Graduate Enola Tew Works in Surgical Tech at CFV

Viking Spotlight


[Clinton, N.C.] – Last year, Enola Tew graduated from the Surgical Technologist Pathway I & II at Sampson Community College (SCC). Fiancé and mother to four, Tew balanced parenting and a full-time job at Sampson Regional Medical Center (SRMC) with the program, obtaining her entry-level certification in the Fall. Now, she currently works at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center (CFV) where she serves patients as a surgical technologist in the trauma center.

Graduating from Lakewood High School in 2021, Tew began taking SCC courses during high school and enrolled full-time in the Cosmetology program after graduation. However, she felt that a career in Cosmetology wasn’t necessarily for her, so she began looking into other options at the College.

Tew was eventually introduced to Surgical Technology by her sister-in-law, who was enrolled in the College’s nursing program- ultimately falling in love with it and the opportunities the program provided.

“I think that Surgical Technology is great, especially if you like medicine and surgery and want to be in the operating room,” Tew elaborated. “There are lots of specialties and places to choose from. You get to see everything, work hands-on, be right there with the patient while they’re operating, and just an overall participant in the surgery. It definitely opens your eyes and it’s a great thing to be able to do. Instead of going 10+ years to be a surgeon, you get to the surgeon’s best friend in just a few months.”

When she first began the program, Tew was pregnant with her second child and worked as a waitress four nights a week to help support her family. Halfway through, Tew started full-time in medical records at SRMC and remained there until she graduated. Mom and stepmom to a 1-month-old, 1-year-old, 2-year-old, and 6-year-old, Tew mentioned that her fiancé served as her support system throughout her entire journey at SCC, providing constant encouragement along the way.

She recalled, “He would help me make flashcards, encourage me to make nicknames for the instruments, etc. He pushed me to pay attention and to do it. At first, I didn’t think I could, because I’ve never pushed myself that hard. But I ended up making great grades all throughout it. It was tiring some nights, but it was all worth it.”

Switching programs from Cosmetology to SCC’s new Surgical Technology program, approved in 2020, Tew found where she truly belonged. (Photo credit, Brett Feight)

In October 2023, Tew began applying for surgical technologist positions at local hospitals and was soon hired to work at CFV in the trauma center’s main operating room. A general workday for her consists of preparing the rooms for patients and serving as the surgeon’s “best friend,” assisting in whatever they may need. It lasts from around 6AM-3PM, then she returns home to “do the mom thing” in Autryville.

“I wanted a career that would work for me and my family,” Tew explained. “Now, I get off from work at 3, pick up my children, come home, make supper, wash clothes, clean the house, and put them to bed. I get up at 4 the next morning to get ready and take the kids to three different places. I’ll drop the kids off around 5 then drive up to Fayetteville. I definitely plan on staying at Cape Fear.”

Recalling her experience at SCC, Tew mentioned that her instructor, Ms. Blue made a lasting impact on her education, and they still keep in touch today. In Tew’s eyes, the Surgical Technology program truly prepared her for the work she does now at Cape Fear, especially the clinicals they worked at SRMC.

“You have to learn the instruments and how the operating room works,” she said of her position. “You need to learn sterility, how to do your scrub, how to gown and glove. That’s a part of the everyday basics of a surgical technologist. That’s something we learned about in class, going over and over it, especially going to clinicals. We studied a lot of instruments in class too, instruments are also a big part of the job.”

In the future, Tew plans to continue working at CFV in trauma. She mentioned that she’s recently developed a love of surgery, and has contemplated the idea of enrolling in medical school later on in life. However, her adoration for her career is evident, and Tew voiced that she is truly content “where she’s at,” and adores the work she does each day.

Altogether, Tew voiced that she would wholeheartedly recommend the Surgical Technologist program at SCC to other prospective students. Not only is SCC affordable and conventionally close to home, she stated, but it has a wonderful selection of programs that give you a chance to obtain an education no matter your circumstances.

She praised, “I really enjoy working in surgical technology. It’s very fun and hands-on, especially in main operating room. You get to see a lot of ‘wow’ stuff. I wouldn’t change what I’m doing, I don’t think I could ever walk away from what I do. SCC gave me that. I know sometimes you think, this will never end and I’ll never get to the end of this course, but you do and now I get to be a surgical technologist.”

Sampson CC is incredibly proud of Enola. The College admires her determination and perseverance throughout the Surgical Technology program. SCC loves seeing students give back to their communities through the local workforce and looks forward to seeing all she will continue do within the healthcare field.

For more information about the Surgical Technology program or how to apply, visit

About Sampson Community College: Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options and early college education. SCC is committed to the principles of equal educational and employment opportunities for all.