If you watch medical dramas or sitcoms, you’ve probably seen a surgery scene where the doctor asks for a scalpel or some other medical instrument, and someone standing nearby hands it to him. That person is a surgical technologist. And he or she has a pretty important job.

Surgical technologists typically prepare patients and operating rooms for surgery—making sure the equipment and environment are sterile—assist surgeons during surgery by handing tools to them or their assistants, count and stock supplies, and handle specimens. Surgical technologists also help transfer patients to and from surgery.  So these professionals directly contribute to the quality of patient care in the operating room, and it is essential that they are well trained to do their jobs.

In some communities, however, there aren’t enough surgical technologists. So we’ve considered what we can do to increase their numbers and help properly train and prepare them. One area where we’re doing this is in East Mississippi. Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle has partnered with East Mississippi Community College to develop a certified surgical technologist program. The program is the first of its kind in the Golden Triangle area, and it’s scheduled to start in August.

When our hospital team saw the need for this key position, they approached the college about partnering on the program. EMCC staff will teach the course, which will be held on Baptist Golden Triangle’s campus. Our team also provided computers, labs and a mini operating room because we want the program to be well equipped and students to be well trained.

The first class is scheduled to start in August 2018, and we believe this program will be a benefit to all hospitals in the area. Local students will be trained close to home, encouraging them to stay in their communities and reducing the need to recruit from far away areas. Additionally, the program will contribute to the growth of the local economy and workforce. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for surgical technologists in May 2017 was $46,310.

I am very glad that our hospitals can contribute to the improved health and economic growth of the communities we serve.

For more information about Baptist Memorial hospitals or the quality of our care, please visit baptistonline.org.  

Jason Little photo
Jason Little
President/Chief Executive Officer
Baptist Memorial Health Care