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UVM Health Network eases workforce shortages with specialized training program

Last fall, UVM Health Network, in partnership with Clinton Community College and Mohawk Valley Community College, launched a new program to train the next generation of surgical technologists.

This initiative, specifically designed for UVM Health Network staff working at partner hospitals in northern New York Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital and Alice Hyde Medical Center directly addresses healthcare’s challenging workforce shortages. It offers current employees and job seekers an opportunity to advance their careers while continuing to earn a salary.

The program culminates with participants earning an Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology degree and the Certified Surgical Technician credential through a combination of classroom learning, online courses, hands-on labs and clinical rotations within the UVM Health Network. Students are trained to become essential members of surgical teams, tasked with preparing and transporting surgical patients, setting up operating rooms and organizing surgical equipment.

As part of a series of pioneering initiatives by the UVM Health Network Center for Workforce Development, the program helps employees further their careers, often with full tuition support or at no out-of-pocket cost. This approach provides much-needed flexibility for non-traditional learners, effectively removing common barriers to balancing life, work and continuing education.

These initiatives not only reduce the UVM Health Network’s reliance on expensive temporary labor but also benefit the broader healthcare systems of Vermont and northern New York.

For more information, contact Jerry Baake, network director, workforce development, UVM Health Network, at jerry.baake@uvmhealth.org.