Surgical Technology/Technologist  Program Description


Insider Info

dotTo succeed in a surgical technology program, you'll need a knowledge of anatomy and an ability to stay calm under pressure. These students learn to assist surgeons and nurses in the operating room.

Several colleges offer two-year programs in surgical technology.

"Our graduates possess patient care skills, communication skills and technical proficiency to assist physicians during surgical procedures," says Katherine Snyder. She is the department chair of the the surgical technology program at Pueblo Community College in Colorado.

"Our program prepares them for the workplace by several means," she says. "Program-specific courses utilize real-life situations to demonstrate and explain ST [surgical technology] theory. Graduates will have had approximately 720 hours of supervised hands-on experience in a clinical facility operating room suite."

Teamwork is key, says Jeannie Hurd of Spokane Community College's surgical technology program.

"Each surgery is unique and the student must be able to apply decision-making skills and communicate well with the surgical team. The graduate should be beginning to function under stressful situations while remaining focused on the patient care needs."

In high school, take science, math and English.

Deborah Wilson is dean of health sciences at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. She advises students to take biology, algebra, English and social studies. She also recommends psychology.

Computer skills are also important. "As hospitals, health-care systems and physician offices are moving and have moved toward computerized record keeping, it is very important that the surgical technologist have applied computer skills," says Wilson.

There are also extracurricular activities that might help prepare you for a program in surgical technology.

Volunteer experience within the medical community is good, Hurd says. Snyder adds that professors also look for students who have held leadership positions in clubs and community organizations.

There are the usual costs of tuition and books. You might also have to pay for immunizations, CPR certification, malpractice insurance and lab fees.

Surgical technology programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP).


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field, see Surgical Technologists

Liaison Council for the Certification for the Surgical Technologists
The certifying agency for the field

Surgical Technology International
Check out this online publication

Just the Facts

Want a quick overview of what this program is about? Check out Just the Facts for a simple description.