I didn’t have a car, I didn’t have money, and I didn’t have anything. My biggest motivation was getting out of my situation and building myself from the ground up. My circumstances made me say, you have to change or you’ll spend your whole life depending on other people, and you have to do this for you and your kids.
I wanted to be the difference. I wanted to give my children the example to not just be a statistic. Since then I haven’t looked back. I’m six classes away from my masters and applying for my PhD in Education soon. Sometimes you don’t have anyone to motivate you except yourself. Being hungry is your biggest motivator.
How are you involved with Surgical Technology outside of CBD College?
I just came from Utah, and I was the Vice President for the Utah State Assembly. I plan to do the same here and be involved in the California Association for Surgical Technologists. You need to be proud of what you do. I want to be the example to my students that we should be voicing our concerns to legislators. Very few people know what Surgical Technologists do, so you have to be involved. That’s my contribution.
I’ve also been a speaker for the annual Association meeting. Thousands of people come from all over the country, and my topic is “How to Motivate the Adult Learner.”
Do you have any advice for potential students interested in pursuing a career in surgical technology?
Have a vision board and do your research. I want you to know how much you’re going to make, where specifically you’d like to work, placement rates, etc.. When you come to the college I want you to know 100%, this is what you want to do so that when you’re sitting in class you have your mind on the end goal.
You have to want this more than anybody else. You have to want this for yourself. No one can want this for you. You have to go the extra mile, ride the extra bus, take that extra credit class or exam to get that “A”- whatever it takes. Always be trying your hardest. You’re spending all this time, and money, and sacrifice. Don’t give up on yourself.