Surgical Technology Additional Information

Surgical Technology Careers

Career Opportunities
Surgical Technology is a growing field with excellent career opportunities. Hospitals are the primary employers of surgical technologists.  Other areas that employ surgical technologists are clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, private physician’s offices, central supply, cardiac catheterization laboratories, and other areas where invasive procedures are done.

Surgical Technologist Qualities

Qualities and Requirements of a Surgical Technologist

Surgical technology is a rewarding and challenging career. Surgical technologists are mainly employed in operating rooms where they assume many different roles and responsibilities.  They work closely with the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and registered nurse in providing patient care during surgical procedures.

Surgical technologists may assume the role of the scrub person, circulator, or first assistant.  The responsibilities of the surgical technologist include preparing the operating room, instruments, equipment, and supplies for a surgical procedure.  Surgical technologists pass instruments and other sterile supplies to surgeons and assistants during surgery.  After surgery, they may transport patients to the recovery room, clean, and restock the operating room.  Surgical technologists are experts in sterile techniques and help maintain a safe and therapeutic environment for the patient.

Qualities of a Surgical Technologist

  • Ability to work well under stressful and emergency situations
  • Able to act quickly and accurately
  • Work well with other people
  • Exhibit manual dexterity
  • Physical stamina
  • Good communication skills
  • Empathy

Work Environment

Surgical Technologists work in a well-lighted, clean, and cool environment. They work in close proximity to other team members. Technologists must remain alert and stand for long periods of time.

They may be exposed to communicable diseases, unpleasant sights, and odors. The student should be aware that they will be participating in real surgical interventions during their clinical rotations and there is an inherent risk of being exposed to airborne or blood-borne pathogens. Not all patients are aware of an illness or disease that they may have, nor are they required to disclose that information according to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of Privacy (HIPAA). While we prepare the student for an entry-level position as a Certified Surgical Technologist, the risk of contracting a disease or illness is understood to be a hazard of the profession, but the safety of the student in the learning environment is a priority for the faculty and instructors.

Most surgical technologists work full time (40 hours per week), but part-time employment is available at some institutions. Most workplaces require 24-hour coverage which may require being scheduled or on-call for nights, weekends, and holidays.

Physical Requirements for Surgical Technology

  • Able to stand, bend, stoop, and/or sit for long periods of time in one location with minimum/no breaks.
  • Able to lift a minimum of 20 pounds.
  • Able to refrain from nourishment or restroom breaks for periods up to 6 hours.
  • Demonstrate sufficient visual ability enough to load a fine (10-0) suture onto needles and needle holders with/without corrective lenses and while wearing safety glasses.
  • Demonstrate sufficient peripheral vision to anticipate and function while in the sterile surgical environment.
  • Hear and understand muffled communication without visualization of the communicator’s mouth/lips and within 20 feet.
  • Hear activation/warning signals on equipment.
  • Able to detect odors sufficient to maintain environmental safety and patient needs.
  • Manipulate instruments, supplies and equipment with speed, dexterity, and good eye-hand coordination using assistive devices.
  • Able to assist with and/or lift, move, position, and manipulate the patient who is unconscious with or without assistive devices.
  • Communicate and understand fluent English both verbally and in writing.
  • To be free of reportable communicable diseases and chemical abuse.
  • Function without allergic reaction in an environment with substantial latex exposure.
  • Able to demonstrate immunity (natural or artificial) to Varicella, Rubella, Rubeola, Tuberculosis and Hepatitis B, or be vaccinated against these diseases, or willing to sign a waiver or release of liability regarding these diseases.
  • Possess short- and long-term memory sufficient to perform tasks such as, but not limited to, mentally tracking surgical supplies and performing anticipation skills interoperability.
  • Able to make appropriate judgment decisions.
  • Demonstrate the use of positive coping skills under stress.
  • Demonstrate calm and effective responses, especially in emergency situations.
  • Exhibit positive interpersonal skills during patient, staff, and faculty interactions.

Surgical Technology Program Costs

RCTC Tuition and Fees
Current Tuition and Fee schedule.  Students must complete 60 credits to graduate from the RCTC Surgical Technology Program.

Books – General Studies Courses $1,100.00
Liability Insurance for Students in Health Programs  $9.80
Books – Surgical Technology Courses $575.00
Background Studies – $30 State, $70 National $90.00
Liability Insurance for Students in Health Programs $9.80
Uniform & Shoes – Approximate Cost $150.00
AST Student Membership, AST Study Guide and NBSTSA Exam $250.00
Physical Exam, Vaccinations, Mantoux Varies by Provider
MCSHS tuition sharing fee (tuition differential) $250.00

*Students are expected to provide their own transportation to class and to the assigned clinical sites.