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Iowa Lakes Board Updated On Surgical Technology Program

June 22, 2017
Emmetsburg News

The Surgical Technology Program was highlighted during Tuesday's meeting of the Board of Trustees of Iowa Lakes Community College.

Mary Faber, Director of the Spencer campus of Iowa Lakes provided a general update on the programs offered at the Spencer campus in addition to the general class offerings for students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Faber pointed out that the college year starts early on the Spencer campus with the arrival of student-athletes for soccer in mid-August.

Assistant Professor Dana Grafft, who reported on the growth of the program from an evening and weekend program to a full-time day program which enhances the opportunities of students to get clinical experience in more than 50 hospitals in a five-state region. The program is accredited through CAAHEP, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

"This accreditation gives our students the ability to take their national boards right here on campus, and the past several years we've had 100 percent of our students pass," said Grafft.

Surgical Technicians are in high demand, and hospitals are offering incentives such as paying for college loans as well as sign-on bonuses as high as $5,000.

Instructor Mary Westphalen, Certified Surgical Technician, also works with Surgical Technology students. She was a graduate of the program the first year that Iowa Lakes offered it and continues as a part-time instructor, helping future generations.

Student Caley O'Leary Holman of Milford, offered a glimpse into the world of becoming a Surgical Technologist.

"With instructors like Dana and Mary, I quickly fell in love with the program," Holman told the Trustees.

And while it wasn't easy, Holman said it was worth it. "I am now nearing the end of my second practicum which is at Spencer Hospital. I can confidently say I am ready to graduate and join the workforce, thanks to this program."

Also speaking on behalf of the program was Andrew Wimmer of Spencer. He received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa in Biology. Wimmer ultimately wanted to work in orthopedic and medical sales so he came to Iowa Lakes to earn his Associate of Applied Science degree in Surgical Technology.

Delaine Hiney, Executive Director of Facilities Management, gave updates on building projects at the various college campuses. In Emmetsburg, the Student Services facility building project has slowed due to excess moisture along with delays in receiving glass. Work on the Nursing simulation lab in Emmetsburg is on track and the resurfacing of the gym floor in the Smith Wellness Center gym in Emmetsburg has been completed.



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