Surgical Tech program gets donation from Plano hospital

by Darin Allred | Jan 08, 2014 <p> </p>

CORINTH - A generous donation from a North Texas hospital will allow surgical technology students at North Central Texas College a chance to better prepare for their upcoming careers.

The Medical Center of Plano recently donated an endoscopic tower to the NCTC Surgical Technology program in Corinth so that students could practice assisting with laparoscopic surgeries.

NCTC was in dire need of a new endoscopic tower. The one they were using was almost a decade old and recently became unusable after a bulb went out.

"If you have bought a computer, you know that 10-year old computers are basically a boat anchor now," NCTC Surgical Technology instructor Janis Smith said. "We were having a difficult time just finding parts for it. So they just made it possible for us to do laparoscopic surgery, and our students will be the better for it, that's for sure."

Surgical technology professionals are like another pair of hands for doctors during surgery, and now more often than not, that surgery is laparoscopic.

"If we didn't have (the new tower), we were not going to be able to do it this semester which would be really bad for the student to not be able to get the laparoscopic experience," Smith said. "Because now, at least 75 percent of the surgeries are done minimally invasive. It's the gold standard for surgery now. If we are not teaching them that, then we are not keeping up with the times.

"They have to know this technique," she added. "They have to know the feel of holding a camera. We can talk about this all day long and I can tell a student this is how you move the camera in and out, but unless you have felt it and unless you have done it, it's different."

Judie Rodgers, the Surgical Technology program coordinator for NCTC, said the estimate the donation to be worth around $30,000 for the college. She said that many area hospitals donate supplies to the program. Those hospitals also help train NCTC students and many hire those same students upon their graduation.

The donation from The Medical Center of Plano was a nice surprise for the staff.

"When they told us about it, we thought that would be neat," Department Assistant Lou Reynolds said. "But when it actually came in the truck, we were blown away."

The hospital not only donated the tower, but also accessory equipment like another camera and a light source.

"They bought a new one, and they had this one sitting in a room somewhere and they didn't need it," Smith said.

Right now, NCTC contracts with 17 area hospitals for training clinicals. This semester, there are 21 students in the one-year program.

For more information on the Surgical Technology program at NCTC, contact Judie Rodgers at 940-498-6260 or by email at

NCTC Surgical Technology instructor Janis Smith (left) and Department Assistant Lou Reynolds demonstrate the endoscopic tower that was donated by The Medical Center of Plano. The donated equipment will allow NCTC students to gain experience in laparoscopic surgeries.