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Surgical Technology

If you want to help doctors and nurses save lives in the operating room, a career as a surgical technologist could be a great fit for you.

In this accredited program, you’ll learn to prepare operating equipment with the latest aseptic techniques, assist during surgeries, and safely care for surgical patients alongside surgeons and nurses. Practicing your skills in real operating rooms, you’ll learn firsthand how to relate to patients and work with other medical professionals in fast-paced, surgical situations. When you complete the program, you will qualify to take the National Certifying Examination for Surgical Technologists to become a certified surgical technologist (CST).

Whether you want to work in the medical field, or you simply enjoy helping people, a degree in surgical technology can help you achieve your goals with a rewarding future in the operating room.

How to get started

Our career guide, Course map, with basic information and pre-requisites, can be found under the Program Maps tab on this web site.  

First steps are to apply to the college and get a student ID number.  Then, after the pre-requisites have been completed, (as listed in the Program Maps tab) a Student Information Update form is filled out and turned into the registrar as your “program application.”

We do not have an application deadline.  The registrar accepts application for the Surg Tech program throughout the year, typically as students finish their pre-reqs they apply.  Once the pre-reqs are completed and you have submitted a Student Information Update form (this is the application to our wait list and can be found at the link above), you are placed on our waiting list.  You are then expected to complete a self-pay background check through True-Hire.com/SCCPreSurgicalTechnology. Cleared background checks allow you to remain on the list until your name is pulled.  

We take 14-18 students from the list each year in the Fall (dependent on the number of clinical sites available in the city).  Students tell me that they are waiting around a year to get pulled from the list.  While waiting on the list I do suggest that you take as many of the Liberal arts classes and non SURG classes (like the A&P courses) as you can to help shorten your quarter workload in the program.  

As far as class schedules during the program, we run September through June, with the summer between the two years off, and our classes are offered during a hospital “day shift” or during the 6:45am to 3:30pm time frame.  Each quarter has different and varying start and end times during our day shift. We are NOT an on-line program.  Surgical Technology classes are all in person or in clinical and not offered on-line.

We do have a great program!  You can find more information about the program and some of the more frequently asked questions in the: Frequently asked questions tab.

Tuition and fees are state mandated.  You can check here (What to Expect to pay tab) to calculate the estimated cost of pre-reqs and the 6-quarter program.

If you have any program related questions please contact us again…..if you have transfer or transcript questions, please contact one of our great counselors.

We look forward to seeing you soon!!

Additional Application Requirements

After your application has been submitted, you must complete a background check through this site: True-Hire.com/SCCPreSurgicalTechnology. Completion of this secures your position as a prepared student on the wait list.

Program start: Fall (interest list/wait list)
Pre-requisites: Yes
Program length: 6 quarters
Number of students each start: 18
Contact: Becky Scheid 509-533-8126
Applications deadline: N/A
Please note: Student must complete a background check among other pre-requisites. Visit True-Hire.com/SCCPreSurgicalTechnology to complete the background check.

  1. Apply knowledge and skills of biological sciences in preparing and implementing operating room procedures.
  2. Identify and apply the concepts of medical ethics in relationship to the patient, physician and health facility.
  3. Recognize and apply the knowledge of legal implications of their actions as it relates to themselves, the physician and the medical facility.
  4. Identify and utilize surgical instruments, equipment, sutures, dressings and medications in the operating room according to minimal established competencies.
  5. Comprehend surgical terminology utilized within the operating room environment.
  6. Apply the concepts of social sciences in relating to patients, and other members of the health team.
  7. Identify professional inter-relatedness & inter-dependency of all segments of the health care delivery system.

The Surgical Technology program prepares students to function in cooperation with the surgeon and nurses in the operating room performing duties that are vital for the safety and care of surgical patients. Students must have knowledge and skills in surgical aseptic techniques for preparation and use of materials during a surgical procedure. Students also must be able to relate to patients and other people in the field. Using reasonable judgment when working in emergency surgical situations is required.

At the completion of the program, students will be able to accept the responsibility expected of the surgical technologist as a beginning staff employee in the operating room. Prior to graduation, students will sit for the National Certifying Examination for Surgical Technologists for qualification as a certified surgical technologist (CST).

The Surgical Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (www.nbstsa.org).  The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) 6 West Dry Creek Circle, Ste. 100 Littleton, CO  80120 Toll Free:  1-800-707-0057 FAX:  303-325-2536.  Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) 9355 113th St. N. #7709; Seminole, FL 33775; (707) 210-2350 www.caahep.org

Admission Requirements:

  • High school diploma or GED certificate
  • Appropriate math score
  • Self-place into English
  • Computer skills required
  • Active e-mail account required
  • Prerequisites:  BIOL 160, MATH 71 or MATH 87, CIS 110
Pre-program waitlist requirement:
Prior to acceptance on the Surgical Technology program waitlist, students must complete a satisfactory criminal background check (completed annually). This process is completely online and can be done through True-Hire at https://true-hire.com/SCCPreSurgicalTechnology. Enter your information as directed in the link. Please carefully enter all information, especially your driver's license number and social security number. On the last page, you will be asked for the credit card payment information. The background check will cost $39, provided that all information given is correct. If an incorrect driver's license number or social security number is provided we will reach out to you for the correct number and this will be an additional charge of $25 to run the correct information. 
 
  • Each required course for graduation must be completed with a grade of 2.0 or better before proceeding to the next quarter.
  • A student may repeat a surgical technology class only once, and it must be repeated within two years.
  • The Surgical Technology program must be completed within a three-year period.
  • The Surgical Technology program is a fall start program.  Students are accepted from a waitlist.
  • Students can enter into the third or fourth quarter only if they qualify for advanced standing and space is available. Students requesting placement into the program in the second year must pass a comprehensive test for each class or take SURG 202, 203, and 206 even if they had previously passed the courses.

Breaking Ground on Your Pathway


Prepare for College-level Math

Math placement is required for this program. If your math placement is below MATH 87, you’ll need to take the following sequence of courses, starting from the level you placed into:
AE 48 → MATH 87

Prepare for College-level English

English placement is required for this program. If your English placement is below ENGL& 101, you’ll need to take following sequence of courses, starting from the level you placed into:
AE 36 → AE 46 and 47 (taken together) → AE 67 → ENGL 99 → ENGL& 101

Plan Your Courses

Meet with our counselors to customize this plan just for you. You can also search the quarterly schedule for class days and times.

Program Map for

Print/Download

Choose program map:

Total Prerequisites Credits: 15

Total Program Credits: 92

Prerequisites

First Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
BIOL&160
General Biology with Lab  
5
CIS 110
Introduction to Computer Applications  
5
MATH 87
Algebra for Math Literacy I   1
5
Total Credits
 
15

NOTE: You must apply and be accepted into the program before taking the following courses


Program Courses

First Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
BIOL&241
Human A & P 1  
5
CMST&210
Interpersonal Communication   2
5
HED 125
Medical Terminology  
5
SURG 100
Introduction to Surgical Technology  
2
SURG 105
Blood-borne Pathogens and HIV/AIDS  
1
Total Credits
 
18

Second Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
BIOL&242
Human A & P 2  
5
ENGL&101
English Composition I  
5
SURG 107
Surgical Environment  
3
SURG 120
Disease Transmission and Control  
3
Total Credits
 
16

Third Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
HED 109
Human Physiology and Disease  
5
PHARM115
Mathematics for Pharmacy Technicians  
5
SURG 101
Surgical Procedures  
5
SURG 104
Central Service Clinical  
1
SURG 111
Technical Skills I  
4
Total Credits
 
20

Fourth Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
SURG 202
Surgical Procedures  
6
SURG 212
Technical Skills II  
4
SURG 254
Operating Room Practicum  
2
Total Credits
 
12

Fifth Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
SURG 203
Surgical Procedures  
4
SURG 206
Perioperative Care of the Patient  
4
SURG 255
Operating Room Practicum  
5
Total Credits
 
13

Sixth Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
SURG 250
Surgical Seminar  
3
SURG 256
Operating Room Practicum  
10
Total Credits
 
13

1 MATH 87 may be substituted with MATH 71.
2 CMST& 210 is a required course. No course exceptions will be made for this course.

Estimated costs for completing this program

 
WA Resident
Non-Resident
International
Tuition
$ 10,820
$ 13,465
$ 24,764
Books
$ 150
$ 150
$ 150
Course Fees
$ 1,346
$ 1,346
$ 1,346
Institutional Fees
$ 3,747
$ 3,747
$ 3,747
Total Costs
$ 16,063
$ 18,708
$ 30,007

Costs for completing a degree or certificate can vary. For more information about costs, visit our How Much Does it Cost? page.

  • Becky Scheid
    Becky Scheid
    Surgical Technology
    A.A., Spokane Community College; B.A.& M.Ed., Eastern Washington University; CST/RST
    Becky.Scheid@scc.spokane.edu
    509-533-8126

This program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), upon the recommendation of the National Board for Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). We are also aligned with the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST).

Accreditation is mandatory for all reputable colleges, however, specialty accreditation for programs is a voluntary process that aligns a program with higher professional entities for guidance and support. It also holds us to higher educational standards (nationally accepted education), which allows graduates to sit for National Exams and become nationally certified as a certified surgical technologist (CST).

Accreditation Report Cards

Graduation and Attrition

Students who make it through all of the courses perform very well on the national exam. Our pass rates are higher than the national average of 70%. You can see that if the student can make it through all of the courses, the performance on the National exam is very good. (Higher pass rates than the National average of 70%).
 

Graduation Year Students Initially Enrolled Students Graduated Graduation Rate # of Students Attempting the National Exam # of Students Passing the National Exam Pass Percentage
6/2022 15 10 67% 10 10 100%
6/2021 16 10 63% 10 10 100%
12/2020 9 8 89% 8 8 100%
6/2020 15 10 67% 10 10 100%
2019 16 12 75% 12 12

100%

2018 16 13 81% 13 13 100%
2017 18 14 78% 14 14 100%
2016 18 12 67% 12 12 100%

Placement and Employment

Students who graduate for the accredited SCC Surgical Technology program are highly sought after and able to re-locate and work anywhere in the U.S. The placement rate for graduates for the past years are as follows:
 

2/2022 90% employment. One student had to sit out due to medical issues and is undecided as to whether to return to Surg Tech or continue education towards a less physical field.
6/2021 100% employment before national exam!  One to the Mayo clinic and one to University of Kentucky!
12/2020 100% employment within a week of National Exam!
6/2020 100% employment, prior to graduation, despite COVID restrictions!!!
2019 100% employment within 3 months of graduation!
2018  11 out of 13 employed (85%)
2017 100% employment wthin days after graduation
2016 92% employment, 6 months post-graduation  
(11 of 12 employed in Surgical Technology, one returned to education)

Clinical Sites/Field Experiences

Clinical experiences begin in the third quarter and continue through the sixth quarter. Clinicals are a chance to practice you learning in the real world. You are placed with a preceptor at a clinical site who will help and guide you in your practice. Starting fourth quarter, if you pass all required tests and clinical clearances, you will be in an operating room during surgeries, acting as the surgical technologist.

There are also at least two state seminars that you could attend, which would require travel to another city in Washington state. You will also be encouraged to take part in the SCC- CPR club and to become basic life support (BLS) instructors.

Admission Wait List

There is a high demand for this program. Each fall quarter, we accept 18 students into the program from a wait list. Depending on student pre-req completion, wait list application numbers and completion of student background checks in a timely manner, the wait could be between a few months and a year (or two). We only accept enough students to fill the promised clinical sites. Everyone who enters the program is guaranteed a clinical site for the entire length of the program when they enter the program.

Prerequisites/Background Check

We have four prerequisites that MUST be completed prior to application to the program: General Biology (BIOL 160), Computer Fundamentals (CIS 110) and Math 92 and a background check. This must be submitted, and paid for by the student, prior to application acceptance.

Lab Fees

Lab fees in the surgical technology program are higher than other programs. Our real-world teaching approach requires that we purchase lab items from the same suppliers that hospitals use. The lab fees help pay for disposable surgical practice items, surgical scrubs/program uniform, pays for the student Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) memberships for National exam testing and the national exam test fee.

For additional information regarding the surgical technology program, contact Becky Scheid at Becky.Scheid@scc.spokane.edu.

What is an "accredited program," and why should I care?

Accreditation is mandatory for all reputable colleges, however, specialty accreditation for programs is a voluntary process that aligns a program with higher professional entities for guidance and support. It also holds us to a higher educational standards (nationally accepted education) which then allows grads to sit for National Exams and become Nationally Certified as a CST (Certified Surgical Technologist). The SCC program is accredited through CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, www.caahep.com), upon the recommendation of the NBSTSA (National Board for Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting). We are also aligned with the AST (Association of Surgical Technologists). Both instructors graduated from this accredited program and have held their national certifications since their graduation from the program.

Is there a wait list for this program? Why is it so long?

Yes, there is a wait list. We accept 18 students into the program, from the list, each fall quarter. The list (the wait) is typically about two years in length. The reason our list is so long is that we only accept enough students to fill the promised clinical sites. This way, everyone who enters the program is guaranteed a clinical site, for the entire length of the program, when they enter the program.

Are there prerequisites to getting onto the Surgical Technology wait list?

Yes. We have four prerequisites that MUST be completed prior to application to the list. The classes are: Biology 160, CIS 110 and Math 92. The fourth prerequisite is a background check. This must be submitted and paid for by the student prior to application acceptance.

Why a background check?

Our patients are our customers. We deal with them when they are at their most vulnerable, so the facilities have a strict policy of security, beginning with no blemishes on your background check. If a blemish appears on your background check, the clinical sites must be contacted to get clearance. If the clinical facilities we use refuses allow a clinical spot, then you cannot enter the program. Background checks are also done annually once in the program. So, stay out of trouble and keep your records clean.

What are the clinicals like?

Clinicals begin in the third quarter and continue through the sixth quarter. Clinicals are a chance for you to practice what you have learned in the lecture and lab components in the real world. You are placed with a Preceptor who will help and guide you in your practice. Starting fourth quarter, if you pass all of the required tests and clinical clearances, you will be in an operating room during surgeries, acting as the Surgical Technologist.

I have a Bachelor's Degree or a Master's Degree or I'm transferring from another school's Surgical Technology program. Can I just jump in since I have the background?

No, sorry. We have an open-door policy, meaning that anyone who wants into the program has to follow the same guidelines as everyone else (have the prereqs completed, apply to the list, and wait for a bit). Also, programs from different schools are sometimes very different. In order to allow you to go on with SCC's seal of approval, you need to take all of our classes.

Have a question? Let's hear it.

Becky Scheid

Program Director
Becky.Scheid@scc.spokane.edu
509-533-8126