Surgical Technology

​Get acquainted with all areas of surgical technology while earning a diploma or Associate in Applied Science degree in Surgical Technology. Surgical technologists work with surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses and other surgical personnel in a range of ways. As an integral part of the surgical team, surgical technologists need in-depth training and practical experience to best deliver patient care for and assume appropriate responsibilities before, during and after surgery.

Because surgical technology practitioners fill various roles, our dual-track program ensures you’re prepared for all possible responsibilities. Here are the roles you’ll train in:

  • Scrub surgical technologist: handles the instruments, supplies and equipment necessary during the surgical procedure; anticipates the needs of the surgeon; ensures quality patient care during the operative procedure and is constantly on vigil for maintenance of the sterile field.
  • Circulating surgical technologist: obtains additional instruments, supplies and equipment necessary while the surgical procedure is in progress; monitors conditions in the operating room and constantly assesses the needs of the patient and surgical team.
  • Second assisting surgical technologist: assists the surgeon and/or first assistant during the operative procedure by carrying out technical tasks other than cutting, clamping and suturing of tissue. This role is distinct from that of the first assistant and may, in some circumstances, be performed at the same time as the scrub role.

The Surgical Technology Diploma and AAS Degree Programs, Spencer Campus, are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( opens in a new windowwww.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Accreditation Review Committee on Education Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. (ARCSTSA)

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
9355 113th St. N, #7709
​Seminole, FL 33775
Phone: 727-210-2350

Accreditation Review Committee on Education in Surgical Technology & Surgical Assisting (ARCSTSA)
6 W. Dry Creek Circle, Suite #110
Littleton, CO 80120
Phone: 303-694-9262

The Surgical Technology Program at Iowa Lakes Community College is a CAAHEP-Accredited Program. Graduates of our program are eligible to sit for the national certification exam offered by the National Board of Surgical Technologist and Surgical Assistants (NBSTSA) and upon passing the exam, are able to use the credential Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).

Last year (2019), 100% of our graduates took the exam offered by the NBSTSA, and 100% of our students passed the exam. Also in 2019, 100% of our students were placed in surgical technology related jobs following graduation.

Faculty Contact

Dana Grafft
Assistant Professor, Surgical Technology
712-580-8624 Ext: 8624 | dgrafft@iowalakes.educreate new email

Program Details

PROGRAM LENGTH: 6 terms

DEGREE: Associate in Applied Science (76 credits)

CAMPUS: Spencer

Internship/Practicum

Did You Know?

Starting Salary: $33,491 | Average Salary: $41,079

Projected Employment Growth: 1.0%

Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Special Certifications Available

What you'll learn

In the Surgical Technology program at Iowa Lakes,  you will learn how to:1

  1. Correlate the knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, and microbiology to their role as a Surgical Technologist.
  2. Demonstrate a safe and professional level of practice and knowledge in their role as a Surgical Technologist.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical, legal, moral, and medical values related to the patient and the surgical team during the perioperative experience.
  4. Correlate the elements, action, and use of medications and anesthetic agents used during the perioperative experience.
  5. Implement safe practice techniques in regards to perioperative routines, patients transportation, positioning, and emergency procedures.
  6. Integrate principles of surgical asepsis as part of the perioperative experience.
  7. Accurately apply the knowledge and skills of a professional Surgical Technologist to meet the biopsychosocial needs of the surgical patient.
  8. Perform proficiently and competently as an entry-level surgical technologist in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains.
  9. Exhibit professional attributes of the Surgical Technologist.

 

1The What You’ll Learn section of our website provides a description of Learning Outcomes for students who successfully complete all requirements for obtaining a Surgical Technology Associate in Applied Science degree from Iowa Lakes Community College.

  1. Practice within the recognized scope of practice within the healthcare setting to provide optimal patient care.

Curriculum

Term 1

Credits: 4

An advanced study of anatomy and physiology. The relationship between body structure and function and homeostasis forms the basis for the course. Pathological processes that result in dysfunc­tion and disease are presented. Major topics include cell biology, histology, skin, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. Lecture and laboratory.


Credits: 3

CSC-110 is an introductory course that surveys a variety of topics to include history, hardware, software, terminology, com­munications, computer ethics, and societal impact of computers. In addition to computer literacy, students will complete hands-on modules using operating systems, word processing, database, presentation, and spreadsheet software; such as Microsoft Office programs.


Credits: 3

Emphasis on expository and argumentative writings including a review of usage and mechanics.

Prerequisites: Satisfactory score on the ACT, Accuplacer, ASSET,COMPASS as determined by Iowa Lakes policy


Credits: 3

Studies medical terminology, including spelling and definitions.


Term 2

Credits: 4

An advanced study of anatomy and physiology. The relationship between body structure and function and homeostasis forms the basis for the course. Pathological processes that result in dys­function and disease are presented. Major topics include diges­tive, endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, immune, blood, metabolism, reproduction, urinary, fluid, electrolyte, and acid-base balance. Lecture and laboratory.


Credits: 3

This is a general survey course which includes sets; number systems; elementary algebra; exponents; equations and inequalities; fractions; ratios; proportion and variation; probability and statistics; elementary graphing; consumer mathematics; and an introduction to geometry.

Prerequisites: Appropriate placement score


Credits: 3

An introduction to the scientific study of behavior; a brief history of psychology as a science, and topics fundamental to human behavior including developmental issues, sensory abilities, cogni­tive performance, social and emotional factors in behavior, and abnormal behavior and therapies.


Credits: 3

A survey course applying basic sociological concepts, theories, and methods to examine society, culture, cultural institutions, cultural diversity, and cultural stability and change.


Credits: 3

Studies human development from conception through the lifes­pan. Physical, emotional, social, cognitive and moral aspects are studied in the classroom, by lecture, file/video, projects, and observation and by reading the literature.


Term 3

Credits: 3

Students are given the opportunity to apply human relations concepts and evaluate experience and observations. Social skills required in various occupational settings will be developed, emphasizing how appropriate personal attitudes lead to social and business success.


Credits: 3

The fundamentals course develops the basic skills involved in a variety of communication situations, including oral presentations and interpersonal speaking.  Emphasis is placed on organization, audience analysis, vocal and physical delivery, listening, nonverbal communication, critical thinking, and methods of dealing with communication apprehension through class discussion and activities.


Term 4

Credits: 2

This course intends to introduce the student to the practice of sur­gical patient care. Preoperative and postoperative routines as well as some of the responsibilities of the surgical technologist in the circulating role are discussed. The bio-psycho-social needs of the patient are addressed in addition to patient identification, review of the chart, documentation, surgical transport and positioning, skin preparation, urinary catheterization, specimen care, wound clas­sification, vital signs, hemo-dynamics, monitoring, and discharge planning. The student will learn appropriate response to legal, ethical, and moral issues, as well as emergency situations and personnel safety practices as outlined by OSHA Standards.


Credits: 6

This course provides the student with an orientation to the surgi­cal technology profession and operating room theory. Principles and concepts associated with the professional aspects of surgical technology are presented. Foundational concepts such as the role of the surgical technologist, professional aspects, and medi­cal law will be covered .A theoretical overview will be given for introduction into: the surgical environment, biomedical sciences, aseptic techniques, sterilization and disinfection, instrumentation, equipment and supplies, wound healing and diagnostic proce­dures.

Prerequisites: BIO 163 – Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology or BIO 168/BIO 173 – Human Anatomy & Physiology I & II, HSC 114 – Medical Terminology

Corequisites: SUR 131 – Surgical Foundations Lab


Credits: 4

This course provides the student with an orientation to the surgical technology profession and operating room theory. Principles and concepts associated with the professional aspects of surgical technology are presented. Foundational concepts such as the role of the surgical technologist, professional aspects, and medical law will be covered.  A theoretical overview will be given for introduction into: the surgical environment, biomedical sciences, aseptic techniques, sterilization and disinfection, instrumentation, equipment and supplies, wound healing and diagnostic
procedures.


Credits: 2

This course includes the correlation of the relationship to the practice of sterile technique and infection control in the operative setting. The student will use the microscope to contrast and com­pare the structure and characteristics of microorganisms.


Credits: 3

This introductory course examines contemporary ethical conflicts and provides an understanding of the language, concepts and traditions of ethics.


Term 5

Credits: 1

Students will learn employability skills while developing professional and leadership skills.  Students will create a professional portfolio, resume, and demonstrate interview skills while reviewing how to maintain their professional credential following graduation.


Credits: 6

This course provides the student with the preoperative theory, procedural anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, diagnostic interventions, procedural considerations, instrumentation, and steps related to various surgical specialties. Specialties include: diagnostic, general, obstetrics and gynecology, genitourinary, ear, nose and throat, ophthalmic, plastic, orthopedic, peripheral vascular, cardiovascular, neurosurgery. Students will incorporate safe perioperative patient care techniques, medical terminology, and pharmacology to each procedure.


Credits: 2

This course will allow students to apply principles learned during Surgical Procedures lecture in a hands-on laboratory setting. Students will further redefine skills related to the three phases of case management as they apply to each surgical specialty and its specific cases.


Credits: 2

This course reviews basic math and science skills. It provides an introduction to surgical pharmacology and emphasizes the classifications of medications used in surgery. The student will become familiar with the general terminology used with medica­tion application, the use of drugs in the care of surgical patients, and the principles of anesthesia administration for routine cases and emergency procedures.


Credits: 3

This practicum application provides the student the opportunity to apply classroom theory learned in the first and second semesters in a hospital operating room.


Term 6

Credits: 4

This course provides students the opportunity to attend practi­cum rotations in the various surgical specialties while scrubbing a variety of perioperative cases to build skills required for complex perioperative patient care. Emphasis is placed on improving their technical skills, critical thinking, speed, efficiency, and autonomy in the operative setting. The latter portion of this course provides the student with an opportunity to scrub in specialty areas as the 81 primary surgical technologist. Students will gain expertise in sterile technique, improve their anticipation of surgeon’s needs, and further increase their dexterity and speed. Emphasis is placed on preparing students for transition into the job market.