Nearly 30 surgical technologists, nurses and college students from around Delaware attended a workshop recently at Beebe Healthcare focused on safe practices of surgery. While several speakers dealt with how to keep wounds and equipment clean and sterilized to avoid infection, the significance of the event was the event itself. It represented the first educational workshop offered by Delaware’s new chapter of the Association of Surgical Technologists.
The Delaware State Assembly, the term used by the organization to describe the chapter, was founded in September 2013 in large part through the effort of Tina Gary, CST, CPI, a certified surgical technologist and program coordinator for surgical technology at the Terry Campus of Delaware Technical Community College. The goal of the organization is to advance the professionalism of the career and to make it a legal requirement that all surgical technologists have to be certified.
“I feel it is essential to increase the number of trained, certified surgical technologists in our state, as well as encourage membership for our professional organization,” says Gary, who was named the state organization’s president.
Surgical technologists make sure that all supplies necessary for the surgery are properly cleaned and in the operating room, arranged in a designated order or position, and ready for the surgeon. They need to be familiar with each surgeon and each team, as surgeons often have their favorite instruments arranged in a specific way. There are hundreds of different instruments with which the technologist must be familiar.
The surgical technologist’s responsibility extends before and after each surgery and includes gathering the supplies ahead of time and then making sure they are cleaned and put in the right place afterward. A surgical technologist also can be the surgery team member who bandages patients and gets them to their rooms following surgery.
Stephan A. Betins-Kinnamon, MSed, RN, CNOR, a certified operating room nurse and the perioperative clinical educator at Beebe Healthcare, is so supportive of advanced education for the surgical technologists that he encouraged the group to hold the workshop at Beebe.
“The surgical technologists are vital to the operating room,” said Betins-Kinnamon. “They are literally on the front lines of the surgery. It is time to recognize these professionals as vital members of a hospital and give them the professional education and respect that they deserve. This workshop is hopefully the first of many to help advance the field of surgical technologists in the state of Delaware.”
For more information about Beebe Healthcare, go to www.beebehealthcare.org.