What is Surgical Technology?
Do you want to help save lives? Do you do your best work when the pressure is on? A career in Surgical Technology may be for you! Surgical technologists are integral members of medical teams who work closely with surgeons and other medical professionals in multiple settings, including offices, surgical centers, and hospitals. After completing prerequisite courses that include an in-depth study of anatomy, physiology, and microbiology, students admitted to the program learn through hands-on experiences in the classroom and on-site at clinical facilities. A minimum grade of "C" is required in all program courses.
What are my career choices?
The surgical technologist works under medical supervision to facilitate the safe and effective conduct of invasive surgical procedures. This individual works under the supervision of a surgeon to ensure that the operating room environment is safe, that equipment functions properly, and that the operative procedure is conducted under conditions that maximize patient safety.
What are my degree, diploma, or certificate options?
Associate in Applied Science Degree and Transfer
- Surgical Technology: 60-65 credit hours
Licensure Pass Rates and Employment Opportunities
- Outcomes Assessment Exam (OAE) first-time pass rate for the class of:
- 2018-2019 was 100%
- 2017-2018 was 100%
- 2016-2017 was 100%
- 2015-2016 was 100%
- 2014-2015 was 100%
- 2013-2014 was 100%
- The range of wages for the ST is as follows:
- Annual National Wage Range - $27,510 to $54,300
- Hourly National Wage Range - $13.23 to $ 22.56
|Surgical Technology: 60 - 65 TOTAL CREDIT HOURS|
|Surgical Technology Bridge Program: 18 Total credit hours|
|Surgical Technologist: 45 - 59 TOTAL CREDIT HOURS|
|Surgical First Assisting: 61 - 64 TOTAL CREDIT HOURS|
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, 25400 U. S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763, (727) 210-2350
- Due to the restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 crisis, all 2020-2021 Surgical Technology Pre-Admission Conferences will be held remotely. The deadline to apply is May 1. Accommodations will be made to those with technology challenges. For more information please contact the Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Apply for admissions to Owensboro Community and Technical College (OCTC) if not currently enrolled in a KCTCS college.
- Submit all requested documents as outlined in the Pre-Admission Conference/Open House by May 1st.
- Consult OCTC for general admission requirements.
- Consult KCTCS Senate Rules for system guidelines.
- Candidates must complete all courses for the Surgical Technology Program with a minimum grade of a "C". This includes all prerequisite courses.
- Additional requirements: ST Program Admission Guidelines.
Note: CPR for Healthcare Provider with AED training course must be obtained prior to enrolling in the first Surgical Technology practicum course and certification must be kept current throughout the Program.
The Surgical Technology program is a selective admissions program that is professionally accredited. The program prepares you to be part of a team of medical practitioners providing surgical care to patients in a variety of settings. The program provides clinical experience that builds on classroom instruction in science, patient care, aseptic techniques, and surgical procedures. Students who complete the program are eligible to take the certifying exam offered by the National Board Certification for Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. Use the contact info on this page to learn more.
Length of Program
You can earn an associate in applied science degree in two years if you maintain full-time status.
This information should not be considered a substitute for the KCTCS Catalog. You should always choose classes in cooperation with your faculty advisor to ensure that you meet all degree requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
About the Surgical Technology Profession
Before a surgical procedure, the surgical technologist (ST) is responsible for ensuring all needed equipment and supplies for the specific procedure are available and ready for use by the surgeon. This includes testing and preparing equipment for use, ensuring the availability of all sterile supplies, and preparing the sterile environment so a surgical procedure can take place.
During a surgical procedure, and as a sterile surgical team member, one of the surgical technologist’s main responsibilities is to pass sterile instruments and supplies to the surgeon. This requires complete knowledge of the surgical procedure being performed and anticipation of the needs of the surgical team. The ST also assumes accountability, along with registered nurse, for all sponges, needles, and instruments used before, during, and after the procedure.
In addition, the ST may hold retractors, cut sutures, care for specimens, and assist in applying the sterile dressing. Surgical technologists must have good manual dexterity, be conscientious in a sterile environment, be emotionally stable, and have the ability to communicate effectively on many levels, including one-on-one and team interactions.
Because every little detail matters in the OR, not only do surgical technologists need to understand the surgical procedure being performed, they also need to anticipate both the patient’s and surgeon’s needs to ensure that each maneuver is performed as smoothly as possible. Knowledge of Surgical Anatomy and Physiology allows the ST to comprehend the surgical procedures. 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 surgical Pharmacology so as to assist the surgeon with medication administration.
An ST can work in hospital operating rooms, ambulatory surgery centers, sterile processing departments, tissue banks, and private work with physician groups.
A typical day for an 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.
*Shift start times vary
Surgery is a dynamic task in which the surgeon relies on well‐trained personnel to ensure everything is ready for the patient. Surgical technologists are an integral part of the operating room team and a have a tremendous impact on patient care and surgical procedures. Additionally, this is a satisfying, fun, interesting, and, at‐times stressful profession that offers job security and mobility.
About the Program at OCTC
Ten-months beginning in the fall semester. Fall semester is from mid‐August to mid-December. Spring semester is from mid-January to the second week of May. Summer semester is from mid-May through the first week of June.
All semesters of the program meet Monday through Friday. Hours vary, but are usually 7 am to 3:30 pm.
Fall and spring courses consist of lectures, labs, and clinical rotations. The summer course consists strictly of clinical rotations.
Students are taught skills in the lab to prepare for clinical rotations, examples include:
- Scrubbing hands and arms, putting on sterile gown and gloves
- Passing instruments and equipment
- Handling supplies and medications…And much more.
During all clinical rotations, students perform actual surgical procedures alongside the surgeon.
The OCTC ST program complies with the “Surgical Rotation Requirements” established by the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) Core Curriculum, sixth edition.
Students can expect to study 2 to 3 hours every day outside of class time.
The OCTC Surgical Technology program offers an associate degree in Applied Science (AAS-ST). The pre-requisites include:
- Human Anatomy I & II with a lab
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Medical Terminology
- Digital Literacy
- Social/Behavioral Science
* A more specific listing may be found on the program card.
In the selective-admission pool, applicants who have met all the prerequisites and earned a minimum grade of a “C” and maintained a minimum 2.0 GPA will be considered. Only complete applications will be accepted.
We take no more students than we have hospital sites for training, usually 16. The remaining applicants will be added to an alternate list.
Fees are subject to change. Students can expect to pay approximately $7000 in tuition, fees, books and supplies, and certification exam fees.
Applications are accepted from February 21 to May 1 of every year. Acceptance letters are emailed at the beginning of June.
Based on research conducted for the Green River Region by the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYStats) in 2017, the median annual surgical technologist’s salary was $40,948.