From HVAC Technician to Surgical Technologist


After graduating from the $$Cincinnati Campus and earning his credentials as a certified surgical technologist (CST) earlier this year, Kevin Ballard can’t imagine anywhere that he’d rather be working than at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.  “I work in the operating room with the surgeons and assist them,” Kevin explained. “The kids are sick, and once you’re done, you know that you’ve really helped that child for the rest of their lives.”

His new career with one of the top hospitals in the country is even more amazing to Kevin when he considers that just a few years ago he was working as an HVAC technician.

He had worked in the HVAC field for over 25 years when he decided the time had come to make a career change.  He earned his GED in December, 2011 then decided to continue his education in the medical field. After looking at a number of local colleges, he enrolled at American National University in February, 2012. “I’ve always wanted to learn more about the human body,” said Kevin.  “That’s why I got into the surgical technology program.”

[img]Kevin was able to continue working in HVAC while attending night classes during the early stages of his program. Later, he was hired to work in sterile processing at Christ Hospital, where he gained experience in the field and worked on third shift as he participated in clinicals in area health care facilities during the day.
During his clinicals, Kevin was excited to progress in the OR from observing to assisting with surgeries. He feels that his externship with Dr. Jon Mendelsohn, at Advanced Cosmetics and Laser, was one of his greatest learning experiences. “He’s really a great teacher,” Kevin said of Dr. Mendelsohn.  “He will challenge you while he’s doing surgery, and he’ll ask you questions.”

Kevin continues to expand his knowledge of surgical technology as he assists with new procedures each day in the OR at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.  Looking back, he feels that his program at American National University has changed his life and that his new career has definitely been worth the sacrifices that he made. “For the past two years, I’ve had to put everything on hold, but when you look back at it you think ‘Wow!  It went pretty fast.’ I wasn’t going to stop until I got here,” he said proudly.

A-Kevin Ballard graduated from the Cincinnati Campus this year and earned credentials as a certified surgical technologist.

B-Kevin Ballard has transitioned from working as an HVAC technician into a career as a certified surgical technologist working in the OR at Cincinnati Children's Hospital after earning his associate's degree at American National University.

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