Apr 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog Archived Catalog

Surgical Technology, AAS

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Surgical technologists are allied health professionals who are an integral part of the team of medical practitioners providing surgical care to patients in a variety of settings. 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 or environment is safe, that equipment functions properly, and that the operative procedure is conducted under conditions that maximize patient safety. A surgical technologist possesses expertise in the theory and application of sterile and aseptic technique and combines the knowledge of human anatomy, surgical procedures, and implementation tools and technologies to facilitate a physician’s performance of invasive therapeutic and diagnostic procedures.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will have the attitude, knowledge, and skills necessary to enter the profession of surgical technology. The specific goals are as follows:

  • Consistently demonstrate the necessary training to assume responsibilities in the operating room, including aseptic technique, instrument setup, assisting the surgeon, anticipating the surgeon’s needs, and assisting with post-operative care.
  • Correlate the knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, and microbiology with the role of a surgical technologist.
  • Implement safe practice techniques in regards to perioperative routines, patient transportation, positioning, and emergency procedures.
  • Integrate principles of surgical asepsis as part of the perioperative experience.
  • Apply knowledge, skills, and demonstrate ability to perform as a surgical technologist in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains.
  • Provide to the community professional, competent, and knowledgeable individuals who can provide surgeons and the surgical team quality assistance as surgical technologists utilizing ethical standards and integrity.
  • Display professionalism, be prepared to be a lifelong learner, and value the professional attributes of the surgical technologist.
  • Possess the necessary didactic and clinical skills needed to pass the certification exam and enter into the job arena as a competent, entry-level surgical technologist.

Required Courses

Pre-surgical Technology Courses

The prerequisite courses are to be completed before applying to the program but do not have to be taken in one semester.

Pre-surgical Technology Total: 27

Surgical Technology Curriculum

First Semester Total: 14

Second Semester Total: 12

Third Semester Total: 13

Total Credits: 66

R Indicates Related Instruction requirement.

*Indicates prerequisite and/or corequisite needed. Check course description.

Admission Guidelines

  • Students must apply for select admission to the Surgical Technology program. Applications may be accessed on the FVCC website, picked up in the Admissions Office in the Learning Resource Center, or in the Surgical Technology Program Director’s office, BC 123-A. Applications must be returned no later than the first Friday in October.
  • Students are required to take AHMS 107 -80 Career Essentials for Health Sciences. This online course is 0-credit and should be taken during the fall semester prior to starting the program. 
  • Once applicants have met all the program criteria, selected students will be interviewed by Surgical Technology faculty. Students will be informed of their admission status by the second Friday in November.
  • Admission to the program is based upon the following:
  1. program application;

  2. a background check, drug screen and proof of medical health insurance at the student’s expense;

  3. documentation of immunization;

  4. essay;

  5. two professional references;

  6. transcripts documenting that a minimum grade of “C” (2.0) was earned in each prerequisite class;

  7. completion of Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II and Lab within the last five years of admission date; and

  8. interview.


Program Information

  • Upon completion of the prerequisite courses, specific surgical technology (AHST) courses total three semesters. Surgical technology specific courses include both classroom (didactic) and hands-on training (clinical) intended to prepare students to assist in surgical operations.
  • Application deadline for the spring Surgical Technology Program is the first Friday in October. Late and incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Many students need preliminary math, biology, and English courses before being accepted into the required courses. These courses may increase the total number of program credits. Students should review their math, biology, and English placement scores before planning their full program schedules.
  • This program has been designed in accordance with the 6th Ed. Core Curriculum for Surgical Technology and functions within the current standards and guidelines set forth by the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC-STSA), sponsored by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
  • Only students who have attended CAAHEP and ABHES accredited program are eligible to take the national certification exam administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Passing the national examination qualifies the individual as a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST®). The Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) recommends that all surgical technologists obtain this certification.
  • Students in the Surgical Technology program must earn a grade of “C” (2.0) or better in ALL classes in the program.
  • Students enrolled in any of the AHST courses are required to maintain an 80% grade average in each AHST course in order to progress through the program.
  • This is a demanding program. Graduates will have maintained high academic and professional standards.
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II completed five or more years ago will require program director’s permission.
  • Additional Costs: Once accepted into the Surgical Technology program, students may incur costs associated with travel to various locations required for clinical rotations, one of which may be outside of the Flathead Valley. In addition, students will be assessed lab fees per semester which covers durable lab items, certification exam, prep exam, AST membership dues, and miscellaneous clinical/lab program fees.

Opportunities after Graduation

  • Most surgical technologists work full time. Surgical technologists employed in hospitals may work or be on call during nights, weekends, and holidays. They may also be required to work shifts lasting longer than 8 hours.

  • The largest employers of surgical technologists are as follows:        
Hospitals: state, local, and private 72%
Outpatient care centers 11%
Offices of physicians  10%
Offices of dentists 3%

Advising Information:

For more information about this program, contact an advisor.

 Faculty Advisor  Academic Advisor
Robyn Hoggatt Russ Lamson
BC 123-A LRC 147C
(406) 756-4414 (406) 756-3885
rhoggatt@fvcc.edu rlamson@fvcc.edu


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