• Five Ways to Have a Successful 2017

    As program directors, our line of work educating and having the power to make a difference is pretty awesome, but very imperfect! Giving back to the healthcare community and training the new generation of surgical technologists and assistants is very rewarding even when it has its challenges — but challenges are nothing new to us, right? We all strive to make the year ahead of us as positive as possible. Continue Reading...
  • ARC/STSA Welcomes Tamara Simmons

    Tamara Simmons joined ARC/STSA as the director of accreditation services on December 1 of last year. She brings an extensive background of service in higher education, having served as the director of student services, director of student affairs and graduate employment, and academic dean at various colleges. We sat down with Ms. Simmons to discuss her new role, and what she’s most looking forward to in 2017. Continue Reading...
  • Message from the Executive Director

    Welcome to the January/February 2017 issue of the ARC/STSA E-newsletter! The Board of Directors and staff team are excited for the year that is ahead of us! Continue Reading...
  • The Program Director’s Perspective: The Importance of Supportive Professional Development Resources for Directors

    As a surgical technology program director, I believe it is imperative that faculty are supported to attend conferences. It is extremely important for one to increase their understanding and knowledge in their respective field. Conferences give faculty the opportunity to stay abreast of the latest evidence-based practices, guidelines, protocols, procedures and technological advances. They also provide faculty the opportunity to network and build working relationships across the country. Continue Reading...
  • The Dean’s Perspective: The Importance of Supportive Professional Development Resources for Directors

    Deans and administrators are often responsible for providing the funds and approving time away for program directors to receive professional development in their specialty fields. With decreasing state funding and shrinking budgets, this is not always an easy task. However, it is a vital task that should not be forgotten. Not only is it imperative and required for directors to actively participate in professional development; it is ultimately the backbone for disseminating current knowledge to our students. The monetary support of professional development activities results in the increased intellectual growth of the director and the programs in which they serve. This growth can result in better communication, expansion of knowledge, increased networking and, most importantly, the rejuvenation of motivation. Continue Reading...
  • Around the Horn: From Scrub to Dean

    This journey may sound familiar to some, but each time I reflect upon it, I am amazed at the number of twists and turns. Barely old enough to buy scratch-off tickets, I learned to work alongside some of the most dedicated and passionate people on Earth as a surgical technologist. I didn’t really understand the magnitude of actually saving lives at that point. Naiveté was a blessing, I guess. My first full-time job was working at a rural hospital in Bennington, Vermont, making $7.50 an hour. The facility didn’t even have a job description for me. It astounds me to think about how far the profession has come since then. Continue Reading...
  • 2016 CAAHEP Accreditation Awards

    As 2016 draws to a close, ARC/STSA is pleased to congratulate institutions that were awarded Initial Accreditation or Continuing Accreditation of either their surgical technology or surgical assisting programs in 2016. Continue Reading...
  • Dual Programs: Why Do It?

    By Libby McNaron The future of the professions of surgical technology and surgical first assisting needs our support. In light of an upcoming surgeon shortage, it is important to produce professionals who are armed with knowledge that will allow them to step up when needed. The question is, how can we make it a learning process that meets the strenuous needs of both professions providing opportunities for growth and maturity? The answer? Just remain true to the key teaching principles: Skill progression from simple to complex, mastering each along the way and repetition, repetition, repetition. Or, in surgical first assisting language, exposure, exposure, exposure to key content. When we first started our project, we had very different ideas regarding what we needed to do to ensure effectiveness for a dual program. We learned from our experiences making changes in the overall curriculum, and now have a program that is strong, cost effective and successful at producing graduates who are clearly well-prepared and can provide high-quality patient care and surgeon satisfaction. Entry into the surgical first assisting program is earned. An admissions criteria index has been developed to ensure students are ready. Prerequisite courses for the dual surgical technology/surgical first assisting program are more intense, covering an additional semester. All core courses are the same, so if you are doing either the surgical technology or surgical technology/surgical first assisting student track, you take the same classes for the first 15 months. We devote a large amount of time to providing students with hands-on training and skills mastery in the lab setting prior to entry into the clinical site. Clinical experiences begin with the first class (five-hour experiences, three times) progressing from simple to complex (observation, shadowing a student, etc.) and continue with each course allowing progressively more involvement. Video self-critique and mock surgery are essential ... Continue Reading...
  • You, Too, Can (Should) Be a Site Visitor

    Have you ever considered becoming a site visitor? I know, you’re really busy; it’s hard to take the time to leave your own program to visit someone else’s. Why on earth would you want to add to your workload? Let’s talk about it! Continue Reading...
  • The Role of the Subcommittee on Accreditation for Surgical Assisting

    There are many acronyms used in our profession, and I am going to add one more set for you: SASA is the Subcommittee on Accreditation for Surgical Assisting. It is a permanent subcommittee of the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA). Continue Reading...
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