Surgical Technology is a rapidly growing field with a high demand for professionals who can provide optimum patient care, and utilize clinical knowledge in this vital role within the surgical team. It is a challenging and demanding field, but is also rewarding and exciting. The Surgical Technologist scrubs in and participates in surgical procedures to provide assistance to the surgeons and other members of the surgical team. They will also prepare instrumentation and maintain the sterile surgical field. A successful Technologist possesses not only academic knowledge, but critical thinking skills, clinical experience, integrity and stamina.
During the first semester of the program, emphasis is placed on classroom and laboratory instruction in preparation for the clinical semesters the student will spend in the operating room. Classroom instruction is conducted at the South Plains College, Reese Campus and includes courses in anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, microbiology, patient care in surgery, sterile technique, surgical technique, instrumentation, and surgical procedures.
During the second and third semesters, clinical experience is gained through hands-on participation in surgical procedures. South Plains College believes that the student should experience a wide variety of operating room settings and not be limited to one local hospital. Therefore we have developed strong working relationships with six area hospitals in which the student will rotate through each, including the Northstar Surgery Center and the Heart Hospital. The clinical semesters also include further classroom instruction, however emphasis is placed on extensive clinical experience and intensive study for the National Certification Exam.
Upon completion of the Surgical Technology program, graduates will be equipped with a thorough knowledge of preoperative concepts, solid clinical experience, and professional training before entering the workforce. Program graduates will be qualified, and required, to sit for the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) certification exam.
The state of Texas, and some other states, requires certification credentials (CST) to obtain employment as a Surgical Technologist. The
WHERE DO SURGICAL TECHNOLOGISTS WORK?
Surgical Technologists are not limited to employment in large hospital surgical departments. Other employment opportunities include:
- outpatient surgery centers
- private surgical practices
- traveling/contract work
- prison surgical facilities
- medical examiners offices
- oral surgery practices
- military and veteran’s facilities
- veterinary practices
- labor and delivery departments
WHAT IS THE EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK FOR SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY?
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment of Surgical Technologists is expected to grow 25 percent between 2008 and 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations, as the volume of surgeries increases. The number of surgical procedures is expected to continue to rise as the population grows and ages. Older people, including the baby-boom generation, which generally requires more surgical procedures, will continue to account for a larger portion of the U.S. population. In addition, technological advances, such as fiber optics and laser technology, have permitted an increasing number of new surgical procedures to be performed and also have allowed Surgical Technologists to assist with a greater number of procedures.