Student Stories: Jamie DeCaro

Jamie DeCaro

Major: Anesthesia Technologist

Jamie DeCaro was working as an anesthesia technician at Boston Children’s Hospital for only a few weeks when The American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT) changed their national certification requirements.

Despite having a master’s degree in the health care field, as well as seven years of experience as a cardiac technician, DeCaro needed to enroll in an accredited degree program that would allow her to sit for the certification exam.

DeCaro began her search for a program that would allow her to continue working and raising her family. Then DeCaro discovered the Anesthesia Technology program at College of DuPage, the only online program in the nation.

“I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason,” she said. “Here I was, a working mom, trying to juggle everything, and then I found out I needed to go back to school. I was instantly drawn to the program at COD because it offered me the opportunity to continue working in a hospital setting with hands-on patient care, while also getting a structured curriculum and personal support from instructors,” she said. “Even though I was living a plane ride away, I still received the same support and encouragement as if I was on campus.”

Through the program, DeCaro earned her Associates in Applied Science in Anesthesia Technology in 2017, making her eligible to sit for the national exam through ASATT.

DeCaro is now the Chief Anesthesia Technologist at Boston Children’s. When she’s not in the operating room, she manages the daily workload of the other technicians, securing advanced educational and training opportunities.

“COD’s program was so impactful for me, personally and professionally,” she said. “Having structured educational guidance gave me the skills so I could better perform my job and allowed me to advance in the field. Without COD, pathway to certification wouldn’t have been an option for me. There is no other educational experience in my life that compares.”

Through the program, DeCaro found a mentor in COD Anesthesia Technology Program Coordinator Kathy Cabai.

“Kathy taught me more than I ever thought I would learn about this field,” she said. “My passion for the field has grown stronger, and I’m advocating alongside her to inform as many medical professionals as I can to consider anesthesia technology as a career.”

DeCaro and Cabai have now forged a formal partnership between COD and Boston Children’s. So far, two of DeCaro’s employees completed the program and are nationally certified, with others either in the program or completing prerequisites to enter it.

“I flew in for graduation to see the campus up-close and to meet the professors who had such a positive impact on my life,” DeCaro said. “COD came to me at the exact right time in my life, and I’m so happy that my team is getting the same experience I did.”

More about the Anesthesia Technology program