Staff Spotlight: Krystal Rubio
Name: Krystal Rubio
Role: Surgical Technologist
Joined NWWC: September 2018
Personal Life: Krystal grew up in Arizona. Her mother lives in Arizona and her father (pictured with Krystal) and older sister live in Colorado. Krystal has 2 sphynx cats; Zephyr lives with her currently and Dolf lives in Arizona.
Life before NWWC: Krystal graduated from her surgical technology program in 2013 in Arizona. She worked at a surgical practice in Vancouver, WA, that specialized in sports medicine but also had podiatry, hand, general surgery and neurology cases. Her first healthcare job was providing care for a woman who was bedbound with terminal cancer. She has also worked as a sterilization tech, a chiropractic assistant, and in customer service roles in retail and a salon.
A Day in her Job: Krystal spends her days in the operating room. She ensures the room is set up properly with the correct equipment and supplies for the types of surgical cases on the schedule. This may be bariatric, plastic, or general surgeries such as hernia repair and gallbladder removal. During surgery, she keeps the instruments organized and provides the surgeon with the instruments they need for each step of the procedure. She maintains the sterile field, meaning she protects the sterilized instruments and equipment from being contaminated by any potential source throughout the entire procedure. At the end of surgery, she is responsible for the final equipment count to ensure that nothing has been lost. She organizes the clean & dirty equipment to get ready for the next case.
What Else to Know about Krystal:
- Her favorite part of her job is learning the specific nuances of each surgeon. “They all do it a little bit differently and it all makes sense when you understand why they do it that way.” She enjoys getting into a rhythm with the surgeon so she can anticipate their needs and have an instrument ready before they even ask for it. “They look surprised!”
- She enjoys working with reconstructive procedures, such as an abdominoplasty where excess skin is removed from the abdomen. “You know that’s going to make a huge difference in the patient’s life. They’re going to feel so much better.”
- She knew she wanted to become a surgical tech at age 18. Her father underwent a colon resection due to colon cancer which partially inspired her career choice. She really enjoyed her surgical tech program and is grateful to her excellent instructors for a strong education, including in sterilization techniques.
- When she’s not in the operating room, you’ll find her on the water. She owns a paddleboard and is planning to buy a kayak.