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COTC Surgical Technology Student Goes on Medical Mission Trip to Haiti

NEWARK, Ohio, June 7, 2017 – A Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) surgical technology student is taking the hands-on training she is getting in the classroom around the world. Lina Cherneta, 22, of Galloway recently returned from a medical mission trip to Haiti.

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"This was my fourth trip to Haiti," said Cherneta. "I travel with Slavic Full Gospel (SFG) Ministries based in Cleveland. We visit villages that don't have hospitals or clinics and help the people with medical issues."

Cherneta traveled to Haiti on a medical mission trip for the first time while she was in high school in 2012. It was an experience that changed her, and she developed a special place in her heart for the people of Haiti.

"We see a lot of wounds and do a lot of wound treatment," said Cherneta. "Almost every child has a fungal infection and suffers from malnourishment. There are a lot of people with high blood pressure, and we do dental work by pulling a lot of teeth."

Going on these trips helped Cherneta decide what she wanted to do with her life.  She knew she needed to help people and thought getting a degree in surgical technology would be the best way to follow her dreams. After taking classes at COTC, Cherneta is able to bring her knowledge to the people of Haiti.

"The surgical technology program has given me so much," said Cherneta. "I was able to organize the medical team in Haiti, and I managed setting up stations."

Cherneta said the experiences she had in Haiti during this last trip are ones she will never forget.

"There was an older lady. She came in and brought in her grandson. He was only 2 or 3 years old. He had a burn from five days earlier. He had fallen into a pot of hot water and burned his bottom. A lot of food they prepare is on an open fire on the floor or ground. We cleaned out his burn as much as we could with the supplies we had and gave him a cream. It was so sad," said Cherneta. "Helping people like this in Haiti has become a passion.  I have this desire to use what I know to help them."

Cherneta is on track to graduate in December of 2017. She hopes to get a job at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center where she is currently on clinical rotation. But, she plans to continue taking the yearly trip to Haiti.

"I plan to continue to go on mission trips with the focus of helping a hospital there," said Cherneta. "I don't know why it is such a passion, but I have this desire to help."

The surgical technology program prepares students to be members of the surgical teams containing surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses and other surgical personnel. Before, during and after surgery, surgical technologists deliver critical patient care and help ensure a safe surgical environment. COTC offers an associate degree and one-year certificate in surgical technology. Graduates participate in a national certifying exam to become a certified surgical technologist (CST). The surgical technology program is accredited by The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. To learn more about the program visit: cotc.edu/surgtech​.

COTC was ranked number one in Ohio and number 19 in the nation by PayScale in its 2016-17 College Salary Report ranking the best community and career colleges by salary potential. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.​