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State Approves Surgical Technology Program at AACC

April 9, 2010

      The Maryland Higher Education Commission has approved an Associate of Applied Science degree program in Surgical Technology at Anne Arundel Community College.

      Students can take classes this spring and summer to prepare for the fall launch of this 60-credit program, which will prepare them to enter one of the fastest growing professions in the nation, according to the Maryland Hospital Association. Employment in the field is expected to grow much faster than average during the decade ending 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with 23,200 jobs added. Maryland is one of the three top-paying states with hourly mean wages of $22.72. The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation projects 1,150 job openings through 2016.

      Surgical technologists work in hospitals, surgical centers and other health care facilities. They prepare operating rooms by setting up surgical instruments and equipment, sterile drapes and solutions; prepare patients for surgery by washing, shaving and disinfecting incision sites; transport patients to the operating room; observe patients’ vital signs; check charts and help the surgical team with sterile gowns and gloves.

      Both Anne Arundel Medical Center and Baltimore Washington Medical Center approached AACC about a training partnership, offering to help develop the new program to generate trained  workers. AACC students will gain hands-on practice in operating rooms at Anne Arundel Medical Center during times – such as weekends – that do not interfere with the hospital’s schedule. This partnership benefits the hospital by generating a pool of job applicants familiar with its facilities and benefits AACC because it doesn’t have to build and equip a surgical lab.

      AACC hopes to graduate 20 students annually for employment within Anne Arundel County. Typically, it will take two years to earn the degree. The training will prepare graduates for a national certification exam. AACC is seeking program accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

      For information on the program, call the AACC School of Health Professions, Wellness and Physical Education at 410-777-7318.