• Think Outside the Book

    Visit the ARC/STSA Facebook page to see the fun and innovative methods Glendale Career College instructor Art Busch, CST, uses to teach his surgical technology students. Then, reach out to our new Director of Education Services, Christy Baily-Byers (christy.bailybyers@arcstsa.org), with your tried and true creative teaching tools, so we may share your best practices with the ARC/STSA community. Continue Reading...
  • News from the ARC/STSA Home Front

    2017 was a year full of transitions at the ARC/STSA office, all focused on improved services to our programs and students, as well as expanding accreditation and education offerings to our communities of interest. With changes in staffing and a realignment of responsibilities, let’s revisit who’s who at the ARC/STSA and the primary services they provide for you. Ron Kruzel, Executive Director: Oversees all accreditation and business operations of the ARC/STSA. Ron joined the ARC/STSA on June 1, 2015, assuming Executive Director responsibilities January 1, 2017. Tamara Simmons, Director of Accreditation Services: Administrates accreditation operations for the ARC/STSA. Tamara is the primary contact related to accreditation actions and findings. She joined the ARC/STSA on December 1, 2016. Christy Baily-Byers, Director of Education Services: Our newest employee, Christy joined the ARC/STSA on November 13, 2017. Christy heads up ARC/STSA educational outreach, marketing and public relations, as well as research and development. Lucinda Martinez, Office Coordinator: Coordinates all office activities, database management, and accounting services. Lucinda joined the ARC/STSA on August 22, 2016. Kathy Heath, Accreditation Specialist: Assists with accreditation activities and database entry, and coordinates site visits. Kathy joined the ARC/STSA on October 19, 2009, recently celebrating her eight-year anniversary with us. Amy Collier, Administrative Assistant: Specializes in Annual Report development and administration, as well as data management and report development. Amy’s first day with the ARC/STSA was May 23, 2016. Emily Figg, Office Assistant: Areas of responsibility include Program Change processing, special projects, and general administrative support. Relatively new to us, she started on August 28, 2017. Need to reach out to the ARC/STSA team? We’re here to help! E-mail us at info@arcstsa.org with your questions. Answers to basic inquiries may also be found on the ARC/STSA website at www.arcstsa.org. Want to speak directly? Call us at 303-694-9262, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Mountain Time. With 2017 drawing ... Continue Reading...
  • A Rising Trend: Social Media as a Learning Tool for Surgeons

    Earlier this year, the Harvard Business Review reported on the increasing trend of surgeons leveraging social media to enhance their skills and share knowledge with others. As the surgical field grows in size and complexity, those in the profession are no longer relying on conferences and informal hallway conversations alone. And while the advent of online discussion forums is nothing new to medical professionals across the board, the pervasive nature and ease of access of social media is undeniable, making it an ideal choice for peer-to-peer learning. The Harvard Business Review article cites a handful of Facebook groups and Twitter chats that surgeons are leveraging to connect globally and learn new techniques. In addition to written exchange, these platforms allow for immersive video and photo content, providing a vicarious learning experience. Though the use of social media poses a handful of factors to consider (i.e. the need for group moderators, consistent guidelines, mindfulness of legal implications), the article makes a compelling case to embrace social media as a tool to enhance learning opportunities, while working to combat its limitations. For more details on the social media groups highlighted, as well as testimonials from those who have found success on these platforms, read the Harvard Business Review’s full article online: http://bit.ly/2zZlyae Continue Reading...
  • The Transition to the Associate Degree: If you can, why would you not?

    By Kevin Craycraft CST, FAST, Bluegrass Community and Technical College Surgical Technology Program Coordinator When I first started my career as a Certified Surgical Technologist and member of the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) in 1987, things were quite different. A diploma in Surgical Technology was the plateau for formal education. Honestly speaking, I felt that the profession was “looked down upon” because it wasn’t a degree. This issue proved to be a burr in my saddle. Now let’s flash forward to 2006, when I was in a position to help influence a change from diploma to associate degree. The first hurdle was the fact that I was part of a statewide system, so I was going to need to work with the other Surgical Technology program coordinators and their respective colleges. Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) is comprised of 16 colleges, 10 of which offered Surgical Technology programs. So, after a few group discussions gathering input from each of the program coordinators, all of the programs were in support of transitioning to an associate degree. However, five of the programs wanted to be named in the initial proposal to KCTCS for approval of an associate degree pathway. So Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) grabbed the reins and led the project. The other programs would be able to adopt the Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) in the future, with a little effort by their colleges. Having jumped over the first hurdle, the real work began. A proposal containing the details, plans and rationale for the transition to the associate degree was developed for the KCTCS Board of Regents, the governing body with final approval of the proposal. We had some things working in our favor. In 2005, BCTC/KCTCS went thru the regional institutional accreditation process under the Southern Association ... Continue Reading...
  • ARC/STSA Board Meeting Updates

    The ARC/STSA Board of Directors held its fall meeting in September 2017. Programs will receive official notification of all actions in November 2017 via the Fall Notify. Here are a number of actions coming out of the meeting. Continue Reading...
  • Caring for Your New Baby: Or Congratulations, You’re a New Program Director!

    It seems like just yesterday that I stepped into my new role as the director of a surgical technology program. Like many of you, I had been a clinician and had to adjust not only to teaching, but the administrative duties required of a program director. The way the program was designed at the time, a part-time instructor and I had the students in class or clinical 40 hours a week. It was hard to even conceive of doing the administrative duties. As a mother of young children, I worked 10 hours a day, then spent most evenings at the dining room table preparing my next day’s lessons. In spite of coming into a program that was established and well organized, I was totally exhausted. Why did I do it? I felt I had a calling. I enjoyed working with learners in the OR, I liked passing on my knowledge to others and helping them apply that knowledge. I also felt I had some leadership skills that would assist me in managing the program.  I had no idea of all the work involved, but in the long run it was worth it. It didn’t take long for my job to become my third “baby” that I nurtured, developed and loved just as I did my two sons. So, how do you care for your new baby? And yourself? Continue Reading...
  • Engaging the Public Member

    The Public Member for the Surgical Technology Program Advisory Committee (PAC) holds a duty to represent the interests of the patient that may come under the care of the surgical technologist, and therefore has a vested interest in the proper education of the surgical technologist for quality patient care. ARC/STSA member Connie Bell spoke with PAC member Joanne Schmidt to gain a deeper understanding th Continue Reading...
  • ARC/STSA Announces Director of Education Services

    The Accreditation Review Council on Education for Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA) welcomes Christy Baily-Byers as the Director of Education Services beginning November 2017. In this role, Baily-Byers will be responsible for the development and delivery of accreditation-related education programs and outreach activities of the ARC/STSA, including marketing and constituent communications. Baily-Byers previously served as the manager of training and distance education development for the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, where she developed and led training for more than 600 peer accreditation evaluators, 400 institutions, and the ABHES Commission and staff. She created standards and assessment procedures for distance education and advanced degree programs; and, conducted readiness reviews and team visits for institutions. Baily-Byers served as a faculty member at Southern Methodist University, Texas Woman’s University, the University of Hartford and the University of Memphis for 16 years collectively. She has developed and taught residential and online courses in business management, journalism, public relations and communication. While at SMU, Baily-Byers was presented with the Rotunda Outstanding Professor Award and the Public Relations Society of America’s national Teahan Award for Outstanding Faculty Advisor. Additionally, she led Baily-Byers Communications, a public relations and management consulting firm specializing in business communications for nonprofits, corporations, municipalities and federal government agencies. Prior to founding Baily-Byers Communications, she headed the public affairs department for Nova Southeastern University. Baily-Byers earned her bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Delaware and her MBA from Nova Southeastern University. She is A.P.R certified by the Public Relations Society of America. The ARC/STSA is a private, not-for-profit accreditation body that in conjunction with the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredits surgical technology and surgical assisting programs throughout the United States. The ARC/STSA is jointly sponsored and supported by the Association of Surgical Technologists and the American College of Surgeons. Continue Reading...
  • Standards Revision

    In the June e-newsletter, we briefly discussed the revision process for the 2013 Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in Surgical Technology, as related to current Guideline language under Standard I.A., “Projected for August 1, 2021, all sponsoring institutions should award a minimum of an Associate’s Degree at the completion of the program.” Let’s review in more detail the process for the upcoming CAAHEP revision to the Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in Surgical Technology. As you are aware, every five years the ARC/STSA is required to review the profession’s Standards and Guidelines and provide the CAAHEP Board of Directors with a written report on the outcome of that review. CAAHEP Policy 401 describes the process required for that review*. 401. Adoption and Revision of Standards A. Standards Template Revisions The Standards and Guidelines template is reviewed periodically by the CAAHEP Standards Committee and revised as necessary. B. Adoption of New and Revised Standards 1. The ARC/STSA (The Committee on Accreditation- CoA) is responsible for developing and periodically revising Standards and Guidelines in order to: a) Maintain compliance with CAAHEP policy; and b) Maintain congruence between the educational preparation of students and the accepted state of practice for the discipline. 2. The ARC/STSA reviews its profession’s current Standards and Guidelines at least once every five (5) years. C. Procedures for Revisions to Standards 1. The ARC/STSA is responsible for working with its sponsoring organizations to develop progressive drafts over a period of several months. 2. The ARC/STSA and sponsoring organizations are required to obtain consideration from all applicable communities of interest regarding revisions to the Standards and Guidelines. a) Communities of interest include practitioners, educators, employers, related professionals, students, institutional administrators, national societies, agencies and the public. 3. The ARC/STSA incorporates suggestions from communities of interest into proposed Standards and Guidelines as it deems appropriate. The ARC/STSA reports ... Continue Reading...
  • Program Directors: Can You Witness Improved Statistics for Student Retention?

    By Dr. Joseph B. Long CST, FAST, EdD I worked for a number of years as a CST for two different health care institutions and served surgical technology students for two different post-secondary schools in the role of dean and program director. I only mention this to inform you that I have “been around the block”, so to speak. During my time in education, I have always embraced the philosophy that I must be open to new ways of doing things. While most of us believe we know what works best for ourselves and our students, I would suggest that we all need to be open minded to the possibility of new ways of doing things. If I ever believe that the program I head up cannot be improved upon in some way, then that would mean it’s time for me to move out of education. Okay! And now to the focus of this article. The program I oversee is a selective admissions program, admitting 24 students on an annual basis. While we have never witnessed retention rates drop below the 60 percent threshold, we have been close a few times. I am sure you have had issues come up for your students, making their reasons for not succeeding in your program beyond your or their control: pregnancies, motor vehicle accidents, finances, health issues, family issues, etc. However, from time to time, I have witnessed some students not being successful due to things I might have been able to positively impact. We all know that not everyone will pass their comps, although we have seen some improvements by offering open/extended lab opportunities for our students prior to competency checkoffs. But how can we assist our students prior to them beginning the professional track of the program? I would suggest that holding an orientation one month prior ... Continue Reading...
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