PORT CHARLOTTE — Surgical tech students at Southern Technical College’s campus demonstrated their techniques and provided exhibits Thursday.

The school, at 950 Tamiami Trail, was abuzz with activity as friends, family members and potential future students viewed exhibits, while some students gave live demonstrations.

Melissa Leon and Nichole Boik commanded operating room one, where their theme — “Let’s deliver a baby by a C-section” — became a live demonstration.

The “baby” and “patient” were props, but the surgical tools and techniques employed by the students were authentic and would be engaged in a real delivery.

Kiley Siercks and Jazmine Selby-Ellis presented their exhibit, “The real residents of STC.” Swabs were taken in and around the college, and pictures of the results, bacteria and fungus, were posted along with the lab specimens.

“They swabbed a vending machine, a sanitizer dispenser and restroom door handles,” said Dr. Nicholas Triana, senior instructor of the surgical tech department at STC. “After they inspected the growing cultures on microscope slides, they printed enlarged photos of their findings.”

Tables had various exhibits and named appropriately: “The Wonders of a Sheep Heart,” “Have a Heart,” “The Fate of a Fetal Pig,” “Anatomy is a Language,” and “The Wonderful World of Sutures.”

“Sheep hearts are almost identical to our hearts,” Triana said. “Our beginning students came up with a display called ‘anatomy as a language’ so they labeled all the muscles and skeletal system.”

A cow’s eyeball with surgical instruments was used for eye surgery, and a uterus of a pig with a fetus were also part of the exhibits.

The winners were announced on Friday. The “Residents of STC” microbiology poster by Kiley Siercks and Jazmine Selby-Ellis was awarded first place. The C-section by Nichole Boik and Melissa Leon was the runner-up.

Triana uses a three-dimensional teaching software, called Visible Body.

“I had a cadaver that I had to use for about a year when I was in school,” Triana said. “Students today are much more technical and they need to have a visual form of learning.”

Triana teaches Anatomy & Physiology 1 and 2 at the college. It takes students about two years to complete the surgical tech program.

“They do an externship in the field and they’re very often offered jobs when they graduate,” Traina said. “Our classes are small, we usually have no more than 10 students, so it’s really nice … we can give them all the personal attention they need. There is a shortage of surgical techs right now.”

The next classes for the surgical tech program start on Jan. 10

Other programs offered at the college include medical assisting, nursing, business management and technical trades. The newest program offered at the school is veterinary assisting, which is also a growing field right now, according to Triana.

For more information, visit www.southerntech.edu.

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