Surgical Technology Event | Lackawanna College


Lackawanna College Hosted Surgical Technology Event with Geisinger Medical Students

Lackawanna College hosted a Surgical Technology event with Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine students in the Surgical Technology Program Lab.

The event allowed Geisinger students to learn how to properly scrub, gown and glove for surgeries, as well as receive hands-on experience with surgical instruments. Surgical Technology Program Director Mary Lou Dotzel and Clinical Coordinator Dominique Bekanich lead the instruction, educating Geisinger students about what is required of a surgical team.

“It’s really important to get a feel for everyone that’s on the team that you’re going to work with, through this event not only did we get that but we got a feel for scrubbing, what we’ll be doing on a daily basis if we went into surgery and the instruments we will use,” first-year Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine student Jonathan Kerr said. “This is more of a hands-on demonstration for the (Geisinger) surgery club which lead to a different experience than the traditional lecture.”

The Surgical Technology Program’s primary mission is to prepare entry-level surgical technologists who are competent in cognitive, psychomotor and affective behavioral learning skills to enter the profession. Due to the hands-on nature of the program, Lackawanna College Surgical Technology students also assisted Geisinger students during the event, providing individual assistance when scrubbing, gowning and gloving.

“Learning some of the professional behaviors that are expected in the OR (operating room) is definitely a huge bonus,” Kerr said. “Sometimes trauma centers are fast paced so having the ability to practice good sterile technique with Lackawanna gives you an advantage to provide safe patient care.”

Geisinger students also enhanced their knowledge of sterile technique in the operating room and added new surgical instrumentation to their knowledge base and professional vocabulary. They were able to see the equipment they will be using in the operating room and how to use it. Surgical Technology Program Director Mary Lou Dotzel commented on how this event can assist the Geisinger students in the years to come.

“Up and coming medical professionals have to do a rotation in the operating room and an event like this gives them an advantage of knowing sterile technique,” Dotzel said. “It can relieve some of the stress of knowing what is expected of them.”

The Surgical Technology Program at Lackawanna College is a two-year program teaching students theory, application of sterile and aseptic techniques. The program combines the knowledge of human anatomy, pathology, surgical procedures and implementation of instruments and technologies to facilitate a surgeon’s performance of invasive therapeutic and diagnostic procedures.

Currently, there is a shortage of surgical technologists in operating rooms across the nation. According to the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and Association of Surgical Technologists (AST), since 2020 there have been low enrollment numbers, delayed graduations, higher-than-normal student attrition and professional burnout leading to shortages of surgical technologists around the country. The response from the industry to combat the shortage has been sign-on bonuses, adjustments to wages and traveling surgical technologist contracts. Dotzel says one of the many reasons someone should become a surgical technologist is the level of gratification from the job.

Those interested in learning more about the Surgical Technology Program at Lackawanna College can find out more by visiting or schedule a visit with Director of the Surgical Technology Program Mary Lou Dotzel by calling (570) 955-1457 or emailing

“I have been in this profession for over 30 years, it has been one of the most rewarding and fulfilling careers to be in,” Dotzel said. “Our program is a two-year associate’s degree and the return on the investment is well worth it for someone interested in working in the operating room wanting to make a difference.”