COTC Celebrates National Surgical Technologists Week

​NEWARK, Ohio, Sept. 22, 2017—Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) is celebrating National Surgical Technologists Week, Sept. 17-23, along with professionals around the country to recognize this growing field. National Surgical Technologists Week was established by the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) in 1984.

First-year student Cassandra Powell of Newark is pursuing an associate degree in surgical technology. “It’s hard work, but being able to someday work in an operating room will be amazing,” she said. “Plus, I know a lot of moms in my class who are doing this for their kids,” Powell added, noting that surgical technology is a great career field.

Today there are more than 107,000 surgical technologists nationwide, working in one of the fastest growing professions in the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of surgical technologists to grow 12 percent through the year 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.
Powell plans to continue her education and enroll in a bachelor’s degree program, utilizing her COTC associate degree as an integral stepping stone along her chosen career path. The 2016 median annual wage for a surgical tech-nologist is $41,303, according to Ohio Labor Market Information.

Alexandra Vasko also plans to head straight to a bachelor’s degree program upon completing her COTC degree. “I’m fascinated by learning to see inside the human body,” said the Westerville resident. “It’s a lot of hands-on work, which I love. And we have a lot of fun together in class, but we know that what we are learning will have very serious, real implications.”

First-year surgical technology students prepare for classroom simulations.

Rooted in Patient Care

During World War II, the need for perioperative personnel was overwhelming. The role of the surgical technologist was born and evolved into a separate allied health field. Surgical technologists serve as an integral part of the surgical team providing surgical care to patients. Surgical technologists work under the supervision of a surgeon to facilitate the safe and effective conduct of surgical procedures, according to the AST.

Students in Instructor Lora Smith’s basic surgical technology laboratory class celebrated the week with some fun food resembling a body part or a surgical instrument. On the menu were stored organs (repurposed Hal-loween candy body parts), severed finger cupcakes and other assorted treats.

COTC offers an associate of applied science degree as well as a one-year certificate in surgical technology. Upon successful completion of the program graduates are required to take the AST national certifying examination. As part of the program, students experience a state-of-the-art surgical technology laboratory, exposure to a variety of surgical settings through multiple clinical sites, and excellent job placement rates. This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Al-lied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) through the Accreditation Review Council on Edu-cation in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC-STSA).

COTC was ranked number one in Ohio and number 19 in the nation by PayScale in its 2016-17 College Salary Report ranking the best community and career colleges by salary potential. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible pro​grams of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.​