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RCC Surgical Technology students achieve 100% pass rate, ready for the OR

This week, Robeson Community College held a pinning ceremony for its surgical technology students, celebrating their completion of the program, as well as their achievement of a 100% pass rate and 100% hiring rate.

Bridget Locklear, Xanna Freeman, Candice Morgan, and Cheemaa Obaid all completed the requirements of the program and passed the national certification exam administered by the National Board of Certification in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) and have found employment with hospitals in North and South Carolina.

“This has been a good experience, I enjoyed it,” Bridget Locklear said. “I was in the program 10 years ago and had to leave… I wanted to come back and finish the program, and now I have… it has definitely been worth it.”

 “RCC is a good community college, I have loved all my professors,” Locklear added. “I feel like I am prepared for the workforce.”

Locklear has accepted an offer from McLeod Health in Florence, SC, and will be employed as a surgical technologist.

For Candice Morgan, enrolling in the surgical technology program was an opportunity to give her children a better life.

“I had my daughter in 2019 and my son in 2021,” Morgan said. “I did this for them, I was determined to stick with the program to the end.”

“I have learned a lot about myself, the healthcare industry… it’s a lot more than just passing instruments to the surgeon,” Morgan stated. “With this program, I was able to work full-time so that I could support my family, and that meant a lot to me.”

Morgan has worked at Outback Steakhouse for the last 12 years, but soon she will be working full-time as a surgical technologist at McLeod Health. 

“It’s a little scary,” admitted Morgan. “But I know I am entering a new era in my life.”

Also headed to McLeod Health is Cheema Obaid.

“We will all be together, that’s the awesome part of it,” Obaid said. “Because of this program, I’ve gained friends and met people I will never forget.”

Obaid entered the program with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in education, but she’s always found healthcare appealing.

“I’ve always been interested in being in the OR and having direct contact with patients,” Obaid stated. “I’ve learned how to be the best surgical technologist that I can be.”

“I had the best professors, they really made sure that we learned everything that we could.”

Obaid hopes to continue her education, eventually becoming a certified surgical first assist.

 “It’s a step further,” Obaid said. “There are so many different surgical specialties out there.”

 Also hoping to eventually become a certified surgical first assist is Xanna Freeman. Unlike her classmates, Freeman will be heading to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville.  

“The opportunity came for me to work there and I said, “I’ll take it,” Freeman said with a smile. “I loved McLeod Health, that’s where we did our clinicals, but this is closer to home.”

During clinicals, Freeman says that she truly enjoyed the experience provided.

“I loved getting the hands-on training, and being there with the surgeons and preceptors helping you along the way,” Freeman stated. “It might be tough, but it is very rewarding in the end.”

Freeman wanted to become a surgical technologist, because as she says, “It is very interesting, I liked the thought of being a part of a team in the OR to help a patient.”

“My instructors, they helped push me to become the best that I can be, and I could not ask for better instructors than Ms. Coleman and Ms. Collins,” Freeman said. “I feel like I am still continuing to grow … I have gained everything I had hoped for and more through this program.”


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