A surgical technologist assists surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses, and other members of an operating room team. Surgical technologists, who may also be called surgical or operating room technicians or scrub techs, prepare the operating room before the surgery takes place. They also prepare patients for their surgery, arrange medical equipment, and assist doctors during surgical procedures.
The surgical technologist position is sometimes confused with the surgical assistant role. A surgical assistant is another member of the operating room team. While a surgical technologist's tasks are usually limited to preparing operating rooms and equipment, and handing instruments to surgeons, the surgical assistant provides hands-on assistance to a surgeon during an operation.
A surgical assistant might help control a patient's bleeding, apply sutures and use suctioning equipment. Some surgical technologists become surgical assistants after receiving supplemental on-the-job training. To become a surgical assistant, you can also complete a formal training program.
As part of a day's regular duties and tasks, surgical technicians may perform some or all the following:
- Prepare the operating room for upcoming surgeries
- Sterilize equipment and stock up any necessary supplies
- Prepare patients for their procedures
- Sterilize equipment and hands surgeons’ instruments upon their request.
- Order and take inventory of supplies, and maintain files and records of procedures
This curriculum is from the current college catalog and is meant to provide prospective students with an example of courses taken in this degree/certificate. It is not intended to be used for graduation requirements. Students should consult an advisor for graduation information.
Fall Applicants (Application Deadline: February 15)
Spring Applicants (Application Deadline: September 15)
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Prerequisite Courses Required for Admission
†AMH 2020 Modern American History or †POS 2041, American Government - 3 cr.
†BSC 2085 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 3 cr.
†BSC 2085L Human Anatomy and Physiology I Laboratory 1 cr.
†BSC 2086 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 3 cr.
†BSC 2086L Human Anatomy and Physiology II Laboratory 1 cr.
†ENC 1101 English Composition I 3 cr.
†MAC 1105 College Algebra or †STA 2023, Elementary Statistics, or any higher math course 3 cr.
YEAR I – First Semester
HSC 2006 Orientation to Perioperative Services 3 cr.
HSC 2006L Orientation to Perioperative Services Laboratory 1 cr.
HSC 2520 Microbiology for Perioperative Services 3 cr.
STS 1300 Surgical Anatomy and Pathophysiology 4 cr.
Humanities General Education CORE 3 cr.
YEAR I – Second Semester
STS 1310 Surgical Techniques and Procedures 6 cr.
STS 1310L Surgical Techniques and Procedures Laboratory 2 cr.
STS 1340C Pharmacology and Anesthesia 3 cr.
STS 1940C Introduction to Surgery Clinical 2 cr.
YEAR I – Third Semester
STS 2323 Surgical Procedures I 4 cr.
STS 2323L Surgical Procedures Simulation Laboratory I 1 cr.
STS 2944 Surgical Clinical I 3 cr.
YEAR II – First Semester
STS 2324 Surgical Procedures II 4 cr.
STS 2324L Surgical Procedures Simulation II Laboratory 1 cr.
STS 2365 Professional Skills for the OR Team 1 cr.
STS 2936 Surgical Certification Symposium 2 cr.
STS 2945 Surgical Clinical II 3 cr.
STS 2954 Surgical Technologist Portfolio 1 cr.
†Courses symbolized by a dagger (†) are offered online in addition to the traditional delivery method. Online availability may vary by academic term.