Graduates of the Surgical Technologist program at the Ulster BOCES Adult Career Education Center celebrated their achievements at an end-of-year ceremony on Thursday, June 22, at the Jane Bullowa Conference Center in New Paltz. Fifteen students from across the Hudson Valley completed the rigorous program this year.
Despite enrolling in a program that condenses two years of material into an intense 10-month period, Daisy Battista, a Wappingers Falls resident, says that it was more than worth it. Battista, the mother of two young children, admits that juggling the demands of the program with those of her family life was tough. “It hasn’t been the easiest time of my life,” she says, adding that her teachers provided her and her classmates with the tools they needed to complete the program and succeed. "I have made 14 new best friends."
The newly minted Surgical Technologist graduates are: Stephanie Alvarado, Newburgh; Daisy Battista, Wappingers Falls; Tyrone Burnett, Poughkeepsie; Latisha Delandro, Fishkill; Rebecca Elderkin, Hyde Park; Tiffany Finn, Callicoon; Brooke Groucher, Poughkeepsie; Jovan Jones, Poughkeepsie; Evelyn Justil, Newburgh; Jia Li, Newburgh; Amamda Linares, Kingston; Jayde Marcano, Rock Tavern; Cristian Perez, Wappingers Falls; Stephen Smith, Wappingers Falls; and Caitlin Verber, Yorktown Heights.
Eleven of the 15 graduates already have job placements. Two of the 15, Cristian Perez and Stephen Smith, were inducted into the AST (Association of Surgical Technologists) National Honor Society. In addition to being recognized at the ceremony, they received letters of recommendation to provide to potential future employers and educational institutes, along with lifetime memberships to the association.
“Healthcare jobs are in high demand, and medical facilities need qualified staff,” says Peter Harris, Assistant Superintendent for Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Education (CTE) and Alternative Education (HVPA & Phoenix Academy). “Today’s graduates will play a key role in filling these vital positions in hospitals and surgical centers. I am very proud of their determination to succeed in this rigorous program and thankful for their instructors’ commitment to their educational success.”
Surgical technicians assist surgeons and other medical professionals in hospital operating rooms and similar environments. They primarily prepare patients, rooms, and equipment for the conclusion of a surgery. They also assist during those procedures as part of a team of operating room professionals.
Ulster BOCES surgical technologist students complete a 970-hour program that is designed for candidates with no previous medical background. Their real-world experiences include classroom and simulated laboratory work, as well as clinical opportunities at various medical facilities throughout the area.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the number of surgical technologists is expected to grow 9 percent every year between 2023 and 2030. According to the popular job site ZipRecruiter.com, the national median annual salary for surgical technologists as of 2022 was $66,998, and New York ranks first in the nation for surgical technologist salaries. Employers in New York State are required to hire certified surgical technologists from an accredited program.
To learn more about the Surgical Technologist program at Ulster BOCES, call 845-331-5050 or visit www.ulsterboces.org.
- Adult Education