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SOWELA Surgical Technology Program Debuts Five New Training Technologies Including State-of-the-Art “LapSim” Laparoscopic Simulator


SOWELA’s Jennings-Based Surgical Technology Program Also Now Utilizing Picc Line Simulator, Surgical Abdomen, Hernia Mannequin and Tracheostomy Mannequin

(Jennings, Louisiana – March 3, 2022)

SOWELA’s Surgical Technology program is living up to its name by providing its students with the latest technology and cutting-edge simulators ranging from a new laproscopic simulator to a tracheostomy mannequin. The regionally recognized surgical program also added a central line simulator, surgical abdomen and a hernia simulation mannequin. The new high-fidelity tools expand upon the program’s fast growing technology offerings that include a C-section simulator.

“This cutting-edge technology involves training in minimally invasive surgical principles – a very difficult concept to teach in the lab. The focus of the LapSim technology introduces learning that concentrates on the internal operating steps of surgical procedures,” said SOWELA Surgical Technology Program Director Amy Broussard. “It’s best used in combination with the additional VR program focusing on instrumentation and anticipation skills. These technologies used together allow virtual medical operations to be completed in the safety of the lab.”

The new “LapSim” simulator benefits students by creating a realistic Laparoscopic view and environment for them to master the counter-intuitive camera and instrument movements and to develop the critical working space awareness. The new state-of-the-art simulator offers instant performance feedback for students to train safely and gain confidence before going into the operating room. Additionally, the simulator has a component that can be used to teach procedures virtually from home in the event students require online learning. The simulator was purchased by SOWELA with funds from the CARES Act.

“The LapSim technology helped us better understand Surgical Technology approaches and the flow of these procedures,” said SOWELA Surgical Technology Student Kylie Alonzo. “It is an amazing way to immerse yourself in the operating room before stepping foot in a hospital. Our profession includes hundreds of instruments, different types of sutures and concepts such as a ‘neutral zone’. These can be difficult to conceptualize, and LapSim allows us to experience that flow of work before we go into clinical at the hospital.”

In addition to the leading-edge “LapSim” offering, SOWELA is also now providing surgical technology students with the following new simulators:

  • Universal Surgical Abdomen Team Training System – Student surgical teams can work on improving technical, task-related skills along with critical communication and teamwork abilities. Team training could include the diagnosis and treatment of a renal or aortic injury, the management of emergency surgery, preparation for a catastrophic surgical event, and building confidence and reliability in an individual role within a team framework. It is powered by a new blood circulation system so students can assess and control blood loss with suction and easy-to-use remote control.
  • PICC Line Simulator – A new training simulator that allows students to train using real-time ultrasound guidance during catheter placement. Practice the complete PICC Line insertion procedure, including guidewire insertion, dilation, and full cannulation.
  • Hernia Simulation Mannequin – An anatomically correct body form trainer for hernia repair. The trainer allows clinicians to practice essential hands-on skills and techniques for each stage of direct (abdominal wall) or indirect (inguinal canal) surgical mesh placement.
  • Airway Management Trainers – Students learn complete airway management from nasal and oral intubation – to needle and surgical cricothyroidotomy. Every part of the trainer is carefully engineered to recreate the familiar movements, textures, and delicate nuances of human anatomy.

The mission of SOWELA’s Surgical Technology program is to provide a learning environment and experiences in both didactic and clinical training that reflects occupational trends and meets the medical needs of the Southwest Louisiana region. The profession of surgical technology is service-oriented and requires trained, disciplined personnel. The high-quality, selective admission, affordable training is designed to allow students to acquire a competent knowledge of the hands-on skills to render them competitive in the healthcare job market. The curriculum encourages students to be self-directed in learning both during training and after completion.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for surgical technology assistants is expected to increase by a faster-than-average 7% with the addition of 7,600 jobs by 2029. According to the same statistics, the median wage for those in the surgical technology field in Louisiana is $42,140. Currently, surgical technology positions make up nearly 2,000 jobs in Louisiana.

Recently, SOWELA announced an anonymous $200,000 donation that will be used to fund student scholarships in 2022, including Surgical Technology classes for those who qualify. The “SOWELA Student Success Scholarship” will be awarded based on merit and need to students who have earned a minimum grade point average (GPA) of a 2.5 from SOWELA, if currently enrolled, or a 2.5 GPA from high school if enrolling at SOWELA for the first time.

For more information or to apply online, visit this page. Anyone needing additional assistance can contact onestop@sowela.edu for more information.

About SOWELA Technical Community College

SOWELA Technical Community College provides traditional, distance, and lifelong learning experiences and awards associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. The College empowers learners in career and technical education and enables transfer students to pursue a four-year degree, so all learners excel as globally competitive citizens. The College has been educating the region’s workforce for 80 years.