• Celebrating the Unknown Faces of the Operating Room

    To be a surgical technologist and celebrate every year during our National Surgical Technologists Week is truly an honor. Surgical technologists play a vital role in patient care during surgical procedures, and it is surprising to see how few people know who we are and what we do. Continue Reading...
  • Congratulations to the 2016 ARC/STSA Scholarship Program Recipients!

    Since 2005, the ARC/STSA Board of Directors annually awards multiple scholarships as part of its commitment to the advancement of surgical technology and surgical assisting education. The ARC/STSA Scholarship Program is designed to assist surgical technology and surgical assisting student members and educators in their pursuit of higher education in the professions. At the March 2016 meeting, the Board of Directors awarded $5,050 (combined) in scholarships. Continue Reading...
  • Impacts of New Employer and Graduate Survey Thresholds

    The ARC/STSA Board of Directors recently reviewed the thresholds for, and beginning August 1, 2016, implemented changes to, the graduate and employer outcomes in response to in-depth data analysis and solicited program director feedback. Continue Reading...
  • The Art of Preceptorships: What They Are and How Program Directors Can Encourage Them

    Preceptors are the seasoned surgical technologists and surgical assistants who have worked in the operating room for a particular service, such as neuro, obstetrics and gynecology, vascular, general and ENT, and have mastered the techniques used by most, if not all, of the surgeons that have privileges. The preceptor is one of the most important and relevant members of the healthcare education team. Continue Reading...
  • May 2016 Poll Results

    In the May issue of the e-newsletter, we asked readers to tell us how long it takes to fill out the online annual report once all the required information is collected. Continue Reading...
  • Top 5 Tips for Surviving Faculty Turnover

    Whew! Your annual report is submitted. You just graduated another class. Your grads are happily starting their first jobs as brand new certified surgical technologists. Now you can relax for a bit before you have to get ready for the next enrollment. But wait: Your clinical coordinator just informed you he’s resigning and moving away from your community. Your calm transition into the next academic year now has the potential for chaos. No matter what your role is in the faculty hiring process, here are a few tips to get your new instructor up and running ASAP. Continue Reading...
  • Going the Distance: Using Online Learning to Deliver Your Program Statewide Using the “Montana Model”

    One of the reasons I left the operating room behind for a teaching career was because everything became too technical. I was spending more time figuring out why the image on the monitor was unclear than I was caring for my patients. When I went back to school, I found myself smack dab in the middle of classes learning about distance learning and wondering about its application in surgical technology education. Continue Reading...
  • ARC/STSA’s May AFE Workshop and SVT-B

    This year's Accreditation Fundamentals for Educators (AFE) and Site Visitors Training for Beginners (SVT-B), both sponsored by the ARC/STSA, was held on May 31, 2016, in sunny San Diego. Held in conjunction with the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) Conference, the course is designed to introduce first-year directors with opportunities to learn about the CAAHEP's Standards and Guidelines and its accreditation process. Continue Reading...
  • Get to Know CAAHEP, Part Two

    In part one of this two-part series, featured in the May 2016 issue of the ARC/STSA E-newsletter, we learned a little bit more about CAAHEP: What the organization is, as well as its history, mission, vision and function. With this understanding of CAAHEP’s goal — to create quality educational programs that prepare students for a successful career in surgical technology and surgical assisting — we can better understand the relationship between CAAHEP and ARC/STSA. The Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA) was formed by the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Council on Medical Education in 1972 after educational standards for the surgical technology field were adopted. When specialized accreditation programs began just two years later, standards of compliance were developed by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST). In 1994, ARC/STSA became separately incorporated and one of the member Committees on Accreditation under CAAHEP’s umbrella. Accreditation is a method of ensuring that agreed-upon standards of performance and quality have been met by educational institutions and professional programs. CAAHEP is the largest programmatic/specialized accreditor in the healthcare field and the accrediting body for the surgical technology and surgical assisting programs. But they don’t do it alone. CAAHEP looks to accreditation review councils with expertise in different program areas to help ensure programs meet the standards that have been set forth. ARC/STSA administers programs to ensure the elements required for CAAHEP accreditation are met, including: Self-study: The program analyzes how well it meets the Standards and Guidelines set forth by CAAHEP; On-site Evaluation: A team of site visitors travel to institutions for a site evaluation; Committee Review and Recommendation: The Committee on Accreditation for the relevant discipline will review the results of the site evaluation and make a recommendation for accreditation or identify deficiencies; and CAAHEP Board of ... Continue Reading...
  • Get to Know CAAHEP

    In this two-part series, we’ll be delving into who exactly CAAHEP is, as well as the relationship between CAAHEP and ARC/STSA. While the name “CAAHEP” is well-recognized, its history, mission, vision and function may be a little murkier. The goal of CAAHEP is ultimately the same as yours: to create quality educational programs that prepare students for a successful career in surgical technology and surgical assisting. And, ultimately, CAAHEP seeks to ensure that these students are equipped to best serve their future patients. As the program director, you want to know how your program stacks up to similar organizations throughout the United States, not only to ensure that students are receiving a top-notch education, but also to prove to your dean, colleagues, students, students’ future employers, the general public and other stakeholders that your program in fact meets the standards necessary to properly equip students for their career in the health profession. Talk about pressure! Here’s where accreditation comes into play: It is the best way to “systematically approach asking and answering the fundamental question: How good is this educational program?” And you aren’t alone in the accreditation process – ARC/STSA and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP) are here to help. To that end, CAAHEP’s mission is “to assure quality health professions education to serve the public interest.” In other words, CAAHEP wants the same thing you do: to create quality education programs that prepare students for a successful career in surgical technology and surgical assisting. Currently, CAAHEP, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, carries out accrediting activities for 2,100 entry-level education programs in 28 health science professions, making it the largest programmatic accreditor in the health sciences field! While an impressive figure, the magnitude of CAAHEP’s programs, responsibilities and oversight might seem overwhelming and make its role ... Continue Reading...
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