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Surgical Technology

The Field

A Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) is a member of the surgical team who works with surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses, and other surgical personnel in delivering patient care and assuming appropriate responsibilities before, during and after surgery, including passing instruments to the surgeon and assisting during surgery.

To succeed in surgical technology, individuals need manual dexterity in order to handle instruments quickly and must employ critical thinking skills to anticipate the needs of the patient and the surgical team. Being alert, orderly and emotionally stable are also crucial to handling the demands of surgeons.

The Surgical Technology Program at Skyline College

Skyline College’s Surgical Technology Program combines academic and clinical instruction that includes learning to prepare surgical instruments, passing them to the surgeon and handling specialized equipment. Skyline College offers a 12-month program admitting one cohort each summer and upon completion the student receives a Certificate of Completion which qualifies the graduate to sit for the national certification exam administered by the National Board for Surgical Technologists and Surgical Assistants. With an additional 30 units of General Education credits, a graduate of the program may apply for an Associate of Science degree in Surgical Technology.

The Skyline College program is by special application only. Surgical Technology applications are accepted from January 15 to April 1.

Career Outlook

Surgical technology offers a fun, interesting, and occasionally stressful work environment where surgeons rely on well-trained personnel to ensure everything is ready for optimal patient care. Working in surgical technology offers high levels of job security and mobility and a unique opportunity to help others.

With additional education, surgical technologists may become surgical nurses or surgical technology instructors. Some may assume management positions in hospital central supply departments or in business firms such as sterile supply services and operating room equipment distributors.

Surgical technologists in California make an average of $27.78 per hour, the most of any state in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Nationally, job growth is must faster than average – projected at 30% over the next decade.