Department of Health Professions

Surgical Technology

Surgical technologists are health professionals who are an integral part of the team of medical practitioners providing surgical care to patients in a variety of settings.  They work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, and registered nurses. Surgical Technologists work with medical supervision to facilitate the safe and effective conduct of invasive surgical procedures.  This individual ensures that the operating room and environment is safe, that equipment functions properly, and that the operative procedure is conducted under conditions that maximize patient safety.  A Surgical Technologist possesses expertise in the theory and application of sterile and aseptic technique.  Also, a Surgical Technologist combines the knowledge of human anatomy, surgical procedures, and implementation of tools to facilitate a physician’s performance of invasive therapeutic and diagnostic procedures.

Students interested in the Surgical Technology program first enroll as Associate of Arts (General Studies) students. Students then take prerequisite general education courses while exploring personal interests and aptitudes with the assistance of advisors who are experts in the health care fields. When required prerequisite course work is successfully completed students may apply for admission to the Surgical Technology program.

Program Description

Surgical Technology   Associate of Applied Science  (4 Semesters after the AA prerequisite courses are completed)    
Students in this program are educated to be surgical technologists who work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, and registered nurses in delivering patient care preoperatively, intra-operatively, and postoperatively. As a Surgical Technologist, you may:

  • Help prepare the operating room by setting up surgical instruments and equipment, sterile drapes, and sterile solutions
  • Are the sterile member of the surgical team who passes instruments, sutures, and sponges during surgery
  • Follow strict adherence to aseptic techniques
  • Oversee the care, cleaning, and maintenance of surgical supplies and equipment
  • Prepare patients for surgery by washing, shaving, and disinfecting incision sites (as hospital policy dictates)
  • Transport patients to the operating room and help position them on the operating table
  • Assist the surgical team with putting on sterile gowns and gloves
  • Function in assisting the Registered Nurse circulator by assisting the anesthesiologist
  • Responsible for anticipating additional needs of the surgical team
  • May help transfer patients to the recovery room, clean, and restock the operating room when the operation is completed

To meet Surgical Technology Core Curriculum standards, all students must complete at least 120 surgical procedures in the first scrub or second scrub role. Of these, at least 80 cases must be in the first scrub (independent and proficient) role. The experiences must be appropriately distributed between general surgery and specialty procedures. Please see Program Director for more detailed information.

Special Features of this Program

  • The program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
  • Students take a national certification exam following graduation; this allows them to use the title, Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).
  • Due to the high demand for these professionals, the Missoula College Surgical Technology Program has Outreach programs offered in Billings, Butte, and Great Falls.
  • Throughout the program, all students have the hands-on training at clinical sites within and outside of Missoula, MT.
  • Classes are designed to be small and personal which gives students the invaluable hands-on experience and training needed to be successful on the job.
  • This program offers an excellent opportunity to carry the Associates degree forward to a Bachelors of Applied Science degree or other advanced options.
  • All students receive one-on-one academic advising and counseling with a professor within the program to help students reach their academic goals.
  • Many of the faculty within this program work professionally within this field of study giving students the opportunity to be trained with the most current information and skills being used today in this field.
  • The demand for these skilled professionals is very high; therefore, many of the students within this program have jobs before they graduate.
  • Students are encouraged to join the (Association of Surgical Technologists) AST.

Job Placement and Internship Opportunities

  • Inpatient Surgery/Hospitals
  • Outpatient Surgery Centers
  • Maternity Units
  • Central Processing Departments
  • Physician Offices
  • Vendor Representatives
  • Traveling Surgical Technologist
  • Many out-of-state opportunities

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