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.” ARC-ST Standards and Guidelines.
Duties of surgical technologists include preparing supplies and equipment for surgery as well as preparing the patient for surgery. Surgical technologists prepare and handle the sterile supplies and instruments and pass them to the surgeon when needed. Technologists also assist with case clean-up and preparation for the next procedure.
Is this for me?
The ability to perform under pressure in stressful and emergency situations is an essential quality for a surgical technologist. Manual dexterity and physical stamina are vital. A stable temperament, a strong sense of responsibility, considerable patience and concern for order are also required. Follow this link to a video presentation featuring a graduate of the Mt. Hood Community College Surgical Technology Program. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uY3cLMA-7CI&feature=youtu.be
What does the program offer?
MHCC offers the only accredited* Associated of Applied Science Degree program in Surgical Technology in Oregon. The program is taught by qualified professional instructors with years of clinical experience. The program curriculum follows the Association of Surgical Technologists Core Curriculum.
The program is six quarters in length. Instruction takes place in the classroom, laboratory and clinical practice in area metropolitan hospitals and healthcare settings. Laboratory and clinical practice follow didactic courses as closely as possible to enable students to relate principle to practice.
Surgical Technology is a limited-entry program. Applicants are admitted on a space-available basis after meeting admission criteria.
*Accreditation: The Surgical Technology Program at Mt. Hood Community College has been accredited by CAAHEP, formerly CAHEA, since 1978. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), in collaboration with the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST), which sponsor the Accreditation recommendations formulated by the ARC-ST. The ARC-ST is located at 7108-C South Alton Way, Centennial, Colorado, 80112-2106. The ARC-ST's phone number is 303-694-9262; their web site is www.arcst.org.
What does the future hold?
Employment opportunities for surgical technologists are expected to be excellent, especially for graduates of accredited surgical technology programs. Several factors will contribute to the growing need for surgical technologists in the years to come. These include technological advances that allow surgical intervention for more conditions than ever before, the national shortage of operating room nurses, and the projected increase in the size and age of the population. For more information about employment opportunities and pay scale, please visit the Surgical Technology Statistics page of the Association of Surgical Technologists website at
What are my options?
A TWO-YEAR ASSOCIATE DEGREE in the Surgical Technology program provides you with the necessary knowledge and skills for an entry-level position caring for patients in the operating room and in the surgical practice setting. Upon graduation, you will be eligible to take the national certification examination required for employment in many hospitals.
Surgical Technology Careers
MHCC's two-year associate degree program will prepare you for an entry-level position as a surgical technologist. Employment may be found in a variety of settings, including hospital operating rooms, surgical clinics, physicians’ offices, out-patient/ambulatory surgery units, obstetrical delivery rooms and tissue banks.