A Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) is a member of the surgical team who works with surgeons, anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists, registered nurses, and other surgical personnel in delivering patient care and assuming appropriate responsibilities before, during and after surgery. Duties include passing instruments to the surgeon and assisting during surgery.
Surgical technologists may specialize and assist in complex procedures such as liver transplants. With additional education, they may become surgical nurses or surgical technology instructors. Some surgical technologists assume management positions in hospital central supply departments or in business firms such as sterile supply services and operating room equipment distributors.
Qualifications and Skills Needed
Individuals who want to enter the field of surgical technology need manual dexterity because they must handle instruments quickly. A surgical technologist must have excellent critical thinking skills to be able to anticipate the needs of the patient and the surgical team. They must also be alert, conscientious, orderly, and emotionally stable to handle the demands of surgeons. Surgical technologists need to have stamina and be able to work on their feet through out operations that may last several hours.
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the program students will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of surgical technology equal to an entry-level surgical technologist.
- Demonstrate competence in clinical skills equal to an entry-level surgical technologist.
- Demonstrate behavior appropriate for an entry-level surgical technologist.
The program follows the Core Curriculum for the Surgical Technologist, developed by the Association of Surgical Technologists, Inc. Upon successful completion of the program, the student receives a Certificate of Completion from Skyline College. The certificate qualifies the graduate to sit for the national certification exam administered by the National Board for Surgical Technologists and Surgical Assistants. With an additional 30 units of General Education credits, a graduate of the program may apply for an Associate's of Science degree in Surgical Technology.
The Surgical Technology program combines academic and clinical instruction that includes learning to prepare surgical instruments, passing them to the surgeon and handling specialized equipment. Skyline College offers a 12-month program admitting one cohort each summer.
The following Prerequisites must be completed with a "C" or better to apply:
- Algebra equivalent to MATH 110 or MATH 112
- Human Anatomy equivalent to BIOL 250
- Medical Terminology equivalent to HSCI 484 or BUS 485
The program is by special application only. Surgical Technology applications are accepted from January 15th to April 1st. To qualify for admission, applicants must be able to complete a physical exam, verify they are free of communicable diseases, and be able to pass a social security referenced background check and drug screening.
Please read the Frequently Asked Questions prior to applying.
For a detailed description of the Surgical Technician Program, including the Course Handbook for the clinical component (SURG 443) and class syllabi, please review the comprehensive Surgical Technician Program accreditation documentation.
Salary ExpectationsBeginning wages for surgical technologists in the Bay Area range from $24.00 - $26.00 per hour.
Students are highly encouraged to join their professional association, The Association of Surgical Technologists, during their student year in order to receive the many benefits of membership including discounts on fees for membership, the national Certification Exam and continuing education opportunities. Student membership fee is $45.00. For more information: 1-800-637-7433.
The Surgical Technology Program of the Skyline College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
For Further Information Contact:
Alice Erskine, ST Program Director