What do surgical technologists do?
Surgical technologists assist with operations, handling the instruments, supplies and equipment necessary during the surgical procedure. They have an understanding of the procedure being performed, anticipate the needs of the surgeon and have the necessary knowledge and ability to ensure quality patient care during the operative procedure, while monitoring and preserving the sterile field.
Surgical technology students study anatomy and physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, principles of asepsis, surgical techniques, patient preparation and care of surgical instruments and equipment.
The expertise these highly-trained professionals bring to the OR contributes directly to risk reduction, cost curtailment and quality assurance. Certified surgical technologists are vital members of the operating room team.
Surgical Technology, AAS: The Fine Print
Admission Requirements / Considerations
- To be considered for admission to the Surgical Technology program, an applicant must first be accepted as a Utah Tech University student. Then, the applicant must complete a separate application to this program.
- Everything one needs to know about applying to UT can be found on the Admissions website.
- The program is open to all academically qualified applicants.
- The Surgical Technology professional program is admission-limited meaning that, through a competitive application process, one cohort is admitted to the professional program per year. The start date for the program is the first day of classes of the UT fall semester.
- Due to the rigorous demands of this full-time program, student employment is not encouraged.
- This personal decision should be based on individual performance in the classroom and at clinical education sites, and personal health. Student success is our primary concern, and essential learning cannot be compromised.
- Students will not be excused from class or clinical assignments for personal work schedules.
- The program is committed to surgical patient safety, so students are prohibited from working night shifts prior to assigned clinical days and must plan to get a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep the night before assigned clinical days. Fatigue due to sleep deprivation contributes to an increased risk of medical errors and cannot be tolerated in the educational setting.
Travel to Clinical Sites
- Access to the clinical education portion of the program requires that students attend assigned surgical rotations at area clinical facilities separate from the UT campus.
- Clinical sites are located within and outside of the St. George municipal area and require student travel to sites as far away as Cedar City, UT (approximately 50 miles) with a report time of 6:30 am.
- Students are responsible for their own travel costs and must maintain reliable transportation.
Impact on Personal Lifestyle
- Surgical patient care and safety requires that the skin of students’ arms, hands, and fingers must be intact to prevent transmission of blood borne pathogens from student to patient or from patient to student.
- This includes injury to cuticles. Fingernails must be healthy in addition to being short, natural, and free of any type of polish.
- Surgical patient care, safety, and professionalism require that sterile team members must be free of any non-natural item on face, ears, neck, hands or arms.
- Enhancement of any type to eyelashes (such as mascara, false eyelashes, extensions, etc.) is not allowed.
- Jewelry of any type is not allowed in the lab or clinical setting. This includes but is not limited to pierced earrings, nose rings, eyebrow rings, wedding rings, and any item worn on wrist.
- Visible tattoos must be covered in the clinical setting.
- To meet personal hygiene standards necessary in surgical patient care, students may not smoke or use tobacco products immediately prior to or during each assigned clinical rotation day.
- The majority of jobs in surgical technology require an obligation to take emergency on-call rotations, which include nights, weekends, and holidays. Additionally, while local demand for graduates is high, the University cannot guarantee surgical technology job placement in St. George or surrounding communities.
Students taking this program of study are required to meet certain health and safety standards. The following requirements are mandatory and must be completed by deadlines given upon program admission.
- Background check
- Drug screen
- Tuberculosis (TB): Either of the following TB tests performed within the past 12 months is acceptable:
- Blood test (QuantiFERON Gold or T-SPOT.TB) with negative result
- Proof of two separate TB skin tests (administered at least 7 days apart and within 1-3 weeks of each other), both with negative result
- Hepatitis B: Proof of 3 vaccinations and a positive antibody titer (showing immunity/reactivity) demonstrated by a lab report
- MMR (measles, mumps, rubella): Proof of 2 vaccinations or a positive antibody titer (showing immunity) demonstrated by a lab report
- TDaP (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis): Proof of 1 vaccination administered within the past 10 years
- Varicella (chicken pox): Proof of 2 vaccinations or a positive antibody titer (showing immunity) demonstrated by a lab report
- Influenza (seasonal flu): Proof of flu vaccine administered during the current flu season (September – March)
- COVID-19: Proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccine series
- Current Basic Life Support CPR & AED Training for Healthcare Professionals
- A BLS (Basic Life Support) certification course must have been completed prior to the student’s entry into the program and must be Healthcare Provider status.
- The course must have a “hands-on” component and must include AED.
- Certification must remain current for the duration of the program.
Profession Essential Functions
Applicants must verify that they are able to perform the essential functions of a surgical technologist. Some of the program’s clinical sites require that students be at least 18 years of age to be eligible for clinical rotation placement.