[CLINTON, N.C] – This week, Sampson Community College received approval from the North Carolina Community College System allowing the College to implement a Surgical Technology program. The College plans to begin the program this fall, offering degree, diploma, and certificate options. Sampson Regional Medical Center (SRMC) has been an advocate for beginning the program and will even function as a partner in training interested students. The College will offer degree, diploma, and certificate options.

Wanda Capps, Vice President of Academic Affairs, says that bringing the Surgical Technology program too SCC will allow the College to invest in the wellbeing of its local community. SRMC requested that the College seek approval for the program due to the increasing need to fill surgical technician positions at the hospital.

“As a college, we are invested in our community where we strive to help in meeting identified needs,” Capps stated. “We are excited to receive the news SCC is approved to offer the Surgical Technology program beginning Fall semester 2020. The medical profession is a rewarding career and we are ecstatic to have another medical program join the healthcare programs here at the College.”

The College’s mission is to provide accessible and affordable education, workforce training, and lifelong enrichment. Often, this mission is achieved through intentional community partnerships, innovative teaching, and the efforts driven students. The approval of the Surgical Technology program allows the College to continue partnering with SRMC—something it has a long history of doing.

“There is a long history of collaborative initiatives between the hospital and College. The continued support of this community partner will certainly enhance the delivery and facilitate the success of the program,” Dr. Veronica Stevens, Health Programs Division Chair, commented.

Dr. William Starling, President of Sampson Community College, echoed these thoughts, saying that the approval of the program is another great step in the College’s partnership with SRMC, and in the expansion of the health programs at SCC.

“We were excited to receive notification that the State Board of Community Colleges had granted approval for SCC to begin offering surgical technology as a curriculum program this fall. Applications for health programs often receive limited approval,” Starling stated. “Dr. Howerton’s voice helped identify the need for local trained technicians that was not being met by the urban campuses. This year our partnership with SRMC has provided SCC nursing students access to a new state-of-the-art simulation training center and now the expansion of our program offering.”  

Surgical Technicians graduate prepared to enter the workforce and assist in the care of surgical patients. They possess the necessary skills and knowledge to prepare surgical equipment, supplies and instruments, maintain aseptic conditions, and prepare patients for surgery. The Bureau of Labor Statics expects the employment of surgical technologists to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026. The approval of the program for SCC means that the College is qualified to educate students who are prepared to enter the workforce in Sampson County and other areas.

Dr. Shawn Howerton, CEO of Sampson Regional Medical Center, was a strong advocate for the program—knowing the large need for surgical technicians at his hospital. He says the approval will be a major benefit to Sampson County.

“Emergency surgeries are time-sensitive and demand quick response by operating room staff, which means they must live in close proximity to Sampson Regional. This dynamic makes it challenging to recruit OR trained talent into Sampson County,” Howerton remarked. “The ability for us to train talented surgical techs within our own community will advance our ability to recruit staff. I appreciate Sampson Community College for making this forward-thinking and outstanding addition to its programming to improve the healthcare workforce of Sampson County.”

Sampson Community College plans to begin offering the program this fall. Interested students can contact Health Programs at Sampson Community College, (910) 900-4013.

About Sampson Community College: Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options, and early college education.