TSTC student says video games helped him prepare for surgical training

Local News

TSTC Student using LapSim.

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Celestino Salazar, an Applied Science student at Texas State Technical College (TSTC), said that playing video games throughout his childhood has helped him in his Surgical Technology labs at school.

Students in the lab use a device called LapSim ST, a virtual-reality laparoscopic simulator that allows students to practice minimally invasive surgeries around the abdomen.

According to a news release from TSTC, video games were and continue to be a huge help for Salazar.

“Playing Mario and other games when I was little helped with my hand-eye coordination,” Salazar said in the release. “Moving forward, a virtual reality game app I play is called Surgeon simulator. The basis is you are a surgeon, and you have to keep the patient alive. This correlated to the LapSim ST – it’s the same concept.”

Salazar said he struggled in the class at first but was able to get back on track because it was just like the video game he played.

Salazar plans to become a traveling surgical technician, with the long-term goal of being a medical surgeon in the future, according to the release.

TSTC offers a Surgical Technology program at the Harlingen Campus. According to the release, surgical technologist jobs are expected to increase 14% in the state by 2028.

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