Surgical Technology

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Program Spotlight

A Surgical Technologist (ST) is a member of the surgical team who works with surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses, and other surgical personnel in delivering patient care and assuming appropriate responsibilities before, during and after surgery, including passing instruments to the surgeon and assisting during surgery.

The Surgical Technology Program at Skyline College

Skyline College’s Surgical Technology combine academic and clinical instruction that includes learning to prepare surgical instruments, passing them to the surgeon and handling specialized equipment.

To succeed in surgical careers, individuals need manual dexterity in order to handle instruments quickly and must employ critical thinking skills to anticipate the needs of the patient and the surgical team. Being alert, orderly and emotionally stable are also crucial to handling the demands of surgeons.

Career Outlook

Surgical technology offers a fun, interesting, and occasionally stressful work environment where surgeons rely on well-trained personnel to ensure everything is ready for optimal patient care. Working in surgical careers offers high levels of job security and mobility and a unique opportunity to help others.

With additional education, surgical technologists may become surgical nurses or surgical technology instructors. Some may assume management positions in hospital central supply departments or in business firms such as sterile supply services and operating room equipment distributors.

Surgical technologists in California make in a range of $35 per hour with an average salary of $72,860 according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Surgical Technology Program at Skyline College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

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 provided by The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) as well as continuing education opportunities. The student membership fee is $45.00. For more information call 1-800-637-7433 or visit

Surgical Technology Program Annual Report 2019  

Surgical Technology Program Annual Report 2020

Program Advisory Committee

In accordance with accreditation standards and beginning with the cohort entering in 2021, Skyline College is discontinuing the Certificate in Surg Tech and will only offer the Associate of Science degree in Surgical Technology. The AS degree requires an additional 30 units of General Education (GE) coursework on top of successfully completing the full 12-month Surg Tech program.

For this reason, all students interested in applying to the Surg Tech program are highly encouraged to complete their GE's before applying.

  • If you have questions about GE credits and how to plan your schedule, please schedule a session with Skyline College Counseling and request a Science, Technology, and Health meta major counselor.
  • If you have already received a degree from another college and need to have your transfer credits evaluated, please see SMCCD Transcript Evaluation to get started. 

The Skyline College Surg Tech program only admits students by special application. Surgical Technology applications are only accepted from January 15 to April 1.

Program Type Total Units
Surgical Technology AS 60 Units

Skyline College Allied Health Sciences has a new Simulation Laboratory located in Building 7, Room 7-211. The lab features state-of-the-art Gaumard adult, infant and premie tetherless simulators. The lab also includes full patient monitors, beds, standard clinical supplies and a video recording system.

Patient simulators can provide all vital signs, including heart & respiratory rates, pulses, lung sounds, pupil response and oxygen saturation. The manikins are able to realistically simulate virtually any medical problem or condition, including cardiac, respiratory, neurological, musculoskeletal and metabolic issues.

The patient simulators provide a total hands-on experience in which students are able to see the results of their actions in real time. Currently, the Simulation Lab is used for training students in the Surgical Technology, Respiratory Care, Anesthesia Technology, and Sterile Processing Technology programs.

If faculty at Skyline have any questions or would like to schedule some time in the lab, please contact Scoutt Kessler, Lab Coordinator & Technologist at (650) 738-7928.

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.
Office Information

Location: STEM Division Office, Building 7 Room 7-130

Summer 2024 Courses  |  Fall 2024 Courses

Type Status Title Days Time Instructor
Evening Class   IN
SURG 448 - 55110 - Clinical Lab Practicum for CST
(Pass/No Pass.)
Hours/semester: 96-108 lab. Prerequisite: SURG 445.
The second of three courses provides the student with hands-on experience in the processing of surgical instruments and medical supplies for disinfection and/or sterilization in a simulated lab and prepares them for the program's clinical phase. The student will practice decontamination, disinfection, inspection, packaging, and sterilization of selected items.

M T W 6:00pm-10:10pm Shea, B
Day Class   IN
SURG 880SC - 56324 - Intro to Surgical Technology
M T W Th 8:10am-11:15am Barnes, T
Day Class   IN
SURG 880SC - 56324 - Intro to Surgical Technology
M T W 11:30am-12:20pm Deal, F

Thank you for your interest in the Surgical Technology Program at Skyline College. Students are admitted into the program once a year only. The application is open every year from January 15th - April 1st.  Since students are admitted in cohorts and will start and finish the program together, we cannot accept applications during the rest of the year.

Students need to complete an online application to apply for the Surgical Technology Program. Up to twenty-five (25) applicants are accepted per year. To be considered for the program, students must meet Skyline College admission requirements, meet the program prerequisite requirements, submit the online application, and show evidence of good health.

Application Process

Admission into the Surgical Technology program is by special application only. The application is a 3-step process described below: Skyline College Application, Surg Tech Online Application, and 3 reference letters.

Program Eligibility Prerequisite Requirements

  • Completion of a High School Diploma or GED
  • The following college-level courses, completed with a “C” or better:
    • English: ENGL 100, 105 or equivalent
    • Math: successful course completion of Intermediate Algebra, an equivalent course, or higher level math.
    • Human Anatomy (with lab) – BIOL 250 or equivalent
    • Medical Terminology – HSCI 484 or MEDA 484 or equivalent
    • Microbiology – BIOL 240 or equivalent

All the above prerequisites must be completed by the application deadline. Be sure also to work with a Skyline College Academic Counselor to determine your General Education (GE) course requirements towards the A.S. Degree in Surgical Technology.

Strongly Recommended Before Application:

Skyline has discontinued the Surg Tech Certificate of Achievement and will only offer an AS Degree in Surgical Technology, starting with the 2021 - 2022 cohort. Because the Surg Tech certification test is only open to students who have received their degree, we encourage all prospective students to complete their GE credits so you can take the Certification Exam immediately after completing our program.

Application Steps

1. Apply to Skyline College


2. Complete the Surgical Technology Online Application

Are you a re-applicant? Follow Click the red box at the top of this page labeled "How to Re-Apply".

New Applicants must complete the application linked above. Please be prepared to answer all questions at once. The application will take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. When completing the application, please be sure to have:

  • Information ready to complete a record of prior educational history and prerequisite grades, such as copies of transcripts.
  • Information ready to complete a brief medical history on any chronic conditions or communicable illnesses.
  • A 500-word personal statement that answers the following prompt: In your own words, please write a description of your skills and abilities that would help you in your work as a Surgical Technologist. Describe situations where you demonstrated Accountability, Promptness, Responsibility, Assertiveness, Honesty, and Teamwork.
  • Digital copies (PDF or Word files) of all unofficial transcripts showing completed prerequisites. NOTE: Foreign transcripts will need evaluation by:


3. Submit Three (3) Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must submit three (3) letters of recommendation. Applicants are allowed to submit a general letter of recommendation or a Standard Form completed by their recommender. If submitting a general letter, please ask your recommender to address the qualities in the Standard Form. Please read the instructions on the Standard form before giving them to the recommenders.

The following are suggested categories for recommenders:

  • Dean, counselor, principal, teacher, or instructor
  • Employer or supervisor
  • Leaders of community organizations (volunteering, church, club, etc)

Recommendations from close friends or relatives will not be accepted

Ways to Submit Your Three (3) Letters of Recommendation:

  • The form may be emailed directly from the recommender to Shruti Ranade at This is the preffered method of submission.
  • The form may be wet-signed (actual signature) or contain an official digital signature by the recommender, and then scanned and uploaded during the online application process (step 2).
  • The form may be wet-signed (actual signature) or contain an official digital signature by the recommender, and then scanned and emailed to Shruti at
  • We do not recommend mailing your letter of recommendation. If you choose to mail them in, please keep a copy for yourself in case we do not receive it.

Please Note: Your application will not be considered COMPLETE until you receive email verification that all three steps are complete.

Questions? Contact Shruti, Program Services Coordinator, at

After Acceptance:

After acceptance, students must successfully complete a social security referenced background check and drug test to register for their courses. Once admitted into the program, students will be required to provide immunization records and complete a physical exam. They may be required to repeat the social security referenced background check and drug test as per hospital requirements. 

Return All Application Materials To:

Shruti Ranade
Skyline College
3300 College Drive
San Bruno, CA 94066

Clinical Affiliate Requirements

Clinical affiliates have several safety and health requirements to ensure patient safety. As such, these requirements are mandatory upon acceptance to the program. Students may need to complete these requirements multiple times throughout the program. Do not send any of these documents until requested to do so.

  1. Evidence of good health in the form of Physical Exam report signed by a practicing physician
  2. Verification of all immunizations pertinent to health care personnel--TB, Tetanus, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B, Chickenpox, Covid-19
  3. Cleared social security referenced background check
  4. Cleared drug testing

The physical demands of surgical technology can be challenging.
Learn more about the physical expectations of surgical technology  

For Further Information, Please Contact:

Shruti Ranade, Program Services Coordinator | | (650) 738-4310

Why should I become a Surgical Technologist?

Surgery is a complex activity where the surgeon relies on well‐trained personnel to ensure everything is ready for the patient. This is a satisfying, fun, interesting, and, at‐times stressful profession that offers job security and mobility.

Learn more about what our program and a career in surgical technology is like:

About the Profession

A typical day for A Surgical Technologist (ST) starts at 7 am. The ST and the nurse are assigned to a single operating room where a wide variety of surgical procedures may be scheduled. One day, for example, a patient may need their tonsils removed; another may arrive with a broken arm; later the Surgical Team may assist with the use of robots to remove a tumor from the lung.

In general, the ST assists the surgeon, registered nurse and anesthesia care provider with care of the surgical patient. The ST arranges the supplies and the instruments needed and hands these to the surgeon during the procedure. The ST may retract tissue, suction fluids, and assemble complex equipment. After the procedure, the ST and the nurse transfer the patient to the postoperative unit. Then, they clear away the used materials.

An ST can work in hospital operating rooms, free‐standing ambulatory surgery centers, clinics, and surgeons’ offices. With experience and further training, s/he can specialize in a particular service, become a Team Leader, or take the position of the Central Services Manager.

  • Knowledge of Surgical Anatomy and Physiology allows the ST to comprehend the surgical procedures.
  • The fundamentals of Conceptual Physics help him/ her understand the workings of complex surgical equipment and ways to protect him/ her and others from harm.
  • Infection Control practices such as Sterilization and Disinfection, and Aseptic Technique, are based on lessons in Microbiology.
  • In order to ensure the safety of the patient, the student also studies O.R. Pharmacology so as to assist the surgeon with medication administration.

About the Program at Skyline College

One year beginning in the summer semester. Summer semester is from mid‐June to mid‐August. Fall semester is from the third week in August to third week in December. Spring semester is from the second week of January to end of May.

Classes meet on a regular schedule. Summer: Monday through Thursday from 8 am to noon. Fall: Monday through Thursday, 8am to 2:30pm. Spring: Wednesdays from 8 am to 2 pm. The rest of the week is spent in the hospital; those hours vary, but are usually 7 am to 3:30 pm.

In addition to classes, students can expect to study 2 to 3 hours every day.

Summer and spring classes consist of lectures and demonstrations. In fall, classes are followed by lab sessions. Labs teach such skills as:

  • Scrubbing hands and arms, putting on sterile gown and gloves
  • Passing instruments and equipment
  • Handling supplies and medications…And much more.
  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Human Anatomy equivalent to BIOL 250
  • Medical Terminology equivalent to HSCI 484
  • Microbiology equivalent to BIOL 240

These forms will given to accepted and waitlisted students at orientation.

Applicants who have achieved all prerequisites are placed in the lottery pool. Applicants who are still working on the prerequisites by the deadline may be placed in the pool if there are spaces available. Only complete applications will be considered.

We take no more students than we have hospital sites for training, usually 25. Then, we add a Waiting List of 15 randomly‐selected students.

Applications are accepted from January 15 to April 1 of every year. Acceptance letters are mailed at the end of April.

Fees are subject to change. Students can expect to pay approximately $3700 in tuition, fees, books and supplies.

Starting pay varies from $36 to $40 per hour. Some Surgical Techs in the Bay Area can make up to $82,000 per year.

Per the Surgical Technology Program 2018 Annual Report, there was a 90% pass rate for Skyline College students on the national certification exam. This is the Outcomes Assessment Exam (OAE) pass rate approved by the accrediting body of ARC/STSA.

Primary Contacts

Program Director

Franciosa Deal
Franciosa Deal (Assistant Professor)
Science|Math|Technology-Surgical Careers (ANST|SURG) More details »

Administrative Contact

Shruti Ranade
Shruti Ranade (Program Service Coordinator)
Science|Math|Technology-STEM Division More details »


Jessica Hurless
Jessica Hurless (Dean)
Science|Math|Technology-Division Office More details »