A New Way of Learning

surgical technology

To date, over 600 class sections have moved from a face to face format to online. This means that there has been a lot of adapting and change by students and instructors.

Danielle Cook, surgical technology instructor, is embracing this ‘new normal’ and has been looking for innovative ways to stay connected with her students. She shared with us how she is finding success during these challenging times.

Danielle Cook, MS CST surgical technology program director

“When COVID-19 hit the US, we had team meetings to discuss how we could move to the digital format if the virus spread to Wisconsin. Less than 2 weeks later, we had to put those plans into place. Here is a glimpse into how the Surgical Technology program is enabling learning from home.

Second-year students were fortunate enough to have met the clinical case requirements set by our Accreditation body, thanks to our strong community partners who work with our students in clinical. Due to this, we can do simulation for their last rotation. Here is where the free mobile app Touch Surgery comes in. Touch Surgery has almost 170 free surgical cases on it and you first “learn” the procedure by going through the steps and virtually completing the surgery. After each section, you test your skills with a short quiz. The students are assigned various cases to be completed and tested on in Touch Surgery and they upload their test results into Canvas. The students are also completed Surgical Case Study Reports and we have a weekly Zoom virtual class and discuss the reports and other things as they arise. While they all miss the operating room, they are happy to be able to still practice virtually, and look forward to being in the workforce in May!

First-year students have one course that was already on-line and two that were blended. We have Zoom virtual classes twice a week to go over their assignments, worksheets, study guides, etc. I have also created short videos of how to use practice passing instruments, utilizing everyday stuff you can find at home. This course is trickier because we will need to be back in the lab to complete the work, but these students continue to review old skill videos and are excited to get back to class.

The Zoom virtual class is what I believe is keeping us all together as a program. Seeing and hearing each other at least once a week keeps that connection, and I bring encouragement to those who are feeling down and unsure right now. I have an awesome group of 20 students. They have been patient and understanding as we navigate this pandemic. Being prepared ahead of time and having the support that the College has provided has helped to make the transition to the digital world much easier. I am very thankful for everyone at the College who has supported the faculty and staff, and most importantly, our students. “

A sincere thank you to all of the Moraine Park instructors, and students for their patience as we move through these times together.

For more information on Moraine Park, visit morainepark.edu.

Written by Kristina Haensgen
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