• 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...
  • Ten Tips for Successful Advisory Committee Meetings

    All program directors know it takes the input and collaboration of many individuals and entities to make a program run: the college, administration, dean, staff, students, accreditation agencies, and communities served all play a role. One key element every institution needs to obtain and maintain accreditation for its surgical technology and surgical assisting programs is an advisory committee. The purpose of these committees is to assist educators and administrators in assessing a program’s goals and learning domains, and providing feedback. In other words, advisory committees help programs run successfully. However, they can be difficult for program directors to manage. Continue Reading...
  • Educator’s Scholarship Recipient Working Toward MHA and MBA Degrees

    The ARC/STSA Educator’s Scholarship Program is designed to assist surgical technology and surgical assisting educators pursuing academic degrees with the intent of furthering their careers in the field of surgical technology or surgical assisting education. A scholarship of up to $1,000 is awarded annually to the selected recipient. Continue Reading...
  • An Overview of the ARC/STSA Board of Directors

    The ARC/STSA Board of Directors is the governing body for the Accreditation Review Council on Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting—the only Committee on Accreditation (CoA) recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) to determine recommended accreditation action on Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting programs. Continue Reading...
  • ‘Surgical Technology Olympics’ Reward Students’ Hard Work at North-West College

    National Surgical Technologists Week is arguably the most important week of surgical technology students’ training. It is the time to emphasize the importance of our profession, certification, and the tremendous value we bring to the operating room team. Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating NSTW at Glendale Career College

    National Surgical Technologist Week is filled with special recognition for students at Glendale Career College (GCC) in Glendale, California. At GCC, NSTW has been an annual event for the past 25 years. Students are recognized for their outstanding academic achievements and the campus shows its appreciating with special events, including visits from local surgeons who are active in the Program Advisory Committee for Surgical Technology. Continue Reading...
  • 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...
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