College of DuPage Offers New Operating Room Patient Care Technician Certificate
By Brian Kleemann
The new Operating Room Patient Care Technician Certificate program at College of DuPage will prepare students for entry-level positions in perioperative service careers.
“ORPCTs provide support services to assist surgical patients,” said Kathy Cabai, professor and coordinator of the Surgical Technology program. “For example, facilities need trained ORPCTs to expedite room turnover from one procedure to the next. The turnover rate can be 45 minutes, but with a trained ORPCT, it can be 15 to 20 minutes.”
Recently approved by the Illinois Community College Board, the 14 credit-hour certificate consists of three classes: Ethical Considerations in the Health Care Industry, Operating Room Patient Care Technician and the Certified Nurse Assistant Training Program. Students are not required to become CNAs before starting the program.
“We designed this as a one-semester certificate, where students are in the Ethical Considerations in the Health Care Industry course for the first eight weeks and then the ORPCT class during the second eight weeks. If a student prefers, both classes can also be taken at the same time,” Cabai said. “I’m very excited about the Ethical Considerations class because it will address professionalism, ethics, morals and values as a health care provider. Clinical sites want students who possess the technical skills and the ability to communicate effectively and act appropriately in a heath care setting.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment is projected to grow in this area 17 percent through 2024, while employment of ancillary staff in fields such as perioperative services ranks high among the 30 fastest-growing occupations in the U.S. according to the Health Careers Center. The certificate also provides a stackable credential that students can use toward their education to become a surgical technologist or anesthesia technologist.
“The Operating Room Patient Care Technician Certificate program will address many concerns, from a shortage of operating room personnel to the need to improve operating room turnover times,” Cabai said. “This is also a great way to start employment in the health care industry, with many opportunities for advancement.”
College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 28,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The College grants nine associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.
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