SURGICAL TECHNOLOGIST

(ST)

Start Date

March 28, 2022

More Start Dates
Length
The program length for day and evening classes may vary based on the number of scheduled hours per week. Holidays, school closings, and internship schedules may cause the program completion dates to vary as well.

17 Months

Schedule
The standard classroom schedule is provided here. The clinical internship schedule will vary based on the clinical site. Students must follow their assigned internship schedule, not the AIMS Education class schedule, academic calendar, or the observed holidays and breaks.

Monday - Friday
5:30pm to 9:30pm

FSA
Federal student aid is available for those who qualify. Students must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine their eligibility. Please contact our financial aid department to learn more.

YES

Other Financial Assistance
Other financial aid options may be available for this program (scholarships, training grants, VA benefits, etc.). Please contact our financial aid department to learn more.

YES

Start Date

March 28, 2022

More Start Dates
Length
The program length for day and evening classes may vary based on the number of scheduled hours per week. Holidays, school closings, and internship schedules may cause the program completion dates to vary as well.

17 Months

Schedule
The standard classroom schedule is provided here. The clinical internship schedule will vary based on the clinical site. Students must follow their assigned internship schedule, not the AIMS Education class schedule, academic calendar, or the observed holidays and breaks.

Monday - Friday
5:30pm to 9:30pm

FSA
Federal student aid is available for those who qualify. Students must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine their eligibility. Please contact our financial aid department to learn more.

YES

Other Financial Assistance
Other financial aid options may be available for this program (scholarships, training grants, VA benefits, etc.). Please contact our financial aid department to learn more.

YES

Surgical Technologist Program

The Surgical Technologist certificate program is programmatically accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). This program will prepare students to become skilled operating room technicians. Surgical technologists are key members of the surgical team who work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses, and other surgical personnel delivering patient care and assuming other appropriate responsibilities before, during, and after surgical procedures.

Some of the primary responsibilities of surgical techs include prepping the operating room for surgery, maintaining a sterile environment, and distributing surgical instruments. They also play an important role in both preoperative and postoperative care.

Clinical Internship

The Surgical Technologist program requires students to complete a mandatory 500-hour clinical internship. Students will be placed at a clinical site by the AIMS Internship Department. The internship is designed to provide practical training in a real work environment; students will have a mentor who trains and guides them. Students are not permitted to begin the internship until all required classroom and lab hours are completed.

AIMS Education has clinical affiliations with numerous healthcare facilities throughout New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Students will be placed at one or more of these affiliated sites and must complete their clinical hours based on the schedule provided by the school. Internship schedules are based on the availability of clinical sites. All students (Day and Evening) must be prepared to complete their internship during normal business hours (Monday through Friday). The majority of clinical sites do not allow students to complete clinical hours in the evening or on the weekend.

Employment Opportunities

Surgical technologists are employed in hospital operating rooms, emergency departments, ambulatory care centers, and central sterile processing departments. Some surgical techs are employed directly by surgeons in the “private scrub” role, while others work as operating room technicians. Their broad educational background plus specialized focus allows them to function well in a variety of different roles.

Employment possibilities include surgery schedulers, material managers, and central service managers. Other fields that offer employment opportunities for surgical technologists include organ/tissue procurement and preservation, cardiac catheterization laboratories, product development, research, and sales. 

Surgical Technologist Responsibilities

A patient's life largely depends on the competence and diligence of the surgical technologist. Surgical techs are critical surgical team members as they'll need a quick mind and cool head to perform their job duties. Surgical technologist responsibilities include passing instruments to the surgeon, transporting patients to and from the operating room (OR), and preparing and sterilizing the OR for surgery. 

A surgical technologist must perform a series of tasks to be prepared for every surgery:

1. Preoperative — Sterile Hands 

The surgical technologist is responsible for adhering to a strict routine during the preoperative phase. The surgical tech is the first person to enter the operating room before surgery, so they must:

  • Carefully put on their scrubs and other operating room attire.
  • Sterilize the room in preparation for surgery.
  • Gather all surgical tools and equipment that the surgery requires.
  • Carefully arrange, count, and sterilize all surgical instruments.

The most important part of the preoperative phase is maintaining a sterile environment in the operating room. A surgical tech must prevent contamination in the surgical room. To do this, the technologist is responsible for keeping all surfaces in a sterile condition and arranging dry drapes around the operating table. 

2. Intraoperative — The Third Hand 

Surgical technologists become a "third hand" to the surgeon's assistant and surgeon during the intraoperative phase of surgery. Surgical techs must be thorough and diligent at all times. If a tool is contaminated or missing at any time during an operation, the resulting infection or delay could cost a patient their life. 

In addition to maintaining the sterility of the operating room, surgical technologists may be required to:

  • Pass the surgical tools to the surgical assistant and surgeon during the operation.
  • Set up robotic surgical equipment.
  • Coordinate cameras or change out equipment as necessary.
  • Hold retractors.
  • Handle specimens taken for laboratory analysis.

3. Postoperative Responsibilities

Surgical techs have several responsibilities as an operation concludes:

  • Maintain OR's sterile field until the patient is safely in the recovery ward.
  • Dispose of gauze, needles, and other items.
  • Secure dressing after an incision is closed.
  • Ensure nothing is left behind by counting all the instruments and tools used during surgery.

4. Emergency Situations 

Surgical technologists must be able to think quickly on their feet and react in emergencies, such as operating room injuries and immediate procedures. 

How to Become a Surgical Tech 

While you can take a few different pathways to become a surgical tech, the basic steps to aligning with this career are virtually the same. These steps include:

  1. Graduating from high school.
  2. Completing formal training from an accredited surgical technologist program.
  3. Passing a certification exam.
  4. Applying for jobs.

Joining a professional organization such as the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) can provide access to job postings and professional networking opportunities.

Surgical Technologist Education Requirements 

To work in the field as a qualified surgical technician, you must complete an associate degree, diploma, or certificate. An associate degree program takes less than two years, while certificate and diploma programs can take an even shorter amount of time. 

Traits and Skills of a Successful Surgical Technologist

Several skills can help aspiring surgical techs succeed in their career. They include:

  • Close monitoring
  • Problem sensitivity
  • Dexterity
  • Active listening
  • Focus
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Teamwork

Certification / Registry Exam Eligibility

Surgical technologist graduates will be eligible to take the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam offered by The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) and the Tech in Surgery - Certified examination offered by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). Graduates who pass the NBSTSA exam will earn the CST credential and those who pass the NCCT exam will earn the TS-C credential.

Eligibility requirements for the CST and TS-C credentials are solely determined by NBSTSA and NCCT, and are subject to change at any time. NBSTSA and NCCT are independent organizations. AIMS does not guarantee certification/registry exam eligibility.

Program Length

  • 1225 clock hours
  • Classroom instruction and lab - 725 hours
  • Clinical internship - 500 hours
  • The day and evening programs can be completed in approximately 17 months.

Comprehensive Surgical Technologist Education and Training

  • Medical Terminology
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Surgical Instruments
  • Surgical Procedures
  • Sterilization
  • Infection Control
  • Aseptic Technique

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Associate degree or equivalent
  • Passing score on the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam

Selective Enrollment

The Surgical Technologist program has a selective application process. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee you will be accepted into the program. From the pool of applicants, those who are considered most qualified for the study and practice of surgical technology will be admitted.

Additional Program Requirements

All surgical technologist students are required to earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 before starting Surgical Technology II.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

AIMS Education has determined that its Surgical Technologist curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in New Jersey. If you live outside of New Jersey or you are planning to seek employment in another state, please review our professional licensure disclosures for more information.

* New Jersey currently has no state licensure requirements for this profession. However, New Jersey law mandates that all surgical technologists must graduate from an accredited program or hold a certified surgical technologist credential from a recognized organization. AIMS graduates meet these requirements.  

Upcoming Start Dates

Start Dates
Schedule
Program Length
Day Classes
TBD
Monday - Thursday
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
17 months
Evening Classes
March 28, 2022
Monday - Friday
5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
17 months

Additional information regarding the class schedule, program length, internship schedule, and school holidays, is available on the academic calendar page.

Employer Testimonials

Accreditations

The Surgical Technologist program is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

AIMS Education is institutionally accredited by the Middle State Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA-CESS) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). 

Graduate Spotlight

Erica Dalesandro

Erica Dalesandro

Erica is a graduate of the Surgical Technologist program. After graduation, she passed the national registry exam on her first attempt and began pursuing a career in surgical technology.

Program Gallery

Visit Our Campus

Take the first step in achieving your career goals by visiting the AIMS campus. During your school visit you'll get to meet one-on-one with an admissions specialist. They'll help you choose the right career path and answer any questions you have. You'll also get the chance to tour the AIMS campus, including all of our classrooms, medical labs, and student facilities.