Student pursues TSTC’s Biomedical Equipment Technology program out of respect for late grandfather

Lucia Zifko, a TSTC Biomedical Equipment Technology student, wires LED circuits during a lab session. (Courtesy: Texas State Technical College/TSTC)

HARLINGEN — Navy veteran Lucia Zifko, of Harlingen, had an adoring relationship with her grandfather, who suffered from a heart problem. Since his death, her focus has been to honor his memory by earning an education related to health care at Texas State Technical College.

Before she enrolled at TSTC, Zifko researched medical careers that involve electronics. Now, as a first-generation college student in her family, she is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Biomedical Equipment Technology at TSTC’s Harlingen campus.

“I served as an aviation electronics technician for five years in the Navy,” she said. “I felt that knowledge would go hand in hand (with the degree program).”

The veteran also had an educational experience at TSTC years ago. She graduated from Harlingen Early College High School (now UTRGV Harlingen Collegiate High School) as a certified nursing assistant through TSTC’s dual enrollment program in 2016.

Zifko is enjoying her training in the Biomedical Equipment Technology program.

“The classes are informative, and the labs are engaging,” she said. “Now I am building on the electronics knowledge that I learned in the Navy.”

She said the program’s instructors provide an interesting learning experience.

“They are very detailed in their instruction,” she said. “They also inform us about potential employment and available internships.”

Zifko has found a special way to remember the man who inspired her to continue her education.

“I really miss him,” she said of her late grandfather. “Now I have a tattoo of the anatomy of a heart in his memory.”

Medical equipment repairers can earn an average annual salary of $49,050 in Texas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This allied health career has a 12% projected job growth rate in Texas, shows.

TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Biomedical Equipment Technology at its Harlingen and Waco campuses.

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