Surgical Technology

ARE YOU READY FOR A JOB IN
SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY?
Associate in Applied Science (AAS)
Certificate of Proficiency (CP)

Leader in the field: Established in 1978, the first and longest-running Surgical Tech program in the region.

Fully accredited program prepares you for an entry-level position.

Hands-on clinical practice: You will scrub in on surgical procedures during your clinical education.

Choose a Successful Healthcare Career: Surgical technologists assist in surgical operations. A surgical technologist handles the instruments, supplies and equipment necessary during the surgical procedure. They have an understanding of the procedure being performed, anticipate the needs of the surgeon and have the necessary knowledge and ability to ensure quality patient care during the operative procedure, while monitoring the sterile field. While most surgical technologists work in hospitals, some may be employed at free-standing surgery centers or outpatient surgery centers. Students interested in this program should be able to work well with others in a team environment. Students should have good manual dexterity, be able to stand for long periods of time and be able to function effectively under intense, stressful conditions. Make your career count with a Certificate of Proficiency in Surgical Technology from St. Louis Community College.

About the Program: This 42-credit-hour program prepares students for entry-level positions as surgical technologists. Students will learn aseptic technique, instrumentation, surgical procedures and patient care through classroom and laboratory practice and at a clinical affiliate. Students will develop the skills needed to assist surgeons by passing instruments and sutures, holding retractors and cutting sutures. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to take the National Certifying Exam offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).

Salary Information: Individual salaries vary by geographic location, amount of education and experience, and the type and size of the employer. The median annual wage for surgical technologists was $39,920 in 2010.

Fees: Please visit stlcc.edu/fees for the most current information. Additional fees, such as books, uniforms, medical exam, background checks, etc., apply. Fees are subject to change.

Accreditation: The Surgical Technology Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, 25400 US Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763 (www.caahep.org), upon recommendation of the ARC-STSA Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (arcstsa.org).


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Upon graduation, students receive either a Certificate of Proficiency (diploma) in Surgical Technology, or an Associates in Applied Science Degree in Surgical Technology. In both programs, students will complete the national board examination administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).

Accreditation: Fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) since 1978.

Lecture, Lab and Practice: Learning occurs in the classroom, laboratory and clinical settings throughout the program.

Classroom instruction includes:

  • anatomy
  • physiology
  • medical terminology
  • microbiology
  • pharmacology
  • patient care in surgery
  • sterile technique
  • surgical technique
  • instrumentation
  • surgical procedures

Clinical experience:

  • Takes place at multiple hospitals in the area (See “Additional Information” for a list of hospitals with which we’ve partnered in recent years)
  • Under the supervision of the instructor and staff preceptors, students perform as members of the operating room team

Small class size: each year 25 students who meet the application requirements are accepted on a first come/first serve basis.

More than one million students have attended STLCC. It’s the largest institute of higher education in the region and the second largest in Missouri.

To find out if STLCC is right for you, we invite you to visit. You can meet with one of our faculty members, tour the campus, and get answers to any questions you might have. Click Here


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jobs
  • Hospital and Surgery Center Surgical Technologist
  • Ophthalmic Tech
  • Surgical Materials Manager
  • Surgical Equipment Representative
employers
  • Hospitals
  • Surgery Centers
  • Physician Offices
  • Dialysis Units
  • Tissue Procurement Centers
Organizations that have hired STLCC grads:
  • Mid America Transplant Services
  • Alton Memorial Hospital
  • Barnes Hospital
  • Barnes West Hospital
  • Belleville Memorial Hospital
  • SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center
  • Children’s Hospital
  • SSM DePaul Health Center
  • Des Peres Hospital
  • Missouri Baptist Hospital
  • Mercy Hospital
  • Mercy Hospital – Crystal City
  • St. Anthony Hospital
  • SSM St. Clare Health Center
  • St. Louis University Hospital (SLUH)
  • St. Luke Hospital
  • SSM St. Joseph Health Center – St. Charles
  • SSM St. Joseph Hospital West
  • SSM St. Mary’s Hospital

Opportunities in the Field: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment for surgical technologists is expected to increase by 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, approximately an average rate of growth for all occupations.

Job Resources:

  • For information on the job outlook visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics and search specific job titles. Also available: information on median pay, entry-level education, number of jobs and more.
  • To learn about the top openings in specific cities across Missouri visit the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.
  • STLCC Career and Employment Services (CES): On each campus CES offices provide services and resources to assist students and alumni in finding full-time, on-campus or off campus, internship or co-op, permanent, seasonal or temporary employment. CES also assists employers who are looking for qualified applicants. Click Here
Gainful Employment Data
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  • St. Louis Community College provides a comprehensive financial aid program funded by federal, state and private agencies. READ MORE
  • STLCC provides a Net Price Calculator to help students estimate costs. READ MORE
  • For information on STLCC Scholarships READ MORE.
  • FAFSA Apply online

For this program you’ll need to purchase health insurance and incur other necessary expenses, such as:

  • Proof of current CPR – Certification for Health Professionals
  • A completed heath history and proof of a physical examination
  • A negative TB skin test
  • A background check, and drug screen

The cost to fulfill these requirements is the student’s responsibility. Please meet with a member of the Surgical Technology faculty for an updated list of estimated costs.


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Diane Gerardot, Professor
Phone: 314-644-9340
E-mail: dgerardot@stlcc.edu
Stacey Boedeker, Assistant Professor
Phone: 314-644-9629
E-mail: sboedeker@stlcc.edu

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Surgical Technology (AAS) Course Curriculum

Surgical Technology (CP) 42 Credits

ENG 101 College Composition I 3
BIO 203 General Microbiology I 4
BIO 207 Anatomy and Physiology I 4
BIO 208 Anatomy and Physiology II 4
XXX xxx Missouri State Requirement 3
SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology 3
or PSY 200 General Psychology
XXX xxx Humanities or Communications Elective 3
Physical Education Activity
Select 2 credit hours 2
Program Requirements
ST 120 Principles of Surgical Technology 3
ST 122 Medical/Surgical Terminology 3
ST 124 Clinical Foundations 3
ST 124 Surgical Equipment and Technological Concepts 2
ST 128 Perioperative Case Management 3
ST 220 Procedures I 3
ST 230 Procedures II 3
ST 224 Clinical Practice I 6
ST 234 Clinical Practice II 6
ST 238 Professional Issues 2
ST 228 Clinical Seminar 1
ST 215 Surgical Pharmacology 2
Prerequisites:
The following courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or better prior to applying for admission into the program.
Elementary Algebra 1
or Two semesters of high school algebra
Introductory Biology I 1
or One year of high school biology and chemistry with labs
Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
Total Credit Hours 63

Admission Process

  • All applicants for the Surgical Technology program must first be admitted to St. Louis Community College.
  • Applications for this program are accepted on a continuing basis throughout the year. Visit an academic advisor on the Forest Park campus to apply to the program.
  • Due to the popularity of this program, the number of qualified applicants often exceeds the number of openings. Students are then put on a wait list on a first come/first serve basis.
  • Those applicants admitted to the program enter the program in the fall semester and must attend a mandatory orientation session.  The specific date, time and location of the orientation are included in the admissions letter.
  • Following the orientation session, students begin the background check, drug screen, physical and immunization process.

Prior to application, we recommend that you meet with an STLCC academic advisor. The advisor can help you plan your courses, clarify program requirements, and review your academic history as it relates to this program.  Click Here LINK: http://www.stlcc.edu/Admissions_and_Registration/Advising/

STLCC’s Surgical Technology program is a selective admissions program with academic prerequisites as well as requirements regarding clinical eligibility. Meet with an STLCC advisor or faculty member for more detail:

Requirements and Prerequisites (Must be satisfied prior to applying to the program)

• MTH:030 Elementary Algebra (3 credits) (or) MTH:040 Elementary Algebra and Basic Math (3 credits)

• BIO:203 General Microbiology (4 credits)

• BIO:207 Anatomy and Physiology I (4 credits)

• Math—Courses listed above are required or a score above the MTH:030 course level on the assessment test or one year of high school algebra.

• Prerequisites must be completed before enrolling in BIO:203 General Microbiology and BIO:207 Anatomy and Physiology. See catalog for more information.

• A grade of C or better in all math and science prerequisites

• Math and science prerequisites must be completed within five calendar years of admission to this program.

• Acceptable Reading Proficiency • GPA of 2.25 or better Please Note: a physical exam, drug testing and a criminal background check are required before the beginning of clinical education.

Clinical Eligibility: Prior to attending clinical education, the following will be required:

  • Submit proof of current BLS or CPR for Healthcare Professionals
  • Submit a completed heath history and physical examination
  • Submit a negative TB skin test
  • Undergo a background check, and drug screen through a college-approved background screening company prior to the beginning of the fall semester of admission.  Students not passing the criminal background check and/or drug screen may be prohibited from participating in clinical education.  This will prevent the student from being able to complete all program requirements
  • Meet technical standards related to observation, communication, motor skills, behavioral and social attributes

Further information on the above requirements will be given at the orientation session.

The cost to fulfill these requirements is the student’s responsibility.

Related Programs
Paramedic Technology AAS
Nursing AAS


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OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT EXAM

Below are the pass rates for St. Louis Community College graduates on the National Examination for the Certified Surgical Technologist offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.

Class of 2017 – 94% pass rate
Class of 2016 – 90% pass rate
Class of 2015 – 94% pass rate

GRADUATE PLACEMENT

Surgical Technologists are in demand in St. Louis and St. Louis Community College graduates are actively recruited by local employers.  The statistics below indicate the percentage of graduates who accepted positions as Certified Surgical Technologists or in a related field within one year of graduation.

Class of 2016 – 85% employed
Class of 2015 – 100% employed
Class of 2014 – 84% employed

STLCC’s Surgical Technology Advisory Board brings together top industry professionals. Members serve for two-year renewable terms, and STLCC’s faculty works hand-in-hand with this elite group to evaluate and update our curriculum, stay up-to-date on the latest innovations, and promote networking.

Surgical Technology Clinical Sites:

  • Alton Memorial Hospital
  • Barnes Hospital
  • Barnes West Hospital
  • Belleville Memorial Hospital
  • SSM Cardinal Glennon Hospital
  • Children’s  Hospital
  • DePaul Hospital
  • Des Peres Hospital
  • Missouri Baptist Hospital
  • Mercy Hospital
  • Mercy Hospital – Crystal City
  • St. Anthony Hospital
  • St. Clare Hospital
  • St. Louis University Hospital (SLUH)
  • St. Luke’s Hospital
  • St. Joseph Health Center – St. Charles
  • St. Joseph West Hospital
  • St. Mary’s Hospital

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a wait list for the program?

Qualified students are accepted on a first come/first serve basis. Contact program faculty for up-to-date information regarding the current wait list.

When does the program begin?

STLCC starts a new program every August.

Length of program?

One year (upon admission to the program), including the summer, for the Certificate in Proficiency program. Two years (upon admission to the program), including the first summer, for the Associate in Applied Science in Surgical Technology Degree.

How many students are accepted each year?

Twenty-five students for the Certificate in Proficiency program. Thirty students for the Associate in Applied Science in Surgical Technology Degree.

What should I do while waiting to start the program?

Take any general education classes that are required as part of the Surgical Technology program. See the Recommended Academic Plan (RAP sheet) under “Program Curriculum” for more information.

What do Surgical Technologist do?

Surgical Technologists have the primary responsibility for maintaining the sterile field, understanding the procedure being performed, anticipating the needs of the surgeon, maintaining quality patient care during the operative procedure, and being constantly vigilant that all members of the team adhere to aseptic technique. They handle the instruments, supplies, and equipment necessary during the surgical procedure.

How is the job outlook for Surgical Technologists?

The current job outlook for surgical technologists is very good and Forest Park graduates have been successfully employed at numerous hospitals in the metropolitan areas.

What is the starting salary for a Surgical Technologist?

On average, a Surgical Technologists will start with an annual salary of $37,000-$40,000 ($18.00-$19.00 hourly).

I’m already a CST, how do I get my Associate in Applied Science Degree in Surgical Technology?

If you are currently a CST and would like to return to STLCC for your Associate in Applied Science in Surgical Technology, please contact the program director to find out more information.

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Association of Surgical Technologists 

NBSTSA-logo
National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting

CAAHEP-logo

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

25400 US Highway 19 North
Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763
P:727-210-2350
F:727-210-2354
E: mail@caahep.org

arc-stsa-logo

Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology

6 W. Dry Creek Circle, Suite #110
Littleton, CO 80120
Phone: 303-694-9262
Fax: 303-741-3655
Email: info@arcstsa.org

 

Location

The Surgical Technology program is offered at our Forest Park campus. Students may take general education classes toward this degree at any of our four campuses, our five education centers, and online.

 

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