Baker College of Cadillac Surgical Technology Grads Achieve 89 Percent Pass rate on National Exam

November 18, 2009

Baker College of Cadillac officials report that eight of its nine 2009 surgical technology associate degree program graduates have passed the rigorous national Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) examination. Additionally, the category scores achieved by those students ranged 3-18 percent over the national average. All eight students to pass the test are currently employed in Michigan; the remaining student who will
retake the exam has a job pending her successful completion.

“These positive results are direct evidence of the hard work and perseverance of our students, as well as the dedication of our faculty and staff in providing the skills and training necessary to succeed,” said Robert Van Dellen, Ph.D., Baker College of Cadillac president. “Their excellent work has led to the ultimate measure of success – a rewarding career in an exciting field.”

The pass rate of Baker’s surgical technology graduates measures well above the national average. In 2008, the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, which administers the exam, reported an overall national pass rate of 65 percent for the CST examination.

“I am so proud of our graduates for all their untiring efforts throughout a challenging curriculum,” said Cindy Kelley, Baker College of Cadillac dean of health sciences. “In addition, congratulations and kudos to Cyndy Shupe, our surgical technology program director. She is most responsible for the success of our program and for ensuring that our graduates are well-prepared for their important job in the operating room.”

Surgical technologists, sometimes referred to as “scrubs,” are an integral part of surgical operations. Working under the supervision of a surgeon, they ensure the operating room is safe, that equipment functions properly, and that the operative procedure is conducted under conditions that maximize patient safety.

Although current state and national laws do not require surgical technologists to take the CST exam, there is a pending bill in the Michigan legislature that will ensure that surgical technologists practicing in Michigan hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers are appropriately educated and certified.

Bill number 4834, the Michigan Surgical Technologist Credentialing Act, would require that new hires working in the “scrub position” successfully complete an accredited education program for surgical technologists and hold and maintain national certification. In addition, individuals employed by a hospital or surgical outpatient facility would be required to complete 15 hours of continuing education every year to remain qualified for and retain employment, contract or clinical privileges.

“This is an important patient safety issue,” said Cyndy Shupe, CST/CFA, Baker College of Cadillac director of surgical technology. “The Cadillac campus has been very pro-active. Our students are trained in the theory and application of sterile and aseptic techniques. We combine the knowledge of human anatomy, pathophysiology, surgical procedures and implementation tools to facilitate a physician’s performance of surgery. Employers who hire our surgical technology graduates know they are employing highly trained individuals from an accredited program. We also require that every student take the certification exam before graduation.”

Shupe adds that failing the exam does not prevent a student from graduating. “However, that might be implemented down the road as the regulations become tighter for the surgical technology practice,” said Shupe.

The Baker College System