(photo courtesy Ivy Tech Community College)

Ivy Tech Community College wants interest to grow in a health field not many may know about.

Surgical technologists are the people we don’t see when we are in surgery, but they are there to protect the patient. Technologists prepare the room for surgery by laying out the proper tools and making sure they are sterilized.

During the surgery, they are the ones assisting surgeons by passing tools or gathering extra supplies. Once surgery is complete, they help in transferring the patient.

Lora Hofmann is the program chair of surgical technology at Ivy Tech Community College. She said these healthcare professionals deserve more recognition.

“I don’t think it’s very well known that surgical technologists exist,” she said. “We are the people scrubbed in with the surgeons. I think a lot of people want to do that job. They just don’t know what it is.”

More people are needed in this healthcare profession. Hofmann said there were close to 800 surgical technologist positions open in Indiana. While a need grows, Hofmann said she is seeing less people enrolled in the program at Ivy Tech.

“We normally have 16,” she said of her class size. “I have five this year. So, we really are wanting more people in this field.”

Students at Ivy Tech are getting some top notch training. Course work includes hands-on experiences through mock surgeries and high-tech simulations. Students also complete weeks of clinicals in really surgery rooms with doctors in the area.

Ashlynn Denny is a soon to be gradute of the program. She said she’s learned a lot from her instructors and the program. She also said she likes being in the surgery room.

“It’s always something new,” she said. “Everyone’e anatomy is different. There is always going to be a different kind of case.”

Hofmann hopes this excitement spreads to other students wishing to pursue the healthcare field because every position is important.

“Maybe they’re less talked about,” Hofmann said. “Maybe they’re behind the scenes, but everyone is putting forth a team effort. Every role is important, and we need everyone in this community to make it work.”

For more information on Ivy Tech’s Surgical Technology Program, click here.