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Schoolcraft Connection

The Student News Site of Schoolcraft College

Schoolcraft Connection

The Student News Site of Schoolcraft College

Schoolcraft Connection

Broader horizons

Schoolcraft combats worker shortage by introducing new program
Joshua Hardy
Surgical tech students practicing a surgical procedure utilizing the state of the art facilities on campus.

Infection is a no joking matter and neither is the widespread healthcare shortage that has been perpetually growing since the COVID-19 pandemic. Although staffing shortages have always been prevalent in the healthcare field due to high turnover, stress and burnout, now that COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted the surgical services in hospital systems have been fighting against the exponentially growing surgical cases. 

“Finding a way to fill these positions that are at a critical shortage is important to provide quality healthcare in Southeast Michigan,” says Occupational Programs Health Programs Liaison Donna Moir.

This is where Schoolcraft college came in. After surveying job openings in the area, they saw a new opportunity for specialized health science disciplines. During this time, they reached out to formal educator and now Surgical Technology Program Director Mary J. Nowicki to create a curriculum for the brand new surgical services program.

Surgical Technology

The Surgical Technologists program is an associates degree that lasts two years. Like many other non-clinical jobs, the importance of a surgical technologist lies in the prevention of infection and disease. They are the silent members of the operating room; cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing surgical equipment to keep the hospital environment functioning at a safe level. Surgical technicians are the only ones truly trained in the principles of asepsis and the principles of the operating room. Lapses in safe healthcare practices can seriously impact patient safety and lead to outcomes of permanent harm or even death. 

“That’s why [a surgical technologist] is so important. It cuts down on infection rates. It keeps the patient as safe as possible; so, they’re not going home and then having to come back. It saves a lot of money, saves a lot of lives and it’s a big deal for patient safety,” says Nowicki. 

Schoolcraft has outfitted the program with everything necessary for students to succeed and has designed the classrooms in such a way that it draws students into the medical environment. The facility includes: mock doctors office waiting room, a clean room, a sterilization area, a medical bay and a mock operating room.

Sterile Processing Certificate 

Alternatively, Schoolcraft offers a one year certificate program called the Sterile Processing Certificate. Instead of being introduced directly into the operating room, students can elect to focus solely on the concepts of aseptic technique and with that comes the knowledge of proper tool care and cleaning. 

Student success

Schoolcraft has made a program deeply ingrained with professionalism and high standards of which there are multiple factors that play into the measure of student engagement and positive outcomes. 

Being a new program, it does not have widespread acknowledgement that some longer existing programs have obtained, but it has state of the art equipment and facilities. Current students happily take advantage of the newly built operating room and extracurricular activities like the program’s very own club: Scalpels and Scrubs.

Student and Scalpels and Scrubs President Kauthar Alhajmoussa says, “To other students who have interest in the surgical services program, I recommend Schoolcraft because of the Director, Mrs. Nowicki. She is the sole professor of the program and she not only teaches the material and standards of the profession; but gives you real life examples that really paints a clearer picture. My experience so far is nothing less than beneficial. I am very confident in the field as I feel that I am getting the proper education to excel in this career.” 

After the completion of a program

Trinity Health is one of the largest non-profit healthcare systems in America. Since the start of the Surgical Technology program Moir has made efforts to partner with Trinity Health. The idea is to complete clinicals at a Trinity Health facility with possibility of job prospects on the horizon. Trinity Health also offers to pay current employees tuition for going into the field. 

If a student is looking for a health career that’s hands-on, interested in anatomy or in the application of anatomy, consider Schoolcraft’s new surgical service programs. 

For more information on the surgical service programs please visit the surgical services page at:

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About the Contributors
Sara Mallory, Campus Life Editor
My name is Sara Mallory, and I am currently pursuing an Associates in Science while working to apply for Schoolcraft’s Nursing program. Growing up I had a strong distaste for formal English classes and writing. Writing simply did not come naturally to me which gave me enough reason to despise it. Strangely enough I absolutely adored reading anything and everything I could get my hands on. My love for reading grew when my father bought the entire original run of DC’s Young Justice comics, and I have been an avid follower and fan of the comics and show since. Since then, writing has grown into quite the hobby of mine as I found myself following in my good friend Marissa’s footsteps (who you may know as the Arts and Entertainment Editor) by joining the Schoolcraft Connection. Now that I have become the Campus Life Editor, I look forward to meeting new people and experiencing new things with all the new and old friends I have found myself surrounded by. 
Joshua Hardy
Joshua Hardy, Photo Editor
My name is Josh Hardy. I am a full time student in Schoolcraft’s Engineering program. I am the Photo Editor for Schoolcraft Connection on top of working a second job. I enjoy photography and exploring new local coffee shops, though my favorite hobby is rock climbing. I drive out of my way to go rock climbing at least once a week. 

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