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Delaware Surgical Technologists and Students get tips on Safe Operating Room Practices during Beebe Healthcare-hosted Workshop

On a recent Saturday, nearly 30 surgical technologists, nurses and college students from around Delaware attended a workshop at Beebe Healthcare focused on safe practices of surgery. While several speakers dealt with how to keep wounds and equipment clean and sterilized so as to avoid infection, the significance of the event was the event itself. It represented the first educational workshop offered by Delaware’s new chapter of the Association of Surgical Technologists.

The Delaware State Assembly, the term used by the organization to describe the chapter, was founded in September 2013 in large part through the effort of Tina Gary, CST, CPI, a certified surgical technologist and program coordinator for Surgical Technology at the Terry Campus of Delaware Technical Community College. The goal of the organization is to advance the professionalism of the career and to make it a legal requirement that all surgical technologists have to be certified.

“I feel it is essential to increase the number of trained, certified surgical technologists in our state, as well as encourage membership for our professional organization,” says Tina, who was named the state organization’s president.

Surgical technologists are members of any surgical team. It is their responsibility to make sure that all supplies necessary for the surgery are properly cleaned and in the operating room, arranged in a designated order or position, and ready for the surgeon. They need to be familiar with each surgeon and each team as surgeons often have their favorite instruments arranged in a specific way. There are hundreds of different instruments with which the technologist must be familiar

The surgical technologist’s responsibility extends before and after each surgery and includes gathering the supplies ahead of time and then making sure they are cleaned and put in the right place afterwards. A surgical technologist also can be the surgery team member that bandages patients and gets them to their rooms following surgery.

Stephan A. Betins-Kinnamon, MSed, RN, CNOR, a certified operating room nurse and the Perioperative Clinical Educator at Beebe Healthcare, is so supportive of advanced education for the surgical technologists that he encouraged the group to hold the workshop at Beebe.

“The Surgical Technologists are vital to the operating room,” said Mr. Betins-Kinnamon. “They are literally on the front lines of the surgery. It is time to recognize these professionals as vital members of a hospital and give them the professional education and respect that they deserve. This workshop is hopefully the first of many to help advance the field of Surgical Technologists in the state of Delaware.”

Caption: Several Beebe team members attended the Association of Surgical Technologists’ first workshop in Delaware. Pictured here are: Steve MacCubbin, CST; Maureen Grindle, ST; workshop organizer Stephan Betins-Kinnamon, MSed, RN, CNOR; Doreen Houser, ST; Kimberly Bledsoe, ST; Carol Sargent, LPN; and Sherrie Black-Hauff, ST.

Beebe Healthcare is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. It offers services throughout Southern Delaware including a 210-licensed-bed hospital, a cancer center, and outpatient facilities at multiple sites providing walk-in care, lab, imaging, and physical rehab services.