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Important Qualities To Have

Detail oriented. Surgical technologists must pay close attention to their work at all times. For example, they need to provide the correct sterile equipment for surgeons during an operation.

 

Dexterity. Surgical technologists should be comfortable working with their hands. They must be able to provide needed equipment quickly.

 

Integrity. Because they are trusted to provide sterile supplies and quality patient care during surgical procedures, surgical technologists must have integrity.

 

Physical stamina. Surgical technologists should be comfortable standing for extended periods.

 

Stress-management skills. Working in an operating room can be stressful. Surgical technologists should be able to work well under pressure while providing a high level of care.

Licensure Information

While licensure is not required for surgical technologists in California, the majority of local employers require it.  Licensure  as a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) can be obtained by completing an accredited program like ours and then passing the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting Certified Surgical Technologist Exam.  This comprehensive multiple-choice certification exam, taken on a computer, covers the medical knowledge and skills required of competent entry-level technologists, including specific techniques in perioperative care, intra-operative care, post-operative care and basic science. 

 

CST Exam Results

The following are the pass rates for each SICE graduating cohort based on the first attempt at passing the exam.

 

Class of 2017

47%

Class of 2016

89%

Class of 2015

75%

Class of 2014

88%

Class of 2013

88%

Class of 2012

86%

Student Work Policy

The clinical rotation experience is educational in nature and unpaid.  Students are not being substituted for paid personnel during the clinical component of the program.

CAAHEP

CAAHEP

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs is the largest programmatic accreditor of the health sciences professions. In collaboration with its Committees on Accreditation, CAAHEP reviews and accredits over 2100 individual education programs in 30 health science occupations. CAAHEP accredited programs are assessed on an ongoing basis to assure that they meet the Standards and Guidelines of each profession.  Find out more at www.caahep.org

Surgical Technologist

The application period for the 2018-2019 school year is closed.  Applications for 2019-2020 Surg Tech cohort will be available in the spring of 2019.

Surgical technologists assist in surgical operations.  They prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment, and help doctors during surgeries.

About Our ST Program

Sim Institute’s Surgical Technology program is a one year certificate program, which includes both classroom (didactic) and hands-on training (clinical) intended to prepare students to assist in surgical operations.  Graduates of our program are eligible to sit for NBSTSA’s CST exam and obtain national certification as a certified surgical technologist.

History and Accredidation

Simi Institute for Careers and Education (formerly the Simi Valley Adult School) is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.  Our Surgical Technology Program began in 1975 and had graduated surgical technologist every year since.  This program is accredited by CAAHEP and ARC/STSA.

 

Program Admission

Applications are accepted for the surgical technology program annually in the spring.  Applicants should be 18 years old  and have earned a high school diploma or equivalent by the start of the enrollment term.  The application includes a test of adult basic English and math skills, a short writing sample, and an interview.

Program Courses

Student’s in Simi Institute’s Surgical Technology Program complete the following educational modules:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Microbiology and Infection Control
  • Surgical Pharmacology
  • Principles and Practices of Surgical Technology
  • Surgical Techniques I: Asepsis and Patient Care
  • Surgical Techniques II: Instrumentation and Equipment
  • Mock Surgery Practicum I
  • Mock Surgery Practicum II
  • Clinical Rotation

Students must also complete courses in  Fire Safety and Basic Life Support for the Healthcare Professional (included in the program tuition).

Clinical Externship

SICE surgical technology students are also required to complete a clinical externship in  Ventura and Los Angeles partner hospitals and surgery centers.  This unpaid experience, educational in nature, includes work in sterile processing and in the operating room.

 

  • Students must complete a minimum of 30 cases in General Surgery; 20 of which must be in the First Scrub Role.  The remaining 10 cases may be performed in either the First or Second Scrub Role.
  • Students must also complete a minimum of  90 cases  in various surgical specialties, excluding General Surgery.  60 of the 90 specialty cases must be performed in the First Scrub Role.  The remaining 30 cases may be performed in either the First or Second Scrub Role.  15 is the maximum number of cases that can be counted in one surgical specialty.
  •   Surgical specialties include:
    • Cardiothoracic
    • ENT
    • Eye
    • Genitourinary (GU)
    • Neuro
    • OB-Gyn
    • Oral/Maxillofacial
    • Orthopedics
    • Peripheral Vascular
    • Plastics
  • Non-required surgical categories include Labor & Delivery and Diagnostic Endoscopy (Bronchoscopy, Colonoscopy, Cytoscopy, EGD, ERCP, Esophagoscopy, Laryngoscopy, Panendoscopy, Ureteroscopy).  10 diagnostic endoscopy cases and 5 vaginal delivery cases may be applied only toward the Second Scrub Role cases.  Observation cases do not count towards the 120 required cases.

Salary Information

Surgical Technologists

California 2016

    Low Median High
    25th percentile 50th percentile 75th percentile
         
  Annual Wages $49,517 $59,114 $71,735
         
  Hourly Wages $23.81 $28.42 $34.49

Job Duties

Surgical technologists typically do the following:

  • Prepare operating rooms for surgery
  • Sterilize equipment and make sure that there are adequate supplies for surgery
  • Ready patients for surgery, such as by washing and disinfecting incision sites
  • Help surgeons during surgery by passing them instruments and other sterile supplies
  • Count supplies, such as sponges and instruments
  • Maintain a sterile environment

Surgical technologists work as members of a healthcare team alongside physicians, surgeons, registered nurses, and other healthcare workers.

Before an operation, surgical technologists prepare the operating room by setting up surgical instruments and equipment.  They also prepare patients for surgery by washing and disinfecting incision sites, positioning the patients on the operating table, covering them with sterile drapes, and taking them to and from the operating room.  Surgical technologists prepare sterile solutions and medications used in surgery and check that all surgical equipment is working properly.  They help the surgical team put on sterile gowns and gloves.

During an operation, surgical technologists pass instruments and supplies to surgeons and first assistants.  They also hold retractors, hold internal organs in place during the procedure, or set up robotic surgical equipment.  Technologists also may handle specimens taken for laboratory analysis.

Once the operation is complete, surgical technologists may apply bandages and other dressings to the incision site.  They may also help transfer patients to recovery rooms and restock operating rooms after a procedure.

Work Environment

About 70 percent of surgical technologists work in hospitals.  Some work in outpatient care centers or in offices of physicians who perform outpatient surgery.  Surgical technologists wear scrubs (special sterile clothing) while they are in the operating room. Their work may be physically demanding, requiring them to be on their feet for long periods.  Surgical technologists also may need to help move patients or lift heavy trays of medical supplies.  At times, they may be exposed to communicable diseases and unpleasant sights, odors, and materials.

Work Schedule

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.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition

Employment Development Department/Labor Market Information Division, State of California, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2016

ARC STSA

ARC/STSA

The ARC/STSA is a private 501(c)(3) non-profit accreditation services agency providing national recognition for higher education programs in surgical technology and surgical assisting, in collaboration with the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), in order to promote quality surgical patient care through quality credible education.  To find out more visit: http://www.arcstsa.org.