Surgical Technology


Provides students with a foundation in the sciences and in the principles and practices of the surgical technologist’s roles during the phases of surgery. The essential components of this health career are applied through extensive preceptored clinical experiences. CAAHEP* accreditation entitles program graduates to apply to sit for the national certifying examination in surgical technology. Enrollment is limited (20 students in each of 2 cohorts). 

* Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
1361 Park Street, Clearwater FL 33756
Courses Credits
EN 101–English Composition 3
Mathematics Elective (GenEd course list) 3/4
Social & Behavioral Sciences  
PS 101–General Psychology or  
SO 101–Introduction to Sociology 3
Arts & Humanities  
CMSP 103–Speech Fundamentals or  
CMSP 105–Group Discussion ‡ or  
CMSP 107–Career Communications 3
Biological & Physical Sciences  
BI 120–Microbiology for Allied Health 4
BI 103–Anatomy & Physiology and 4
BI 104–Anatomy & Physiology * 4
PE/Health Elective 1/3
Other Requirements  
MDA 108–Basics of Medical Terminology  or  
MDA 109–Medical Terminology 1/3
ST 100–Fundamentals of Surgical Technology I 6
ST 101–Introduction to Surgical Technology ‡  6
ST 105–Clinical Practicum 5
ST 120–Surgical Essentials 3
ST 200–Fundamentals of Surgical Technology II 12
Elective 2
Total 60/64

*Note: BI 104 must be taken within the last 3 years prior to applying to the program.

‡ All degree-seeking students must complete a Cultural Competency course in order to graduate. ST 101 fulfills this requirement.
Provides students with a foundation in the principles and practices of the surgical technologist’s roles during the phases of surgery. The foundations of practice are applied through extensive preceptored clinical experience. CAAHEP accreditation entitles program graduates to apply to sit for the national certifying examination in surgical technology. Enrollment is limited (20 students in each of two cohorts.)

Gainful Employment Information

Courses Credits
BI 103–Anatomy & Physiology + and 4
BI 104–Anatomy & Physiology * + 4
CMSP 103–Speech Fundamentals  or  
CMSP 105–Group Discussion + or  
CMSP 107–Career Communications (preferred) + 3
MDA 108–Basics of Medical Terminology + or  
MDA 109–Medical Terminology + 1/3
ST 120–Surgery Essentials 3
ST 100–Fundamentals of Surgical Technology I 6
ST 101–Introduction to Surgical Technology  6
ST 105–Clinical Practicum 5
ST 200–Fundamentals of Surgical Technology II 12
Total 44/46

*Note: BI 104 must be taken within the last 3 years prior to applying to the program.
+ CMSP, MDA and BI 103/104 must be completed before starting the clinical portion of the program.

Enrollment in the clinical portion of the program is limited to 20 students for each of two cohorts - fall admission and spring admission.

To be considered, you must:

  1. Complete and submit a FCC application for admission and submit proof of residency if required.

  2. Complete an online application for the ST program by the first consideration dates on the ST application for the fall and spring cohorts.   All applications will be accepted and reviewed when received, at any time.  

  3. Minimum skill levels in the areas of reading, writing, math, and allied health science are necessary to enroll in pre-requisite coursework for the ST program. See the prerequisite flow chart.

  4. The pre-requisites are:  BI 103, BI 104, medical terminology, and a communication course. 

  5. Students must achieve a “C” or higher in any course they plan to apply toward the ST program requirements.

  6. Anatomy & Physiology coursework must be completed within three years of the clinical program start date. For coursework over three years, you may repeat the course or take an approved anatomy review course.

  7. A point system is used to determine selection to the program. Points will be assigned only to those students who have returned the Application for Admission to the Surgical Technology Class.

  8. When there are more qualified applicants than there are seats in the program, those with the highest points will be offered seats first. Other qualified applicants will be offered seats as they become available.

  9. Participate in a job shadowing experience.  Follow a surgical technology in the OR for a day and evaluate if the career is for you.  Those with documented job shadowing will be given priority. Refer to the Job Shadowing Verification form.

  10. Mark your calendar for the mandatory orientation session conducted for each new class.  Refer to the ST Application.

  11. Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor may prohibit placement into a clinical site, applying for a professional license, or acquiring employment as a healthcare professional.  Prior to applying for consideration in a healthcare program which requires clinical placement for program completion, please discuss any questions you may have with the program director or manager. Once admitted into the program, students are required to pay for and obtain criminal background checks and drug screening before starting clinical coursework; and random drug screening may occur at any time during clinical experiences.


Point Scale for Admission into the ST Program

Beginning with the Class of 2015

Graduation Criteria for the ST Programs

The student will:
  1. Meet all academic, financial, and graduation criteria for Frederick Community College.  Refer to the current catalog.

  2. Pass all ST courses with a minimum of a “C” grade. Refer to the ST course lists.

  3. Participate in and document at least 120 surgical procedures according to the latest criteria found in the Association of Surgical Technology’s Core Curriculum for Surgical Technology.
The student will
  1. Demonstrate ability to comprehend, apply, and evaluate information pertinent to the practice of surgical technology (cognitive domain).
  2.  Perform, independently, skills required for employment as an entry-level practitioner (psychomotor domain).
  3. Exhibit professional behaviors consistent with college and employer standards for a surgical technologist (affective domain).

Specific duties for surgical technologists may include:

  • Participates in small, team groups

  • Enjoys working with people

  • Works accurately under pressure and within time constraints

  • Communicates professionally and respectfully

  • Detail oriented

  • Exhibits prompt and consistent attendance

  • Demonstrates manual dexterity and technical skills

  • Accepts constructive criticism and learns from feedback

  • Applies standardized  principles and concepts related to surgery

  • Applies anatomy knowledge

  • Anticipates needs of the surgical team

  • Multitasks  while focusing on the needs of the surgical team

  • Opens sterile supplies and prepares the sterile surgical field

  • Assists team members to don sterile gowns and gloves

  • Prepares necessary equipment

  • Assists the patient to settle into an unfamiliar environment

  • Assists with patient positioning for the procedure

  • Assists team members to apply surgical and monitoring devices

  • Prepares the incision site

  • Counts instruments and sponges concurrently with the circulator

  • Verifies, prepares, and passes medications and solutions during the procedure

  • Handles sterile instruments, sponges, and suture

  • Utilizes  correct protocols for all tissue specimens

  • Assists with placement of surgical dressings at the end of the procedure

1. What do ST students say about the ST program and the career?

  • “Thanks to you and the rest of the instructors. I walked away from this first week so excited to begin a new chapter in my life. The thing that impressed me so much was the kindness that you and everyone else showed toward all of the students. Your willingness to help and to see us succeed is truly a great gift that all of you have given us!”

  • “Do you love to help people? Have you always wanted to enter the healthcare field without attending school for numerous years?  If you answered “yes” to these questions then become a Surgical Technologist!

  • You will be a vital part of the surgical team and make a difference in the patient’s quality of life.  Surgical technologists do so much; they are the surgeon’s foundation and support.”

  • “The surgical technologist is the backbone of the operating room team.  They prepare, maintain, and display exceptional organizational skills, and demonstrate a positive attitude and exceptional people skills.  Along with the entire OR team, the ST places the patient’s health and well-being as the number one priority.” 

  • “Surgical technologists work as part of a team.  They must be proficient at multi-tasking and must remain calm in highly stressful situations.  Obtaining certification in this field gives you the opportunity to be part of an exciting career path.”   

2. What types of surgical technology programs are offered at FCC?

  • FCC offers two surgical technology program options.

  • Certificate in Surgical Technology.  Students can receive a certificate in surgical technology in about one year for those meeting basic college skill requirements.

  • Associate in Applied Science degree. Students can obtain an AAS degree by completing a series of general education courses and the surgical technology courses. The AAS degree can generally be completed in two years.

3. What are the prerequisites?

  • Complete all courses with a “C” grades or higher which will  be applied towards  the ST Certificate or the A.A.S. degree 

  • Complete BI103 and BI 104 Anatomy and Physiology; BI 104 must be completed within 3 years.

  • Complete MDA 108 or MDA 109 Medical Terminology 

  • Complete one CMSP Communications course selection.  CMSP 107 Career Communications is recommended.

  • Students completing the AAS degree in ST may use ST 101 Introduction to Surgical Technology to meet the FCC cultural competency requirement.

  • Participate in Job shadowing with a surgical technologist in the OR.   Refer to question # 4. 

4. Does job shadowing help students decide if ST is a career path for them?

  • Yes. Ninety-five percent of all students stated that observing a surgical technologist in the operating room was extremely helpful in validating their desire to pursue this profession.  A few students have withdrawn their application to the program as a result of participating in job shadowing.  The rationale given was the ST’s job was not as expected; it was too demanding or stressful.
  • You may arrange a job shadowing experience through the education department at participating hospitals, or through an online hospital application process.  Proof of immunity to communicable diseases and completion of privacy training may be required.

• Refer to the FCC Job Shadowing Verification Form for program applicants. 

5. Can I transfer courses from other colleges into the ST program?

  • Yes. First register with FCC and complete a separate web-based ST program application by the due date.  Both applications are free. 

  • Change your major to the ST certificate or the AAS degree

  • Courses taken at other colleges may be submitted for evaluation by our registrar.  Please send official transcripts from each college where you completed the courses; grades must be a “C” or higher. 

  • Your transcript will be evaluated and “points” will be assigned in a program point system.  Refer to the Surgical Technology Competitive Admissions Point Scale. 

6. When do ST classes begin?

  • The clinical portion of the program begins twice a year in the fall and in the spring.

  • The spring, 2015 start date, is a new addition to the ST program.  

  • Certificate and AAS degree students attend the clinical portion of the program simultaneously.  

7. How many semesters are in the clinical program?

  • There are three semesters in the ST clinical program. 

  • Each semester includes clinical hours, or scheduled time in the operating room, at our clinical affiliate sites.  

8. Where are the clinical sites located?

  • There are over 20 clinical sites utilized in the Maryland-Pennsylvania-Virginia-West Virginia region. Program officials aim to place students geographically; however, requests cannot be guaranteed. Plan to add travel time onto each clinical day, which typically begins at 6:45 a.m.

9. Are there any additional costs for the program, other than tuition?

  • Yes. There are additional costs.
  • Use scholarships and loans in the FCC bookstore to purchase textbooks, ST lab packs, and ST scrub attire.  Cost approximately $625.00

  • ST courses have fees associated with them for pre-clinical screening: background check, fingerprinting, and drug screening. Cost approximately $200.00; course fees also include the CST examination fee. Cost approximately $250.00

  • Schedule an appointment with your healthcare practitioner for pre-clinical screening.  Obtain permission to perform the duties of a student surgical technology, and obtain proof of immunity to communicable diseases.  Cost to the student will be for the office visit, any additional immunizations, and for laboratory services.

  • Provide proof of a certificate in CPR for the HealthCare Provider from the American Heart Association.  Cost to the student will be course registration fees. 

10.  Can I w‚Äčork full-time while attending the ST program?  

  • A majority of ST students do not work full time. 

  • Current students overwhelmingly recommend against full-time employment.  

  • Most classroom sessions and all clinical rotations are scheduled during the day time hours. 

  • Clinical rotations are scheduled between 6:45 a.m.–3:00 p.m. and travel time is additional.  

  • For those students who are currently employed as a surgical technologist, you may be able to negotiate with your employer so that your work commitment corresponds with your program commitments.  

  • The clinical component of the program shall be educational in nature, and the student shall not be substituted for paid staff personnel during the clinical component of the program (September, 2013). 

11. How much study time is involved?  

  • On average, students must plan on spending approximately 5 hours per week out of the classroom studying for each 3-credit course.  Study time equates to about two hours for every one hour in class.

  • Surgical technology is a career program.  You are required to demonstrate competency in ST skills and you must practice safely in the operating room setting with surgical patients, surgeons, and nurses.  You must pass each component in the course to advance in the program.

  • ST courses contain lecture classes, skill simulation laboratories, instrument identification sessions, and clinical operating room assignments. 

12. What are the benefits of passing the certification examination in surgical technology?

  • Students sit for the web-based national certification examination in surgical technology in our testing center and prior to graduation.  Those who pass the examination may use the credential “CST” behind their name (certified surgical technologist.)

  • While passing this examination is not a pre-requisite to employment in many hospitals, it provides an advantage to the new graduate when competing for job openings.  Once hired, most hospitals award additional salary to certified surgical technologists.  

13. Are there ST jobs in our area?

  • Yes. During the past ten years, 75%- 95% of our program graduates have obtained employment in our geographical region which includes Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia. 

  • Graduates who seek employment within a 50-mile radius are most successful.

  • When openings exist, our graduates are offered employment by their clinical site managers. 

14. What type of jobs have graduates from FCC obtained?

  • Our graduates are employed full- or part-time in main operating rooms, surgery centers, physician’s offices, materials management departments, surgical product companies, and surgical technology education.

FCC provides a tuition payment plan. Scholarship and loan assistance is available for eligible students. Please refer to the separate scholarship application, and apply before the deadline. In addition to general scholarships, the following are available to surgical technology students:
  • Frederick Memorial Foundation Scholarship
  • Loats Foundation Scholarship
  • Joseph and Margaret Droll Memorial Scholarship

Note: Scholarships are also available to students enrolled in ST programs from the Association of Surgical Technologists and from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. Please refer to the websites,  applications and apply before the deadlines.  

For more information, visit the Financial Aid Office, Enrollment Services Building, J-301, or call 301.846.2480.
For students who complete the A.A.S. degree in Surgical Technology, FCC has articulation (transfer) agreements with:
  • University of Baltimore – B.S. Health Systems Management,
  • University of Baltimore at Shady Grove – B.S. Health Systems Management, and
  • Towson University – B.T.P.S. Allied Health.

For more information, visit the Counseling & Advising Office, Enrollment Services Building, J-201, or call 301.846.2471.

Every Monday Evening 
Beginning Monday, February 2, 2015
5:30 - 7:30 p.m

Drop in anytime 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Library Building, room L-107 lab.
Informal, drop-in format.
Meet faculty, students, and working ST's.

Note: Closed March 30; May 18, 25; June 1, 8. 15, 22, 29; and July 6

Click here for a PDF version of the campus map.

Tips For Success

Surgical Technology Prerequisite Flow Chart