surgeonsHOPKINS COUNTY Ky. (2/26/14) – Madisonville Community College’s Surgical First Assistant Program has entered into a distance learning agreement with UK HealthCare to provide training for their surgical technologists.

Currently, there are seven UK HealthCare employees enrolled in the Surgical First Assistant Program and scheduled to complete the program in May.

As defined by the American College of Surgeons, the Surgical First Assistant provides aid in exposure, hemostasis, and other technical functions that will help the surgeon carry out a safe operation with optimal results for the patient. This role will vary considerably with the surgical operation, specialty area, and type of facility.

The Surgical First Assistant Program at Madisonville Community College is the first nationally accredited program by CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs).

Clinical skills performed under direct supervision of the surgeon may include positioning the patient, preparing the skin, providing visualization of the operative site, utilizing appropriate techniques to assist with hemostasis, participating in volume replacement or auto transfusion techniques as appropriate, utilizing appropriate techniques to assist with closure of body planes, selecting and applying appropriate wound dressings, and providing assistance in securing drainage system to tissue.

Student and UK HealthCare employee Shellie Robbins stated, “Performing my clinical for the Surgical First Assistant class has been rewarding. With UK being a teaching hospital, students have a better learning experience. The attending, fellows, residents, and P.A.’s have all been excellent resources of knowledge. We get to do all different kinds of cases that we normally wouldn’t get to see at smaller hospitals.”

MCC’s Surgical First Assistant Program Director/Professor Jeff Bidwell maintains communication with the clinical educators at UK HealthCare. “So far all the students are on track to finish the program in May. They seem very pleased and I anticipate them continuing to send some of their employees to the program yearly,” noted Bidwell.

Fellow student Samantha Steller shared, “I think that the distance learning program is a great way for those who do not live close to the campus to participate in continuing their education without having to travel to do so. It allows people to pursue their goals.”

Graduates from The Surgical First Assistant program are eligible to take the national certifying exam for First Assistant offered through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting or the National Surgical Assistant Association exam.

For additional program information, contact MCC’s Enrollment Center at (270) 824-8621 or contact Bidwell at (270) 824-1740.

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