College & Community Relations

Aims Surgical Technology program earns national accreditation

Submitted on: 12-02-2005

Aims Surgical Technology program recently received national accreditation, making it the only public institution in Colorado to offer a surgical technology program sanctioned by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP). “This is a very difficult accreditation to receive,” said Dean Donna Souther. “This identifies us as a hallmark program, paramount to other programs.” CAAHEP is the largest programmatic/specialty accrediting agency in the health science field and accredits more than 2,000 educational programs across the United States and Canada. "Through our surgical tech program, and all of our allied health programs, Aims is working very hard to develop and train the very best health care professionals to serve our community," said Aims President Marsi Liddell. “We anticipate that our efforts will provide a stellar legacy for the college, as well.” Obtaining the CAAHEP accreditation requires an extensive self-study and a comprehensive on-site evaluation by a team of practicing surgical technologists, educators and representatives from the accreditation office. CAAHEP representatives evaluate curriculum content, clinical sites, classroom presentations, lesson plans and syllabi, as well as the credentials of faculty, staff and administration. Students are also interviewed individually and as a class. Generous donations from The Winograd Foundation, North Colorado Medical Center and Weld County Employment Services and Workforce Development Board made it possible for Aims to launch the Surgical Technology program in 2004. The first class of 10 surgical technologists graduated in Spring 2005. “Every one of our graduates got jobs within 10 weeks of graduation, and they're all working at local hospitals,” said Mark Urso, Aims surgical technology instructor. The demand for surgical technologists is expected to grow faster than average as the number of surgical procedures is expected to rise as the population grows and ages. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average earnings for a surgical technologist was more than $30,000 in 2002, with the upper percentile reaching nearly $45,000.

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