Ogeechee Technical College recently completed phasing out the Surgical Technology diploma program and replacing it with a Surgical Technology Associate of Applied Science degree.
The new degree program offering for Surgical Technology has allowed instructor Terri Stack the opportunity to teach more in-depth courses to better prepare Ogeechee Tech students for the workforce.
“Our students now have the opportunity to learn more in-depth about anatomy, physiology, and microbiology,” said Stack. “These degree classes will better prepare them for their certification exam and eventually their future in the workforce.”
On top of increasing the depth of curriculum, Stack has spent time coming up with creative ways to conduct labs to help with skills practice and retention. Stack’s “banana lab” is one of the more popular activities among the students.
“The banana lab teaches students how to correctly staple an incision close, follow a surgeon’s suture, and how to cut sutures correctly. I created the banana lab so that students were better prepared for the clinical setting. Bananas are easy to work with and the students have fun while learning important techniques,” explained Stack.
Mia White, a current OTC student, explained how these creative labs prepared her for her clinical sites. “Ogeechee Tech’s program prepared me for the hospital by having hands on lab experience. They do a great job simulating the operating room, which made me feel comfortable in my clinical site,” said White.
The decision of OTC to phase out the diploma program is in compliance with the mandate by ARC-STSA (Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology) that an associate’s degree will be required education for entry level surgical technology graduates by August 2021.
The first degree level Surgical Technology cohort was accepted to begin program classes in fall 2020. To learn more about this degree program at Ogeechee Technical College, please visit www.ogeecheetech.edu/SURG.