New program to boost number of skilled surgical technicians

Cris Collingwood//February 7, 2022

New program to boost number of skilled surgical technicians

Cris Collingwood//February 7, 2022

To keep up with demand in the surgical field, UPMC, UPMC Pinnacle Foundation, and Central Penn College are working together to bring more skilled surgical technicians to the region. 

Students who successfully complete the program and are hired by UPMC will receive financial assistance up to full reimbursement of all diploma tuition costs. 

 “This is an exceptional opportunity to pursue an education with Central Penn College, a leader in delivering career-focused education, followed by a fulfilling health care career at world-class UPMC,” said Lou Baverso, COO, UPMC in Central Pa. “All at potentially no final cost to the student.” 

 Surgical technicians perform a variety of activities that assist doctors during surgery, including sterilizing and setting up equipment, positioning patients for procedures, handing instruments to doctors during surgery, and preparing operating rooms for patients, according to UPMC. 

The median annual wage for surgical technicians was $49,710 in May 2020. Jobs in the surgical technician field are projected to grow by 9% from 2020 to 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

The 18-month, 42-credit program will start on April 4 at the college’s Summerdale campus.  

Through a combination of funding from UPMC, Central Penn College, and UPMC Pinnacle Foundation, students who work at UPMC for three years following graduation will have the full tuition cost of the diploma program reimbursed.  

“Diploma students also have the opportunity to work with UPMC during their education,” said Baverso.  Central Penn College also is making the CPC Housing Scholarship available to all qualifying Surgical Technician Diploma and AAS Program enrollees who choose to live on campus, valued at $5,800 a year. 

“Local hospitals are growing their surgery programs, and surgical services are becoming increasingly advanced, requiring skilled technicians to support surgeries,” said Dr. Krista Wolfe, vice president of Academic Affairs and Provost, Central Penn College. 

 “The job market for new health care graduates has never been better,” said Jessica Ritchie, vice president of development, UPMC Pinnacle Foundation. “The foundation is pleased to give $75,000 to launch this program and support health care education in our region, as well as over $165,000 in tuition support to UPMC to help grow the Central Pa. skilled workforce and encourage students to pursue this valued field.”