Surgical Technology students in scrubs Surgical Technology students in scrubs
Be part of a surgical team

Surgical Technology

Specialized training for a specialized surgical tech career.

The Surgical Technology program prepares students to work as valuable members of a surgical team, which most commonly includes surgeons, anesthesiologists, and circulating nurses. Surgical Technologists assist in surgical procedures under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, and other surgical personnel. They perform a variety of critical hands-on tasks, including:

  • Preparing operating rooms by setting up surgical instruments and equipment
  • Preparing patients for surgery by washing, shaving, and disinfecting incision sites
  • Passing instruments and other sterile supplies to surgeons during surgical procedures
  • Maintaining a proper sterile field throughout the surgical process
  • Monitoring and assessing operating room conditions

Student Testimonial

“I remember touring the campus – looking into a classroom and seeing students in the program in scrubs with their mask on. It called to me. Right then and there, I knew that was what I wanted to do. I had no hesitation.”

-Jennifer Ruesta, Surgical Technology Alumna

For more information regarding a degree in Surgical Technology or another program of study at Berkeley College, click here.

Benefit from a surgical tech degree:

  • A strong foundation in both the theory and techniques of surgical technology
  • Hands-on learning in on-site surgical laboratories that simulate the surgical environment
  • Valuable, practical experience gained through the completion of clinical practicums at off-campus healthcare facilities, under the supervision of instructors and professional practitioners
  • Liberal arts and sciences courses that provide students with a foundation of skills and knowledge necessary to reason clearly and communicate effectively

Certification

The Surgical Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA). Students who complete a CAAHEP-accredited Surgical Technology program are eligible to sit for the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam, a national credentialing exam administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Seventy percent of Berkeley College’s Surgical Technology students who graduated between August 1, 2016, and July 31, 2017, passed the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam on their first attempt. This pass rate is higher than the national average of 58.6 percent, according to statistics from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.

Surgical Technology Associate in Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.)

Not all programs are offered for completion at each campus or through Berkeley College Online®. Please review the academic program pages for information on where each program is offered. Additionally, all students may be required to take some courses at another campus or online. The Career Development and Internship courses are only offered online.

This program is offered in: Woodland Park

PROGRAM LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Course Requirements

MAJOR CORE COURSES

HEA2200 Medical Terminology

3 Credits

Provides a solid foundation and understanding of the medical language used by healthcare professionals through the introduction, reinforcement, and combination of medical word parts including prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms. Emphasis is placed on word building, analysis of word parts, spelling, special endings, plural forms, correct pronunciation of terminology related to procedures, and diseases of the various body systems. Commonly used abbreviations and symbols will also be introduced.

HEA2203 Ethical and Legal Aspects of Health Services

3 Credits

An introduction to the principles of law as applied to the healthcare field. Students learn ethical standards and issues as related to healthcare.

SUR1100 Fundamentals of Surgical Technology

6 Credits

Students are introduced to the role and responsibilities of the surgical technologist, the healthcare team, and the clinical environment. Topics include environment and workplace safety, patient care and safety, age-extreme patients, and patients with special needs. Students learn the basic techniques for scrubbing, gowning, and gloving. An on-campus operating room laboratory provides students with such hands-on experience as vital signs, patient transporting, and positioning.

SUR2112 Surgical Techniques

6 Credits

Provides an in-depth study of the principles of aseptic techniques. Topics include wound healing, specimen care, safe use of surgical equipment, surgical counts, and prepping and draping the patient. Various types of sutures, needles, stapling devices, sponges, dressings, packings, drains, and catheters are presented. Students are introduced to robotics, physics, and electricity. Focuses on diagnostic procedures as well as general, genitourinary, orthopedics, obstetrics and gynecological, ear, nose, and throat surgical procedures. Emphasis is placed on developing an effective operative routine as students set up for mock surgical procedures and role play the members of the perioperative team.

Prerequisite: SUR1100

SUR2120 Surgical Specialty Intervention Procedures

3 Credits

Focuses on the following surgical specialties: ophthalmology, plastic, neurosurgery, thoracic surgery, peripheral vascular, cardiovascular, organ and tissue recovery, and pediatric surgery.

Prerequisite: SUR2112

Corequisite: SUR2280

SUR2251 Pharmacology and Anesthesiology

2 Credits

The rationale for use of specific drugs, their therapeutic effects, major side effects on the surgical patient, and how these drugs may alter or influence surgical intervention are defined. Emphasis is on the role and responsibilities of the surgical technologist regarding pharmaceuticals in the operating room.

Prerequisite: SUR2112

SUR2280 Operating Room Clinical Practicum I

5 Credits

Students apply the didactic and laboratory skills learned throughout the program to the clinical setting, gain clinical work experience in surgical procedures and operating room practices, and scrub on surgical cases in various surgical specialties. Students also participate in focused discussions and special projects.

Prerequisites: SUR2112, Basic Cardiac Life Support/Automated External Defibrillation Certification

Corequisite: SUR2120

SUR2290 Operating Room Clinical Practicum II

5 Credits

Continuation of clinical work experience in surgical procedures and operating room practices. Students also participate in focused discussions and special projects.

Prerequisites: SUR2280, Basic Cardiac Life Support/Automated External Defibrillation Certification

Corequisite: SUR2292

SUR2292 Surgical Technology Capstone

4 Credits

Designed to elicit reflection and application to the whole of the Surgical Technology program. The course requires the student to apply the knowledge, skills, and techniques attained throughout the Surgical Technology program. The capstone course provides an opportunity for the assessment of surgical technologist critical thinking skills and teamwork skills through case studies that present experiences often encountered in the surgical technologist’s workplace. The course reinforces the knowledge, skills, and strategies needed to sit for the national credentialing exam; and stresses entry-level job requirements and upward career paths, resume writing skills, interviewing techniques, and networking.

Prerequisite: Departmental permission

LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCE CORE COURSES

ENG1105 Writing and Research

3 Credits

An introduction to expository writing through a comprehensive survey of forms of composition. Students are taught to use words with precision and strengthen their understanding and application of grammatical and rhetorical principles. Students are encouraged to appreciate and incorporate the principles of academic and professional writing.

 

ENG2205 Writing Through Literature

3 Credits

Further develops the writing, reading, and interpretive abilities introduced in ENG1105 through critical engagement with literary texts from a myriad of genres.

Prerequisite: ENG1105

SCI1100 Anatomy and Physiology I

3 Credits

Study of the structure, function, and pathology (disease) of the human body. Students are introduced to various body systems including the musculoskeletal, digestive, nervous, and integumentary, as well as the special senses.

SCI1110 Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory I

1 Credit

An introduction to the basic principles of human anatomy and physiology as explored through laboratory sessions. Laboratory activities coincide with lectures to enhance understanding of each topic by providing visual and hands-on experiments for the concepts learned in the lecture. Laboratory sessions include microscopy, dissections, and elementary physiological experiments. Among the topics considered are various body systems including the musculoskeletal, digestive, nervous, and integumentary, as well as the general and special senses.

Corequisite: SCI1100

SCI2100 Anatomy and Physiology II

3 Credits

Study of the structure, function, and pathology (disease) of the human body. Students are introduced to various body systems including the cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary, endocrine, lymphatic, and reproductive systems.

Prerequisite: SCI1100

SCI2110 Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory II

1 Credit

Continues the study of human anatomy and physiology through laboratory exploration. Laboratory activities coincide with lectures to enhance understanding of each topic by providing visual and hands-on experiments for the concepts learned in the lecture. Laboratory sessions include microscopy, dissections, and elementary physiological experiments. Among the topics covered are the cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary, endocrine, lymphatic, and reproductive systems.

Prerequisite: SCI1110 Corequisite: SCI2100

SCI2228 Microbiology

3 Credits

The morphology and function of microorganisms, especially viruses and bacteria, are studied. The characteristics of microorganisms, the disease process, and the immune response are discussed.

SOC2225 Introduction to Psychology

3 Credits

Survey of the basic principles of psychology and their direct application to the understanding of human behavior so as to allow students to gain an understanding and awareness of their own everyday existence. Topics include human development, learning, memory, thinking, intelligence, creativity, motivation, emotion, adjustment, perception, abnormal behavior, and therapy.

Humanities Elective- 3 Credits

60 SEMESTER CREDIT HOURS REQUIRED FOR GRADUATION

Governing regulations may disqualify individuals from obtaining certification in this field based upon health or criminal records. Therefore, in addition to meeting the immunization requirements of Berkeley College and the State of New Jersey, students applying to the Surgical Technology program must provide authorization for a criminal background check prior to registration and submit a physical assessment by a licensed medical professional prior to participating in clinical rotations. Students are required to purchase their own malpractice insurance.

Extensive criminal background checks may be repeated after admission at the request of clinical facilities; and positive findings may prevent students from completing the clinical portion of the program, graduating, and participating in the national certification exam. Health requirements required for clinical courses are extensive and may total several hundred dollars. The costs of these health requirements are borne by the student.

To qualify for employment as a Surgical Technologist in the State of New Jersey, a person must either complete a nationally or regionally accredited Surgical Technology program or meet other specified criteria. Requirements may vary by state. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredits Berkeley College’s Surgical Technology program; therefore, students who complete this program are eligible to sit for the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam.

To qualify for graduation, students must pass all Surgical (SUR) courses, as well as Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory I and II, and Microbiology, with a minimum grade of C+, as well as participate in the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) National Certification Exam administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Passing this examination is required to work as a Surgical Technologist in some states, including New Jersey and New York.

This program also requires students to obtain specific supplies. Detailed information describing the required supplies and listing typical prices is available at BerkeleyCollege.edu/static/school_of_health_studies/aas_surgical_technology_nj_sem/gedt-1.html.

Any required traditional textbooks and/or some required supplies are included as part of the charge for tuition and fees and will be distributed to students. Please note, however, that students have the right to obtain traditional textbooks, and/or certain required items, from other sources. Students who demonstrate that they have obtained required item(s) from another source may return the items distributed by the College and receive a refund of the amount charged by the College for the specific item.

SAMPLE PROGRAM SEQUENCE