Alumna Jael Jones carves out her ideal healthcare career with surgical precision

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne’s Surgical Technology program launched in fall 2019 with a cohort of five students. Since then, the program has grown to 14 students and moved into a renovated space that mimics a real operating room! Even more impressive, the students in the first program were immediately successful. They boasted a 100% pass rate on their surgical technology certification exams and each student was offered a job before they graduated.

One of the first cohort, Jael Jones, shared her experiences in the program and her path to success as a surgical technologist at Lutheran Health. Jael didn’t know immediately that she wanted to become a surgical technologist. In fact, when she first came to Ivy Tech in 2016, she didn’t even know what a surgical technologist was. But she has always been drawn to healthcare.

“I enrolled in the nursing program, and while I realized soon after that nursing wasn’t for me, it did make me realize there were more healthcare jobs than just nursing. I became a CNA and a phlebotomist through Ivy Tech. Then I started working toward my Biology TSAP, when I heard about the surgical technology program.”

Jael applied for the program after speaking with surgical technologists in the field, was accepted, and graduated in summer 2021. She now works as a surgical technologist at Lutheran Health, assisting on surgeries that include traumas, cardiovascular complications, lacerations, and more.

“I love anatomy. As a surgical technologist, I get to take part in actual surgeries. You realize how delicate the human body is and get to help fix it. Ivy Tech was great because it allowed me to become a surgical technologist in a quality program that was more affordable than other colleges.”

Though she currently enjoys her work as a surgical technologist, Jael is always looking for the next step. She’s working on getting a bachelor’s degree in biology and eventually hopes to become a physician’s assistant.

To anyone interested in the Surgical Technology program, Jael advises them to do what she did and test the waters first. “Don’t jump into it right away. You can quickly earn a CNA certificate and see if the field is right for you! You can also visit a hospital and see how things work or just talk to someone. Do what I did. Reach out to a surgical technician and see if they’re willing to talk about their experiences. There are a lot of options in healthcare. Take your time and see which one works for you.”

To learn more about Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s Surgical Technology program, visit

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