In an effort to meet the increasing demand for qualified medical professionals, Miami Dade College’s School of Health Sciences will offer this fall an Associate in Science (A.S.) degree with a focus on Surgical Technology, as well as a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Health Sciences degree with a concentration in Medical Laboratory Sciences.
Dr. Alwyn Leiba, dean of Health Services, said that area hospitals met with Medical Campus President Dr. Bryan Stewart to discuss the increasing need for surgical technicians and medical lab scientists.
“We did some research and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of surgical technologists is projected to grow 12% through 2026, faster than the average for all occupations,” Leiba said.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunities reports that within the next five years, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties will need approximately 682 new employees per year in the surgical technology field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends adding approximately 9,000 medical laboratory scientists to the workforce by 2029.
The A.S. with a focus on Surgical Technology is designed to provide the skills for entry-level employment in health care. Surgical technologists handle instruments, supplies and equipment necessary during a surgical procedure.
The new BAS in Health Sciences with a concentration in Medical Laboratory Sciences will produce scientists able to conduct complex procedures on patient specimens, including performing and analyzing lab testing used for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.
“BAS graduates can take the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) certification exam as a medical laboratory scientist, which is the gold standard,” Leiba said.