Foundation Gift Helps Launch Surgical Technology Program

Amy Lynette BaileyAs the American population ages, the healthcare sector continues to offer burgeoning possibilities for employment in a wide variety of fields. Working with its employer-partners throughout the region, TCC learned that one of the Big Bend healthcare sector’s greatest needs is healthcare professionals specifically trained to enter the workforce as support staff in surgical centers. Accordingly, the College has been developing plans to launch a Surgical Technology program.

Also referred to as ‘scrub techs’ or ‘OR Techs’, Surgical Technologists are allied health professionals educated to work in the operative setting. They are skilled in sterile and aseptic technique and are the people who hand surgeons the tools and instruments needed to perform surgery. These valuable team members assist with surgeries in locations including hospitals, stand-alone clinics, physicians’ offices and other settings.

According to Barbara Sloan, TCC’s Provost, students in Florida can complete a Surgical Technology certificate program in just one year, and are required to attend class/lab or clinical 35-40 hours each week. “Adding this program just makes good sense for all concerned,” observed Sloan. “Employers need more Surg Techs, students have an opportunity to get trained in a growing and rewarding career, and they can join the workforce and be productive within a year.”

A two-year option that results in an Associate in Science degree is also possible in Florida.

Despite the need for and potential of Surgical Technology, finding funding to launch a new program is a challenge in these tight-budgeted times. Enter Amy Lynette Bailey.

Late in 2011, the TCC Foundation received word that Ms. Bailey – who had no known affiliation with TCC – had passed away, leaving half of her nearly $2 million estate to the College. From this gift, the TCC Foundation Board readily approved dedication of $500,000 toward development and launch of the surgical technology program, a key initiative in the College’s Health Care Provision and Excellence Campaign.

In honor of Ms. Bailey and her generous support of the College and its students, the program will be known as the Amy Lynette Bailey Surgical Technology Program.

TCC plans to outfit a new lab at its new Ghazvini Center for Health Education, and will begin with the one-year program no later than Spring 2013. Need for the degree program will be assessed as the first graduates are placed and feedback is received from students and employers.