Core Performance Standards

The Surgical Technology program at Berkeley College prepares and educates students to become surgical technologists in operating rooms. The profession’s scope of practice requires demonstration of responsibilities and accountability within the role and competencies expected of a surgical technologist. It is important to note that the profession of surgical technologist is one that is physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding. Indicated below are several examples of the scope of practice, roles, and competencies that will be encountered.

The School of Health Studies is committed to providing reasonable accommodation in its academic programs to qualified individuals with disabilities, including but not limited to learning disabilities. A reasonable accommodation is one that does not require a fundamental alteration to the nature of the program or lower academic and/or clinical standards.

Throughout the program, students must be able to perform in a reasonably independent and timely manner that does not affect the quality of care, the safety of patients or other individuals, and in a way that does not adversely affect the School of Health Studies, clinical affiliates, or any member of the healthcare team.

Students must be able to meet all of the performance standards outlined below, with or without reasonable accommodation, in order to be admitted and progress in the program. Individuals requiring accommodations while enrolled in the program are encouraged to speak with a representative of the College’s Office of Accessibility Services before enrolling in clinical and/or laboratory courses. These core performance standards are required skills in order to render safe care to patients in the clinical setting.

Some chronic or recurrent illnesses and problems could interfere with patient care and safety, and may be incompatible with surgical technology education and practice, since they may lead to a higher chance of absences. Surgical technology students are not required to disclose any chronic or recurrent illness and/or disability; however, students with concerns about meeting these technical standards are strongly encouraged to discuss the issues with the Department Chair and/or the Office of Accessibility Services. Deficiencies in knowledge, skills, judgments, integrity, or professional attitude may jeopardize patient care and, as a result, may be grounds for course failure and possible dismissal from the Surgical Technology program.

Students must have the aptitude and abilities in six areas: sensory ability and skills; fine and gross motor skills; strength, mobility, and physical endurance; the ability to communicate, comprehend, read, and write in English; behavioral stability; and cognitive ability and critical thinking skills.

It is the student’s responsibility to understand the duties, responsibilities, skills, and abilities required to be a surgical technologist. In addition to the technical standards described below, students are encouraged to review the information regarding surgical technologists at the O*NET website.

The following list is not meant to be all-inclusive, but instead it offers examples of required activities. Students are encouraged to review the standards carefully; if there are any questions or concerns, they should be discussed with the Chair of the Allied Health – Surgical Department and/or the Office of Accessibility Services.

Core Performance Standards

  • Able to stand, bend, and/or sit for long periods of time in one location with minimum/no breaks.
  • Able to lift a minimum of 20 pounds.
  • Able to refrain from nourishment or restroom breaks for periods up to six hours.
  • Demonstrate sufficient visual ability to load a fine (10-0) suture onto needles and needle holders with/without corrective lenses and while wearing eye protection.
  • Demonstrate sufficient peripheral vision to anticipate and function while in the sterile surgical environment.
  • Hear and understand muffled communication without visualization of the communicator’s mouth/lips and within 20 feet.
  • Hear activation/warning signals on equipment.
  • Able to detect odors sufficient to maintain environmental safety and patient needs.
  • Manipulate instruments, supplies, and equipment with speed, dexterity, and good eye-hand coordination.
  • Ambulate/move around without assistive devices.
  • Able to assist with and/or lift, move, position, and manipulate the patient who is unconscious with or without assistive devices.
  • Able to effectively communicate with others, both verbally and in writing.
  • Possess short- and long-term memory sufficient to perform tasks such as, but not limited to, mentally tracking surgical supplies and performing anticipation skills intraoperatively.
  • Able to make appropriate judgment decisions.
  • Demonstrate the use of positive coping skills under stress.
  • Demonstrate calm and effective responses, especially in emergency situations.
  • Exhibit positive interpersonal skills during patient, staff, and faculty interactions.
  • Perform all laboratory and clinical skills within a pre-established timeframe that ensures safe patient care.