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News from the Career and Technical Center

Hands-on learning, good career options, drive sterile processing students  


New high school course launched this month

Exra Anderson of Shenendehowa examines an artificial hip.

As they passed an artificial hip around a table, students in the new Capital Region BOCES Career & Technical School (CTE) Sterile Processing Technician  program were unanimous in two of the reasons they chose to be groundbreakers in education — they liked hands-on learning and sterile processing is a good career choice.

The students, who hail from Shenendehowa, Cobleskill-Richmondville and Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk (RCS), view the new two-year program as an entryway into the health care industry.

"It offers a chance for hands-on learning and a good-paying career. Why wouldn't I take it?" asked Joceline Carmel, from RCS.

Classmate Claudia Folds from Cobleskill-Richmondville said the career was a draw, but so was the uniqueness of the learning.

"I find it interesting to learn something that I and so many other people know nothing about and, of course, it's something you can make a good living at," she said.

Launched in September, the Sterile Processing Technician program prepares students for careers on the front lines in the war against germs and is essential in keeping health care environments safe for patients. Sterile processing technicians decontaminate, inspect, package and sterilize equipment and devices used in health care. These items can range from very complex medical devices to simple hand-held surgical instrumentation and are essential to patient care and successful patient outcomes.Melvin Husband speaks to students

The program is taught by sterile processing technician Melvin Husband, who previously worked
at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington teaching nurses and technicians from the operating room and surgical processing department the functions of a sterile processing department.

Students said they see themselves in operating rooms in the future.

"I've always been intrigued by instruments and machines. I see this as a good entry point for a career," said Allison Pagan of the Shenendehowa Central School District.

"I am thinking about being a surgeon so the sterile processing program is a good way of getting a look inside the world of health care," said Shenendehowa student Ezra Anderson.

Indeed, the program prepares students for careers not only in operating rooms, but also hospitals, medical laboratories, birth centers and other facilities where sterilized equipment is needed. 

"I am excited by the opportunities if offers," Anderson said.

In the top photo, Ezra Anderson of Shenendehowa examines an artificial hip.

To the right, teacher Melvin Husband speaks to students Joceline Carmel from RCS, Claudia Folds from Cobleskill-Richmondville and Allison Pagan from Shenendehowa.



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