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Apprentice Spotlight: Michael O'Brien - Success Story

Michael O’Brien's journey at Steward Hospital spans an impressive 12 years, during which he navigated various positions in and around the operating room (OR). As the OR scheduler, an opportunity arose for him to enter the Central Sterile Processing apprenticeship, aligning with his ultimate career goal of becoming a Surgical Technician.


A key element that drew Michael to the apprenticeship was its unique balance between education and work, allowing him to attend classes while still earning a paycheck. For Michael, who is rooted in the hospital community where he resides and whose job satisfaction is tied to his proximity to patients during their most vulnerable moments, the apprenticeship provided a practical avenue to pursue certification without sacrificing his connection to patients and financial stability.


"The ability to be in school and still work and get paid was a game-changer for me," Michael emphasized, praising the practicality of the apprenticeship model.


Participating in the Central Sterile program meant balancing day work with evening classes, a challenge that Michael embraced wholeheartedly. He appreciated the real-world application of knowledge, stating, "You can tell someone how to build a boat, but until you do it, you don't really know how." This hands-on approach resonated with him, making the learning process more hands-on.


The pay increase accompanying his new position is welcomed by Michael, but more significantly, he earned a globally recognized credential. Whether pursuing a Surgical Tech position or exploring other avenues, having the Sterile Processing credential provides him with a safety net and a profound sense of job security.


The apprenticeship model, coupled with a supportive mentor, equipped Michael with the skills and confidence needed for success. Even as he transitions towards his aspiration of becoming a Surgical Technician, he recognizes the enduring value of the Sterile Processing credential. This certification not only brought about a salary increase but also ensured his employability anywhere in the world, providing Michael with a profound sense of job security. Michael wholeheartedly recommends apprenticeships to others, especially those unable to pause their lives for traditional schooling. In his own words, "Apprenticeship is a great opportunity, especially for people who can’t drop everything and go back to school."



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