Students in the surgical technology program at Central Carolina Technical College will soon be able to use their skills in more ways than ever before.
Beginning in the fall 2021 semester, the surgical technology program within the College of Nursing and Health Sciences will offer an Associate Degree in Surgical Technology, rather than a diploma.
The goal of the program will remain the same, which is to prepare students for employment as surgical technologists. Students will also still be eligible to take the National Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) examination upon completion of their coursework.
What will change is the increased amount of opportunities that awaits students in the future.
"Our accreditation agency recommended this a few years back because of the amount of skills and technology required in the program," Brie Weber, academic program manager for Surgical Technology said. "It was just going to be easier for the students to manage. The students will have more time in a clinical setting to learn about surgery and acquire the required amount of surgical procedures to graduate."
Having an associate degree program at CCTC will provide students with additional laboratory hours, more clinical hours and a greater level of experience by the third semester. The degree also opens up career paths for graduates.
The revised program will also offer a new sterile processing course which covers the foundational understanding of sterile processing of instruments and materials used in a surgical setting. An additional humanities and fine arts requirement has also been added to the curriculum.
Weber is excited for the timing of these changes because of the amount of jobs available in the surgical technology field. Graduates will be qualified for employment in various areas of the healthcare system including operating rooms, emergency rooms, ambulatory surgery centers and veterinary offices.
"Having the associate's degree is going to help students perform, it's going to help with retention and it's going to help them be better qualified for these jobs," Weber said.
Central Carolina students can complete their associate's degree in surgical technology in just five semesters, with classes offered during the fall, spring and summer sessions. For more information on the Surgical Technology Program, contact Brie Weber at 803-778-7811 or firstname.lastname@example.org.