Mercy Hospital Clermont donates equipment to UC Clermont program

February 2nd, 2007    Author: Rodney Beckwith    Filed Under: News

A donation of operating room equipment to the allied health program at UC Clermont is credited with helping students to gain an even clearer view into their future career.

An anesthesia machine and operating microscope, both used, were recently donated to the medical program by Mercy Hospital Clermont for use in the surgical technician program.

Sharman Willmore, Director of Allied Health for UC Clermont, said that Mercy Clermont has been very supportive of the program since it began.

“Mercy Clermont has made donations in the past,” said Willmore. “They have been very supportive in terms of clinical experience and sitting on our advisory committee. We’ve been very happy with their support.”

The surgical technician program, a two-year degree, boasts a 100 percent job placement rate from graduation with a starting salary of about $35,000 a year. The demand for workers in this field, said Willmore, has increased dramatically.

"This is a two year associates of applied science and surgical technology," said Willmore. "This program trains students to work in operating rooms. There is a huge demand for that, and our students are having great success finding jobs, even in this area. This is a great demand for them in this area. This has been a great thing."

If doctor or surgical shows are your thing, you would probably recognize a surgical technician as the person in charge of handing surgeon's whatever tool they ask for. However, this conception of what a surgical technician is, says Willmore, is outdated.

"They assist the surgeon in performing surgery," said Willmore. "You think of the traditional surgery technician as handing them instruments, but it's really a lot more than that. They prepare the operating room completely to make sure it's a sterile field, they prepare all of the instruments in a particular way. They also have a lot more to do with coordinating those instruments, using cameras in the operating room and taking care of digital film and that sort of thing. It's a lot more technical than in the old days."

In terms of students, the addition of this new equipment will go a long ways toward helping the students take off quicker once they enter an actual operating room. Far from simply handling the equipment, Willmore said that technicians also have to know how to use it.

"If we didn't have an anesthesia machine in our operating room lab, it helps for students to be able to practice with real-life equipment," said Willmore. "This is a very real part of the operating room. There will be an anesthesiologist in the room who will operate this machine, and that all has to be coordinated. The surgery technician would assist that doctor too."

Starting into operating rooms straight from college, surgical technicians can also apply their degrees into other areas as well, said Willmore.

"Most of the time, our students become certified surgery technologists and then they are ready to work," said Willmore. "Our students like to start working, and sometimes they also pursue other degrees or avenues. Some of them will become registered nurses, or another associates degree, or move on in surgery."
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