SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY

Associate of Applied Science

Start Date

May 6, 2024

More Start Dates
Length

20 Months

Schedule
The schedule for this program is based on a 15-week semester. The daily schedule and weekly hours will vary each semester based on the required lecture, lab, and clinical hours. Students must have flexible schedules and be able to attend classes during morning, day, and evening hours.

Day Session
(Daily schedule varies)

Financial Assistance
Financial assistance may be available for this program (scholarships, training grants, payment plans, etc.). Please contact our financial aid department to learn more.

YES

Deadline to Apply

Feb 26, 2024

Start Date

May 6, 2024

More Start Dates
Length

20 Months

Schedule
The schedule for this program is based on a 15-week semester. The daily schedule and weekly hours will vary each semester based on the required lecture, lab, and clinical hours. Students must have flexible schedules and be able to attend classes during morning, day, and evening hours.

Day Session
(Daily schedule varies)

Financial Assistance
Financial assistance may be available for this program (scholarships, training grants, payment plans, etc.). Please contact our financial aid department to learn more.

YES

Deadline to Apply

Feb 26, 2024

Surgical Technologist Program

Hybrid / Distance Education Program

The Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology (ST) is programmatically accredited by ABHES. This program prepares students to become skilled entry-level surgical technologists. Graduates will be able to work in hospitals, surgical centers, and outpatient clinics. Our college's ST program is taught using a hybrid/blended learning environment.

Graduates will understand the vital principles and instrumentation of surgical technology. They will be capable of preparing an operating room for surgery, maintaining a sterile environment, and distributing surgical instruments during surgical procedures. Graduates will be able to assist with preoperative and postoperative patient care, and they will be able to communicate clearly and effectively with patients, physicians, and coworkers. ST graduates will demonstrate behaviors consistent with professional standards and will meet employer expectations for an entry-level position.

Hybrid Learning

The Surgical Technology associate degree program is taught using a hybrid learning environment. All hybrid courses will utilize online and in-person instruction. Lectures may be offered on campus or remotely via a Learning Management System (LMS). Most laboratory classes and practical training will be held on campus or at a clinical site.

Online classes will be taught synchronously. Synchronous instruction is real-time instruction that requires students to attend classes at scheduled times.

Clinical Internship

The Surgical Technology training program requires students to complete a mandatory 600-hour clinical internship course. Students will be placed at a clinical site by the AIMS Internship Department. The internship course is designed to provide practical training in a real work environment; students will have a mentor who trains and guides them. The internship course must be completed within the semester it is scheduled.

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 course 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. Becoming a surgical technologist means that your responsibilities will 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 with an associate degree from an accredited surgical technology program.
  2. Passing a national certification exam.
  3. 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.

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

Graduates of the AAS degree in Surgical Technology 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.

Classroom and Clinical Training Schedule

Students who enroll in a semester-based program in surgical technology must have flexible schedules and be able to attend classes and/or clinical training sessions during morning, day, and evening hours. Certain courses will only be taught in the evening regardless of the program’s standard schedule.

Program Length

The Surgical Technology associate degree can be completed in 5 semesters, or approximately 20 months. Students will enroll as a cohort and progress through the program at the same pace. Each cohort will complete three semesters per academic year.

  • 20 Months
  • 60 Credit Hours
  • 600 Clinical Hours

Contracting Agreement for General Education Coursework

AIMS Education has entered into a contracting agreement with Geneva College in partnership with Portage Learning (Geneva-Portage). This agreement involves specific arrangements for general education coursework. As part of the Surgical Technology program, students will be required to complete two general education courses (6 credits) through Geneva-Portage. These courses, which must be completed during the first semester, will consist of ENG 101 and PSY 102. Additional information about the courses taken with Geneva-Portage is provided at the link below.

First Semester Courses with Geneva-Portage

Comprehensive Surgical Technologist Education and Training

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

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Passing score on the TEAS Exam
  • Additional Requirements - Contact Admissions Department at 908-222-0002, Ext. 553

Selective Enrollment

Our accredited Surgical Technology 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.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

AIMS Education has determined that its Surgical Technology 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
May 6, 2024
Monday - Friday
Class schedule varies per semester
20 months
Evening Classes
TBD
Monday - Friday
Class schedule varies per semester
20 months

The daily schedule and weekly hours will vary each semester based on the required lecture, lab, and clinical hours. Additional information regarding the class schedule, internship schedule, and school holidays is available on the academic calendar page.  

Employer Testimonials

Accreditations

The Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

AIMS Education is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

Graduate Spotlight

Christina Nweme

Christina Nweme

Immediately after graduating from the Surgical Technologist certificate program, Christina began her new career as a Labor and Delivery Surgical Tech. She's one step closer to her goal of becoming a doctor.

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.