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Muskegon Community College to launch nation’s 1st surgical tech apprenticeship

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Posted at 2:02 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 14:02:03-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Muskegon Community College will “soft launch” its surgical tech program on Monday, May 16, when it becomes the first healthcare associate degree registered apprenticeship in the country.

MCC partnered with West Michigan Works! and several community colleges and hospitals in the state to bring this program to life.

21 students make up the first group. They must complete 4,000 practice hours and work a set number of cases in orthopedics, cardiovascular, neurovascular, urology and OB/GYN.

The program consists of five semesters and 62 credit hours, which will lead to an Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology.

“The first half of the program is a sterile processing certificate. The students will have that after the first two semesters. Sterile processing technicians ensure that all medical equipment and surgical instruments are thoroughly cleaned, sterilized, maintained and inventoried.

“Then the last three semesters of the program are the surgical tech classes. A surg tech is responsible for preparing the patient and the operating room for surgery and hands the instruments to the doctor and other members of the surgical team,” said Chris Patterson, the director of nursing and health programs at MCC.

Program graduates can then take the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting national certification exam.

Instructor Stephanie Allen will teach the coursework, which is offered virtually through Michigan Colleges Online.

However, students must attend certain classes at the same time to talk about what they’re learning.

To help students save money, local hospitals will hold labs onsite.

Participating hospitals include Spectrum in Grand Rapids, Trinity Health in Grand Rapids and Muskegon, Spectrum Health Lakeland in Benton Harbor and University of Michigan Health-West in Grand Rapids.

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