Meet 2022 Grad: Megan Chalk

Megan Chalk

“Ever since I was a kid, I remember looking through my Mom’s nursing medical books. I had a fascination with science and anatomy. This degree represents everything I ever loved and enjoyed. It represents my accomplishments, everything I have worked on my whole life...and the starting of my life.”  - Megan Clark

Major: Associate in Applied Science Degree, Surgical Technology
Student Involvement/Honors: Dean’s List


Q: Describe what has been the biggest challenge of being a college student during the pandemic.
A: There’s a lot of doubt when you are sitting waiting for your life to begin, and you don’t have control over what’s going on in the world. You ask yourself, ‘Am I doing the right thing? Is this the right path for me?’ My mom and sisters are nurses, and I watched them struggle through the pandemic helping people who didn’t have a chance and were so sick. I knew then I was making the right decision and I want to do this for the rest of my life. 

Q: What are you most proud of? 
A: While in surgery an artery got clipped and the patient was bleeding. That can be very stressful, but I didn’t freak out and didn’t let my preceptor step in. I fulfilled my role to help save my patient’s life. I started crying after surgery and couldn’t believe I accomplished that! I also recently held a lung from a patient’s chest. Not everyone gets to do that! 

Q: What kind of support have you received from faculty? 
A: At times we were wondering how we would be able to learn the material and make it in this field. Our instructors Lisa Smith and Renona Gauthier said we all have these moments, and we will get through it. They told us to keep pushing through and remember what our goals are in life. Our instructors and Lab Assistant Collen Huston and the Director of Surgical Tech Anita Caponi helped us get through our moments of doubt. 

Q: What are the next steps for you after leaving OCC? 
A: I want to work as a surgical tech for a trauma center and then start traveling around the country before I begin my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Afterwards, I would like to get a master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner. 

Q: What advice would you give future students? 
A: If you don’t love what you are doing, find something you genuinely enjoy and go for that. You want to wake up and be excited and always push yourself. For those going into the medical field, you need compassion and thick skin. Patient care is a top priority and will remain through your entire career. 

Q: What would you like to say to your fellow graduates? 
A: This is the beginning to our professional lives. We have pushed ourselves past our limit, learned the most complex procedures, and accomplished and created new goals. Now we are about to take our steps into the operating rooms and change the lives of our patients. We are the new generation of health care, and it was such an honor to learn with you all.