Think Outside the Book is a new series showcasing your creative teaching techniques. In this edition, Dr. Joseph B. Long, CST, FAST, Lead Faculty, Academic Team Leader Surgical Technology Program at Lansing Community College, shares his “Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down” project, which aimed to improve student cognitive retention and create an enjoyable learning experience.

The Surgical Technology Program “Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down” Project: Engaging Students in a Meaningful Way

As I have been involved in teaching in the Surgical Technology profession for a number of years, I am constantly trying new things or attempting to come up with new ideas to better engage students. Ultimately, my goal is to help improve student cognitive retention and make learning interesting for all students. I have utilized faculty playing instructor and student roles, while demonstrating the competency process. We made a video of the role-playing demonstration for our students and found this provided greater success for students on their competency checkoffs.

In our most recent project, students were given an opportunity to be more engaged with each other while gaining a deeper understanding of their competencies. The goal of this project was to help them better understand the competencies that would be included on their examination. More broadly, this specific pedagogy also helped them understand the roles and interactions of students and instructors.

The list shared below includes the competencies our students present. What follows is a description of how we implemented this new exercise for our program.

SURG121 Comps Order List

  1. Application of Patient Monitoring Equipment with Patient Documentation
  2. Open Gloving
  3. Urinary Catheterization (male/female)
  4. Prepping a Patient
  5. Open a Surgical Pack
  6. Perform Surgical Hand Scrub
  7. Dry Hands and Arms Following Scrub
  8. Put on Sterile Gown and Gloves
  9. Set Up Back Table
  10. Instrument Identification
  11. Drape Mayo
  12. Set Up Mayo
  13. Gown and Glove Another Person
  14. Drape a Patient
  15. Remove Soiled Gown and Gloves

Putting Thumbs-Up/Thumbs Down Into A