Feb 23, 2024  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
2019-2020 Academic Catalog Archived Catalog

Surgical Technology, AAS

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The Flathead Valley Community College Surgical Technology Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree is a 70-credit program designed to develop skills in all phases of operating room procedures and techniques, including clinical experience in the operating room. Graduates of the program are ready to begin their career in the field as entry-level Surgical Technologists.

In addition to operating room techniques, surgical procedures, surgical instruments and equipment; students study surgical microbiology, surgical pharmacology, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, asepsis (sterile technique), preparation of the patient for surgery and the physical conditions that make it necessary for a person to have surgery.

The associate’s degree program in Surgical Technology is designed to provide students with the knowledge and technical skills required to obtain entry-level employment in the field of Surgical Technology. To achieve this goal, the curriculum prepares students in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains, while studying areas in general and specialty surgical procedures, principles of anesthesia, anatomy and physiology, medical terminology and surgical technology techniques. Additional coursework in general education assists the graduates in growing professionally and in developing the ability to assume leadership roles.

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 to their role as 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 a Surgical Technologist 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.

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

Required Courses

Pre-surgical Technology Total: 27

Surgical Technology Curriculum

First Semester Total: 14

Second Semester Total: 16

Third Semester Total: 13

Total Credits: 70

*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 printed off of the FVCC Surgical Technology Program website or picked up in the Admissions Office or in the Surgical Technology Program Director’s office, BC 123-A; must be returned no later than the first Friday in October. 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 into the Surgical Technology program by the second Friday in November.
  • Admission to the program is based upon the following:
  1. High school diploma or GED/HiSET;
  2. Successful completion of the prerequisite courses (a minimum grade of “C” (2.0) must be earned in each class with an overall GPA of at least a 2.75);
  3. Surgical observation (Contact Program Director to discuss how this is accomplished);
  4. An interview;
  5. Essay;
  6. Documentation of Immunization (before the fall semester, after admittance);
  7. Evidence of CPR certification (before the fall semester, after admittance); and
  8. Two professional references.

The above requirements associated with costs will be at the personal expense of the student, in addition to tuition and books.

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, English and biology 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 at FVCC, 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

  • Surgical Technologists are in demand. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics projects faster-than-average employment growth (employment increase of 15% or more) over the period 2014-2024.

  • Hospitals will continue to be the primary employer of Surgical Technologists, although much faster employment growth is expected in offices of physicians and in outpatient care centers, including ambulatory surgical centers.  Job opportunities will be best for technologists who are certified.

Advising Information:

For more information about this program, contact the FVCC Student Support Center or the Faculty Advisor. 

Student Support Center Advisor Faculty Advisor                       
Karrie Bolivar Robyn Hoggatt
LRC 129 BC 123-A
(406) 756-3880 (406) 756-4414
kbolivar@fvcc.edu rhoggatt@fvcc.edu


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