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Surgical Technology

What is a Surgical Technologist (ST)?
The ST is a vital member of the surgical team functioning under direct supervision of a surgeon and registered nurse in the operating room. The duties of the ST include: assisting the surgeon by selecting and preparing instruments and surgery; assisting with the operating room equipment; monitors medications and fluids for surgery; providing a safe environment for successful patient outcomes. The clinical practice throughout the program will be coordinated by the instructor at MassBay and take place in various hospitals in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Employment opportunities include labor/delivery/endoscopy departments, inpatient/outpatient surgery centers, dialysis units/facilities, physicians' offices, and central supply processing units. The Association of Surgical Technologists has produced the video below titled “Making a Difference: A Career in Surgical Technology”.

Click on the arrow below on the video to view a glimpse into the exciting, fast-paced — and critically important — world of Surgical Technology.

What is MassBay’s Surgical Technology Certificate Program?
For both day and evening students, it is a full-time, three consecutive semester program. The program consists of instruction in the basic sciences, medical terminology, surgical functions in the operating room, operating room equipment, sterile supply processing, and aseptic technique. The clinical practice throughout the program will be coordinated by the instructor at the college and take place in various hospitals and ambulatory surgical settings throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. All new applicants should plan to attend a health program information session at MassBay.

What Makes Surgical Technology a good career choice?

  • Short-term Training: MassBay’s program is only 12 months long, including both lecture, laboratory, and clinical components.
  • Solid Job Growth Prospects: In Massachusetts, job prospects for Surgical Technologists are expected to grow 29% from 2012 to 2022*.
  • Good Pay: In 2013, the typical median hourly wage was $23*
  • Room for Advancement: A Surgical Technologist ST can move up to a Certified Surgical Technologist, Certified First Assistant, Nursing, Sales Representative or Educator.
  • Typical job benefits include medical and other insurance, 401(k) retirement savings plan, and some employers offer tuition reimbursement.

* Source: the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development as published on www.careerinfonet.org. Actual entry-level earnings will depend on the type of employer among other factors.

The Surgical Technology Program has specific requirements:

  1. General College admission requirements.
  2. Maintenance of a 73% average in all science and surgical technology courses must be achieved in order to remain in the program.
  3. Satisfactory completion of required immunizations.
  4. Current CPR for the Professional Rescuer certification must be maintained throughout the program.
  5. Clinical agencies and/or credentialing bodies require criminal background checks and drug screens prior to admission to clinical sites or issuance of credentials.
  6. Completion of 120 surgical cases in the first scrub role in a hospital setting in the second and third semesters of the program.
  7. Students of programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) are required to take the national certification exam administered by the National Board on Certification in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) within a four-weeks period prior to or after graduation.
  8. Students applying to the Surgical Technology program are encouraged to have successfully completed: BI 101, BI 113, BI 123 and a social science elective prior to program admission due to the rigorous nature of the Surgical Technology curriculum.

The Surgical Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), 1361 Park Street, Clearwater, FL 33756, www.caahep.org, Phone: 727-210-2350, Fax: 727-210-2354, through the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC-STSA), 6 W. Dry Creek Circle, Suite #110, Littleton, CO 80120, Phone: 303-694-9262, Fax: 303-741-3655 www.arcstsa.org.


CLINICAL COMPONENT REVISION (January 2013 and after)
This core curriculum revision for MassBay Community College’s Surgical Technology program will allow students entering the program to meet the core curriculum requirements as set by CAAHEP.

MassBay’s program offers 120 surgical cases. Students will be required to scrub in on 30 cases in general surgery, of which 20 must be in the first scrub role. (The “roles” are defined below.) Students are required to complete 90 cases in various surgical specialties to include Cardiothoracic, ENT, Eye, GU, Neuro, Ob-Gyn, Oral/Maxillofacial, Orthopedics, Peripheral vascular, Plastics, Procurement/Transplant. Sixty of the cases must be in the First Scrub Role and evenly distributed between a minimum of 5 surgical specialties. However, 15 is the maximum number of cases that can be counted in any one specialty.

Diagnostic endoscopy cases and vaginal delivery cases are not mandatory. But up to 10 diagnostics endoscopic cases and 5 vaginal delivery cases can be counted towards maximum number of Second Scrub Role cases.

FIRST SCRUB ROLE (STSR1) — The student surgical technologist shall perform the following duties during any given surgical procedure with proficiency.

  • Verify supplies and equipment needed for the surgical procedure.
  • Set up the sterile field with instruments, supplies, equipment, medications and solutions needed for the procedure.
  • Perform counts with the circulator prior to the procedure and before the incision is closed.
  • Pass instruments and supplies to the sterile surgical team members during the procedure.
  • Maintain sterile technique as measured by recognized breaks in technique and demonstrate knowledge of how to correct with appropriate technique.

SECOND SCRUB ROLE (STSR2) — The second scrub role is defined as the student who is at the sterile field who has not met all the criteria of the first scrub role, but actively participates in the surgical procedure in its entirety by completing any of the following:

  • Sponging the surgical wound
  • Suctioning wound
  • Cutting suture
  • Holding retractors
  • Manipulating endoscopic camera

ASSISTANT CIRCULATOR ROLE (STAC) — The non-sterile role is defined as the student who assists with the following:

  • Preparing the OR
  • Transports the patient to the OR
  • Positions the patient
  • Performs the surgical skin prep
  • Dispenses additional items to the sterile field
  • Maintains the patient’s operative record
  • Assists the anesthesia provider

OBSERVATION ROLE (OBS) — The observation role is defined as the student who is in the operating room performing roles that do not meet the criteria for the first or second scrub role.

MassBay’s program faculty will continue to verify that all above requirements meet our accreditation criteria by weekly site visits, the student’s clinical log, and bi-weekly reports. This is now a mandatory requirement. Students will have skills practice sessions in the simulation laboratory prior to clinical placement. When a student is in an observational role, it will be documented but will not count towards the 120 surgical case requirement.

If you have any questions, please attend an upcoming health program information session. Check out our Info Session schedule and sign up today under “All Other Health Science Programs“. Or, contact — Dana Thomas at dthomas@massbay.edu — or call 508.270.4234 — Framingham Campus — Room 120, Office P