An Update from the ARC/STSA Executive Director

Welcome to the ARC/STSA July/August eNewsletter. We are eight months into 2020, where addressing extraordinary challenges and making difficult decisions happen almost daily. None of us signed on for this, yet here we are. Along with the challenges, there are shining examples of caring and a profound sense of community among our educators. We are clearly better together. With so much happening, my update will provide a brief summation on a number of pertinent topics related to activities at the ARC/STSA.

August 20th, 2020|

Transitioning From a Diploma to an Associate Degree Program

For many years, there has been discussion about an associate degree in surgical technology as the preferred entry-level model. Once stronger language around the subject became more common — words like “recommendation” and “proposed requirement” — we decided to get busy and make the Associate Degree in Surgical Technology (AAS.SUR) a reality for York Technical College (YTC) in Rock Hill, South Carolina. It has been a long process but we are happy to report our first cohort for the AAS.SUR will begin their journey this month on August 19, 2020.

August 20th, 2020|

Conducting a Virtual Orientation for New Students

This fall, many cohorts will find themselves not only starting a new program, but also becoming immersed in a virtual environment — some even for the first time. How can educators and faculty help set up students for success from the start in this new reality? ARC/STSA spoke with Heather Phillips, coordinator of student services at Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences, on how their program is helping new students feel welcomed in this challenging time.

August 20th, 2020|

Tips for Hosting Effective Virtual PAC Meetings

The COVID pandemic has forced us to rethink how we keep our programs moving forward during such a challenging time. Our lecture content, lab competencies and clinical hours tend to be our highest priority; however, there are many other moving parts to a successful program, including maintaining a strong Program Advisory Committee (PAC).

August 20th, 2020|

Announcing the 2020 ARC/STSA Scholarship Recipients

The ARC/STSA is proud to announce the recipients of the 2020 scholarship awards. This year, 10 students were awarded a total of $5,000 in combined scholarships. In addition, this year the ARC/STSA was so inspired by the educator applicants that we awarded the Chris Keegan Memorial Educator Scholarship to two surgical technology educators, both of whom are pursuing doctoral degrees! Read more about these accomplished individuals.

August 20th, 2020|

Chris Bednarski Joins the ARC/STSA Team

The ARC/STSA is pleased to welcome Chris Bednarski, BBA, as our new Administrative Assistant. In this role, Bednarski serves as an initial point of contact for our educators, answering inquiries regarding accreditation and submission requirements. He is responsible for acknowledging submissions related to programmatic changes and following up on inquiries from our programs, to assure that they are reviewed and receive appropriate guidance from staff.

August 20th, 2020|

Honing Your Craft — From OR to Classroom

Surgical technologists and surgical assistants who answer the call to be educators are not always trained as such. We come as skilled practitioners who have dedicated years to perfecting our craft, ensure each surgical procedure runs as smoothly as a philharmonic symphony. As educators, we all strive to bring that same passion, effort and dedication to the instruction of our students.

June 12th, 2020|

Stories of Hope and Inspiration During Quarantine

For many, this semester has been stressful, but it has also been a time of resilience. Students and teachers have joined forces to overcome obstacles and make the most of this experience. Enjoy these stories of hope and inspiration from educators across the country. 

June 12th, 2020|

A Message from Ron Kruzel, ARC/STSA Executive Director

In the last month, our programs and institutions have faced unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Our educators have worked tirelessly to continue to teach courses and serve students as their physical campuses close across the Nation. Despite these extraordinary circumstances, it has been inspiring to watch our educators face these challenges with fortitude and to see our community rally together. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your perseverance, ability to adapt, and your commitment to your students and communities.    

April 17th, 2020|

Revising the Lesson Plan: Advice on Moving Your Students and Faculty Forward

School and clinical closures have caused institutions to quickly assess how to help their students learn in a new, virtual environment. We spoke with Logan Threet, CST, to understand how his institution made the transition, as well as how he collaborated with other organizations to keep their semester going strong. Gain his perspective on the situation, as well as resources for your organization during this challenging time.

April 13th, 2020|

Transition to e-Learning: One Educator’s Resource to Keep Students Engaged

Keeping students engaged in the classroom is among an educator’s top priorities. With the transition to online learning in light of COVID-19, this has become paramount. In this Q&A, hear from Mayo Clinic's Helga Olson, CSA, CSFA, MS, on how she uses Pear Deck, an online, interactive tool, to enhance her student's experience. At the time of writing, Olson was using the tool in-person, but it can also be used online as students learn remotely. 

April 13th, 2020|

Be Part of the Self-Care Evolution

At the Louisiana State Assembly Educational Workshop in March, Dr. Elise Juergens, a perioperative circulating nurse turned scholar, brought to light that we are all guilty of overlooking our own self-care. Lack of self-care quickly leads to burnout, and given the tumultuous environment currently being experienced with the COVID-19 pandemic, her message could not have been received at a more valuable time.

April 10th, 2020|

Breaking Down Barriers: Best Practices for Student Retention

As program directors and instructors, we know the many challenges of running a surgical technology program. What we don’t always know is what our students might be going through outside the classroom. This requires educators and student support systems to use a variety of tools to meet the needs of students.

March 24th, 2020|

Executive Director’s Report: ARC/STSA’s 2020 Vision

Welcome to 2020 — not just a new year, a new decade! The ARC/STSA continues our commitment to education and programmatic accreditation in surgical technology and surgical assisting, community outreach and development of services. So much is underway as we enter the new decade, so I wanted to take a moment to share just a few highlights.

March 24th, 2020|