As with most of SCTCC’s health programs, the clinicals are an extremely important part of getting a Surgical Technology degree.
The first semester of a Surgical Technology degree is spent in the classroom learning medical microbiology, surgical pharmacology, and operating room techniques. But come the second semester, the students get real-life experience of how life as a Surgical Technologist will be.
Preparing for clinicals is easy because SCTCC has a mock operating room, complete with scrub room, to make learning as true to life as possible. With instructor Laurie Green-Quayle acting as the surgeon, students take turns handing instruments to the surgeon and assisting.
When it’s time for clinicals, most students will go to a site within a 60-mile radius of St. Cloud, including hospitals and surgical centers to get a variety of specialties. There are different cases as part of the clinical, including general surgery, orthopedic, neural, to name a few, so students are prepared for an entry-level surgical technologist. The experience helps students learn how to watch, listen, and become an advocate for the patient for safe practices. It’s a profession that’s a good fit for people who are assertive, have a high level of honest, integrity, and team-oriented.
While some graduates take on roles as a surgical technologist, some do use the program as a stepping stone for another degree, such as nursing or physicians assistant. But no matter what the career path of the graduate, the action of a surgical center and patient advocacy is what calls most students to the profession, and getting the experience of the clinical while pursing the degree is a perfect way to find out if it’s the right career choice.