GWINNETT – NORTH FULTON — When the 10 most recent graduates of Gwinnett Technical College’s Surgical Technology Program sat for the Certified Surgical Technologist Exam they had the added pressure of living up to history. For the past six years, every graduate of the program has passed the certification exam on the first try. This year’s class lived up to that reputation with another 100 percent pass rate, becoming the seventh class in a row to perform at that level.
“This is a small class but what makes it a significant class for us is that they were our first associate degree graduates,” said Program Director TC Parker. The program recently moved from a diploma program to a degree awarding program, including more intensive prerequisites, to better prepare students for careers in the field.
Preparation for the 175-question exam starts at the beginning of the three-semester program with reviews of medical terminology and the basics of anatomy and physiology. As the students continue in the program the focus turns to more specific surgical procedures, as well as instrumentation and equipment. Tests throughout the courses are analyzed and reviewed with the students. The certification exam is comprehensive, with questions derived from the three main areas of surgical focus – perioperative care, additional duties and basic sciences.
“The students congregate around me like they were sitting at the feet of a guru,” said Parker. “I think it helps cement it for them. The combination of conditioning and review appears to be the answer. When reviewing the recent test scores, we continue to score well above the national scores and are quite proud of that. Our lowest score was an 81 and the highest was a 90!”
Only a small percentage of surgical technology programs in the U.S. achieved a 100 percent pass rate. In 2015 only 75 percent of candidates passed the test on that first attempt.
Gwinnett Technical College offers more than 150 degree, diploma and certificate program options that can be completed in two years or less. For more information, visit www.GwinnettTech.edu or call 770-962-7580.
August 11, 2015