From Ronald Kruzel, ARC/STSA Executive Director

With the month of August upon us, surgical technology and surgical assisting educators are back on campus, student orientation is underway and classes are resuming.  Before we know it, it will be time for the graduating class of 2019 to walk across the stage and into their careers as surgical technologists and surgical assistants.

This month, on August 1, 2018, to be exact, marked three years until the recommended Associate Degree (AD) implementation date of August 1, 2021, for surgical technology programs. As the date draws closer, the ARC/STSA is working with CAAHEP to initiate a surgical technology Standards and Guidelines review with possible revision moving into the next year. In April 2018, ARC/STSA notified CAAHEP of its intent to review the ST Standards and Guidelines, and is proceeding with data collection, data updating and data analysis related to AD implementation.

Well over 60 percent of all CAAHEP surgical technology programs now offer the AD or an AD option to their graduating students. Another 30 percent of programs have mechanisms available to grant the AD, and are proceeding with the transition. The remaining programs each face unique challenges in AD implementation, and the ARC/STSA is committed to working with each of these programs on their specific challenges.

As we move further into the fall of 2018, the ARC/STSA Board of Directors is preparing for its September 2018 annual meeting. Our Directors want to hear from you, be it programs that have implemented the AD, are underway with implementation, or uncertain on how to proceed. We want to hear your success stories, challenges and needs.

I invite you to reach out to me directly at to share your thoughts with the ARC/STSA Board of Directors.

Success and solutions begin with communication; please take the time to reach out.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Best regards,