Trustees learn impact of Surgical Technology program
The Trustees of Iowa Lakes Community College met at the Spencer campus Tuesday afternoon and learned more about the Surgical Technology program.
Scott Stokes, Vice President of Administration, introduced Mary Faber, Director of the Spencer campus, who provided a general update on the programs at the Spencer campus in addition to the general class offerings for students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities. She also mentioned the college year starts early on the Spencer campus with the arrival of student-athletes for soccer in mid-August.
Faber then introduced Assistant Professor Dana Grafft, CST, BOE, FAST. Grafft 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.
Surg Techs are in huge demand and hospitals are offering incentives such as paying for college loans as well as sign-on bonuses as high as $5,000 in the Omaha area.
Caley O’Leary Holman, a Surgical Technology student at the Spencer campus of Iowa Lakes told the Trustees how valuable her education has been. Assistant Professor Dana Grafft answered questions about the program.
Instructor Mary Westphalen, CST, also works with Surg Tech 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. Holman researched potential careers and decided on Surg Tech.
“With instructors like Dana and Mary, I quickly fell in love with the program,” she said.
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,” Holman said.
She will receive her diploma next month and will graduate with an Associate in Applied Science degree in December.
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. He ultimately wanted to work in orthopedic and medical sales so he came to Iowa Lakes to earn his A.A.S. degree in Surgical Technology. Wimmer is now employed by Arthrex, a global orthopedic medical device company.
Andrew Wimmer, a graduate of the Surgical Technology program talked about the success he has achieved.
In other business Tuesday afternoon, Jeff Soper, Chief Financial Officer spoke on behalf of Jolene Rogers, Executive Director of Community and Business Relations. The Trustees accepted 260E preliminary agreements with two companies in the area and accepted a donation from Meggar for the Electrical Technology program. The program will receive a DLRO200 which is a versatile piece of equipment that can provide test currents from 10 amps up to 200 amps. It is portable and weighs less than 33 pounds.
Delaine Hiney, Executive Director of Facilities Management, gave updates on building projects on the campuses. In Spencer, the roofing project remains on schedule; in Emmetsburg, the Student Services project has slowed due to excess moisture along with delays in receiving glass; the Nursing simulation lab in Emmetsburg is on track and the resurfacing of the Emmetsburg gym floor is completed; work on the Algona addition will start in mid-July; the fire alarm system in Estherville will be upgraded as work begins on the Performing Arts facility; Spirit Lake upgrades are going smoothly; and the western half of the beef facility at the college farm will be rebuilt after strong winds knocked down that section of the building.
In other business, the Trustees received general committee updates.
The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for Tuesday, July 25 in Algona.
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