Joplin, MO – Freeman Health System is proud to celebrate the first four graduates of the Surgical Technician Apprenticeship Program.
The students were picked from 150 employees who applied to be part of the newly developed program designed to prepare them to assist with surgeries. Demand for workers in this field prompted Freeman to begin this unique on-the-job training program. Graduates like Sarah Painter, a former orderly, were chosen for their potential and for being a top performer in their field.
A surgical technician is a healthcare professional who assists the surgeon and the medical team in the operating room. They help prepare the surgical suite with necessary equipment and supplies; create and maintain a sterile field in which to operate; organize and prepare instruments to ensure the surgeon has everything needed for invasive and non-invasive procedures; assist nurses with preparing the patient for surgery; and assist anesthesia and cleaning as well as reprocessing instrumentation.
The Freeman apprenticeship starts with an eight-week education program. After that, a mock surgical procedure is performed by each apprentice as a final exam before they begin 18 weeks of clinicals.
The program is available to current employees. The training is unique in the region in that there is no cost to employees, it is good for morale as a means of advancement and it allows for better staffing throughout the hospital and better bonds between coworkers. Two of the graduates have already been asked to join specific departments, one in orthopedics and another in cardiac care.
Graduates included Sarah Painter, Breanna Landes, Nathan McCarthy, and Genera Cifuentes Fuentes.
Freeman’s surgical technician apprenticeship will run again in March of 2021.