Albert Magdaleno is one of CBD College’s Surgical Technology instructors. Mr. Magdaleno not only shows passion towards his students, he lives it. Read his interview below.
Have you always been a Surgical Technologist?
Yes. Certified Surgical Technologist for over 26 years, went to school for it, and been in education for the past 20 years. I trained at California Paramedical and Technical College in Long Beach. It was a half military, half civilian class. It’s not there anymore; it’s gone. I went to that program through the United States Naval Reserve. It catered to the military. Because we were military personnel, it was a little stricter. The Surgeons are Commissioned Officers so we refer to them as Sir or Ma’am. My job in the Navy was as an Operator Room Technician, which is another name for Surgical Tech. I was in active duty at Naval Medical Center of San Diego.
What led you to pursuing instructing?
It was my love of teaching. My first instructing job was in 1997. I’ve always wanted to share my knowledge and pay it forward. I had a lot of experience in the Navy, and what I learned over 26 years ago was “Aeger Primo,” which is Latin for “Patient First.” That’s the core of what I teach students. It starts in the operating room. The reason we use proper aseptic technique is for the patient. The worst possible thing to happen is for a patient to go home with an infection-site or wound infection because somebody in the room used bad technique. My teaching style is all about technique. Why? “Aeger Primo.”
Who has been your greatest inspiration or mentor?
Keith Orloff, C.S.T. He taught me “Aeger Primo.” And I’ve carried that my entire career. 27 years ago now. He instructed me, and now we’ve become lifelong peers and professional colleagues. He’s still involved with the Association of Surgical Technologists. I can open up a periodical and his name will be there. And “Aeger Primo,” is the motto the AST.
How are you involved with Surgical Technology outside of CBD College?
I spend a lot of my time here at CBD College, but I’m also a member of the California State Assembly for Surgical Technology. It’s our California organization of ST’s where we talk about laws pertaining to Surgical Technology and credentialing- so how people qualify to become ST’s. It directly impacts the people that I teach.
Do you have any advice for potential students interested in pursuing a career in surgical technology?
My advice is to care about your patients and have passion for your patients. If you have the passion, that evolves into career opportunities. Employers want to have someone on their team who cares, and if you start with passion, the rest will follow suit. In the operating theatre, it’s not about me, it’s about the patient. You have to keep reminding yourself and stay passionate.