(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College Surgical Technology students recently received hands-on training via a mock surgery performed under a retired surgeon’s supervision.
The scenario, which included a lifelike manikin, involved students preparing the room for surgery, sanitizing and sterilizing their hands and tools, and even putting on scrubs and other proper attire for the procedure.
This was the first time that both the students and instructors had worked with the TraumaMan simulator, which was designed to be a highly realistic portrayal of a patient. For this exercise, it simulated a patient with a lacerated kidney.
Surgical Technology instructor Yolanda Ramirez said that this is one of the most beneficial ways students can feel as though they are in an operating room before leaving the classroom.
“My goal is to help our students improve their knowledge and comfort levels,” she said. “These scenarios are helpful in identifying strengths and deficiencies, and they set learning and improvement goals.”
The instructors plan to have multiple mock scenarios based on the curriculum that students are studying at any given moment.
“My goal is to have one mock surgery for each specialty we cover throughout the semester,” Ramirez said. “It would total about five mock surgeries a semester.”
Retired area surgeon Dr. Ashraf Hilmy is volunteering his time with the Surgical Technology program by supervising and offering feedback during and after the mock scenarios. He started his surgical practice in 1994 and said that surgeons could not do their jobs without surgical technologists.
“Students absolutely have to have this hands-on training because it is what they will be doing in the real world — you can’t learn this in a book,” he said. “These scenarios give students the opportunity to learn how to prepare for surgery, learn from their work, and get feedback.”
He added that as students move forward in the program, there are a few things they should keep in mind.
“Communicate and take ownership,” he said. “No matter how good a surgeon is, he or she cannot do their job without the surgical team. Surgical technologists are appreciated more than they will ever know.”
To learn more about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.