A Legacy of Perfection

Students enrolled in the Surgical Technology program.

Students in the Surgical Technology program have high-standards to live up to. Department Chair MaryPat Annable isn’t shy about reminding them and setting the bar high. “The first day of class I told them, ‘We have a perfect streak. Four years in a row and I don’t expect you to let me down. I will do anything I can to get you through this program but I’m not going to drag you. You have to want it more than I want it for you.’” In the last four years, every student enrolled in Surgical Technology has passed the national exam at the end of the class. No other program in all of New York State can claim that level of success.

OCC’s Surgical Technology certificate program takes students 10 months to complete. Students who become surgical technologists function in association with nurses and surgeons to help provide high-quality care of the surgical patient. Students learn how to scrub and assist during operating procedures, how to prepare, maintain, clean and store instruments, and how to become a valuable component of a surgical team that will deliver high-level care to the patient population. OCC’s Surgical Tech program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

The program provides students both classroom and real-world experience. Classes are held twice a week on campus. Students also spend two days a week in local operating rooms, observing and assisting with surgeries. “I’ve loved it. It’s been more than I expected,” said Sarah Hermann, a 2008 graduate of Westhill High School. “The instructors are awesome. It’s been amazing being in surgery.”

Brooke Kapcinski is a 2015 graduate of Cicero-North Syracuse High School. She’s found her time in the program to be invaluable. “It’s amazing they can prepare us in such a short period of time. We’ve all become a family that enjoys working together and trusts each other.”

Annable spent 10 years working in operating rooms and has been a professor at OCC since 1994. She enjoys the process of preparing new students every year and knows one day she may be their patient. “This is more personal than most jobs because as I get older I realize it could be me on that operating table one day. I don’t want to turn out anyone who would have any qualms about being there to help if I needed surgery. There’s no mental holiday with this job. When you get scrubbed and get ready for a case you have to be on.”

Annable (right) speaks with students in the Surgical Technology program.

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