COTC Faculty Member Expertise Combines Credentials and Work Experience

NEWARK, Ohio, Sept. 21, 2018 — When Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) Assistant Professor and Surgical Technology Program Director Kim Gates, R.N., M.S.N., CNOR, C.S.T, hands out a business card it's hard not to notice the long string of letters behind her name. But for someone not in the nursing field, the acronyms can be confusing. But here's why prospective and current students should really take notice.

Kim Gates -cropped.jpgThat long list of letters is actually a great thing for COTC surgical technology students. Gates is not only a registered nurse but also earned a Master of Science in Nursing and specialized professional certifications in the field (CNOR - specialty professional nursing certification for patient care before during and after surgery and C.S.T. - certified surgical technologist). That translates to classroom expertise and being able to offer COTC surgical technology students exactly what they need to know to get a job and succeed in the field.

Gates also brings a wealth of work experience into the classroom. After spending three years as an R.N. in the intensive care unit at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh she moved to Zanesville where she worked for 13 years in a combination of hospital nursing jobs in intensive care, the operating room and nursing management.

Today, in addition to teaching, she continues to work part-time in the operating room at Mt. Carmel Hospital, ensuring that she stays current in the field.

"Operating room procedures change so quickly that it's important I stay up-to-date," noted Gates. "I maintain credibility because I'm still in a working hospital environment, and I get to know hospital staff first hand."

Recent graduates of COTC's surgical technology program have enjoyed a 100 percent placement rate after graduation. Graduates are currently employed at healthcare facilities throughout central Ohio, including The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, the James Cancer Center and Solove Research Institute, OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, Licking Memorial Hospital, Mount Carmel Hospital, and Fairfield Medical Center, among others. Surgical technologist is listed on the 2018 Ohio Means Jobs In-Demand Careers list and the median annual wage for a surgical technologist in Ohio is $42,099, according to Ohio Labor Marketing information.

"I want my students to develop a passion for the field," said Gates, "and I tell them that it's important to treat every patient like they would want their own family member treated. COTC's program is very rigorous—our students take the same general education science classes as the associate degree nursing student—but patients need us to be accountable, and my job is to get our students ready for success in the real world."

 COTC offers the Associate of Applied Science, a one-year certificate in surgical technology and an accelerated program offering credit for work experience. Surgical technologists are important members of the surgical team who work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses, and other surgical personnel. Before, during and after surgery, they deliver critical patient care and help ensure a safe surgical environment. Graduates are eligible to take a national certifying exam to become a certified surgical technologist. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) through the Accreditation Review Committee on Education in Surgical Technology.

To learn more, RSVP for a COTC surgical technology information meeting at

Surgical Technology Information Meetings, COTC Pataskala campus
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 10 a.m., Room 110
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2 p.m., Room 110
Wednesday, Dec. 12, 10 a.m., Room 110

COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs 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.