November 15, 2016
From left: Royce Hickman, President and CEO of the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce; Tammy Spohn, Baylor Scott & White Hospital – College Station Region Chief Nursing Officer; Karen Buck, Blinn College Vice President of Administration & Operations; Dr. Mary Hensley, Blinn College District President/CEO; and Jason Jennings, Baylor Scott & White Hospital – College Station Region President.
Blinn College is launching a one-year Surgical Technology Program, based at its Health Science Center in Bryan, that will help to meet workforce demand in the Brazos Valley.
The new Level II certificate program will begin offering courses in early 2017, and builds upon Blinn’s longstanding tradition of providing Bryan/College Station and the Central Texas region with highly trained healthcare and emergency services personnel. Surgical technologists are an integral part of the surgical care team, helping prep for and assist during surgery.
“We must have qualified people in the operating room,” said Tonya Bingham, Program Director. “In today’s world, with the equipment and the surgical specialties, we need educated operating room personnel who are dedicated to helping others.”
According to a recent report from Workforce Solutions Brazos Valley, the local demand for surgical technologists is expected to increase 30 percent between 2012 and 2022, and surgical technologists can expect an hourly wage of approximately $19.78 per hour.
Students who enroll in the program will enjoy the security of knowing the field offers employment opportunities nation-wide. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for surgical technologists is expected to increase 15 percent between 2014 and 2024, creating 14,700 new jobs during that span. Nation-wide, the median wage is $44,330. Texas has the highest demand for surgical technologists, with Houston and Dallas ranking among the national leaders.
Through Blinn’s Surgical Technology Program, students can earn a 41-credit hour Surgical Technology Certificate, which includes 12 hours of prerequisite courses. Students must successfully complete BIOL 2401: Anatomy and Physiology I, HITT 1305: Medical Terminology I, BIOL 2402: Anatomy and Physiology II, and BIOL 2420: Microbiology for Non-Science Majors prior to enrolling in the program. Students interested in beginning the program in early 2017 can still register for prerequisite courses during Blinn College’s second eight-week Fall session or the upcoming Winter Minimester.
Once enrolled in the program, students can earn their certificate in just three semesters. Courses include Introduction to Surgical Technology, Fundamentals of Perioperative Concepts and Techniques, Pharmacology for Health Professions, Surgical Procedures I and II, and Professional Readiness. Each semester includes hands-on clinical experience, and students must complete 120 surgical cases across a variety of surgical specialties prior to graduation. Baylor Scott & White will serve as the initial clinic site location for Blinn surgical technology students.
“Helping to create a pipeline of trained talent helps many people on many levels, with some of the real winners being the people and patients who are a part of our community,” said Jason Jennings, Baylor Scott & White – College Station president. “As a growing hospital in a growing and dynamic community, we need trained surgical technologists on a regular basis. Collaborating with Blinn College on this program lets us participate in training future workers, as well as allows us to help students in their education which may lead to promising careers right here in our region of Texas.”
In addition to their clinical experience, Blinn surgical technology students will enjoy the benefits of studying at the Health Science Center Campus, home of Blinn’s 26,000-square-foot Simulation and Clinical Labs. The labs include an operating room with attached scrub area, allowing surgical technology students to simulate a variety of scenarios in a safe and constructive environment.
Surgical technologists often work in hospitals, but can work in any setting that conducts surgical procedures, including doctor’s offices, day surgery facilities, and dental offices. Blinn’s Surgical Technology Program also can provide a launching pad to other healthcare careers.
“If a student wants to become a veterinary technologist, a nurse, or a radiologic technologist, this educational pathway gives them a great foundation for that,” Bingham said.For more information regarding Blinn’s Surgical Technology Program, please visit www.blinn.edu/surgical-technology