The nationally-recognized Allied Health Department at Lamar State College-Port Arthur is producing trained surgical technicians to address the nation’s shortage in that career caused, in many ways, by the retirement of the “Baby Boom” generation and their need for additional surgery.

Surgical technicians are integral members of the surgical team who work closely with the surgeon, anesthesiologists and registered nurses to deliver direct patient care before, during, and after surgery.

Employment in the field is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Unlike some health-related professions that are regulated by states, prospective surgical technologists must pass the national examination for certification to work in any state.

The Liaison Council on Certification for Surgical Technologists, which administers the national test, has presented its National Merit Award to Lamar State College-PA for achieving a pass rate in the top 10 percent of the surgical technology programs in the United States.

“Certification is a symbol of credibility and recognition of competence for both knowledge and skills in the principles of surgical technology,” said Dawn E. Vincent, executive director of LCC-ST.

Janet Hamilton, chair of the LSC-PA Allied Health Department, said, “Our surgical technology graduates are well prepared for the test. We have an excellent track record. Nearly every one of our graduates has passed the test in the 10 years I’ve been here.”

Lamar State’s Surgical Technology program is one of less than 500 programs in the nation accredited by the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation of the American Medical Association.

Brandon Buckner, who oversees the LSC-PA program, said, “There are only 36 accredited schools in Texas. So, our graduates are in demand for both local jobs and jobs outside the area. You will find them working in every hospital in Southeast Texas. We’re also getting calls from hospitals in Louisiana.”

Students must complete seven prerequisite courses before applying for admission to the program, which accepts a set number of students each semester.

Students in the LSC-PA program can earn a two-year associate degree or a one-year certificate.

The next group of surgical technology students will start classes in the 2008 Fall Semester, which begins Monday, August 25

Students must apply for admission to the college before registering for classes.

Continuing students not subject to Texas Success Initiative test restrictions and students who passed all parts of the THEA or ASSET tests can register using their personal identification numbers. All other students must talk with an admission advisor prior to registering for classes. A PIN number also is required for on-line registration.

Students can add or drop classes through on-line registration after payment is made to the LSC-PA Business Office.

Students are encouraged to register early as lines could be long in the Admission Advising Office and the Admission and Records Office during the last days before classes start.

For information about admissions or registration, call the Admission Advising Office at 984-6186, 984-6183, 984-6184 or 984-6185.

For information about financial aid, call the Financial Aid Office at 984-6203 or 984-6205.

For information on the Surgical Technology Program, call 984-6367.