WHAT DO SURGICAL TECHNOLOGISTS DO?
Surgical Technologists are are an integral part of the team of medical practitioners providing surgical care to patients in a variety of settings. Their primary role is to work with surgeons, anesthesia care professionals, registered nurses, and other surgical technologists in delivering patient care and assuming appropriate responsibilities before, during, and after surgery. Specifically, surgical technologists:
- Apply and maintain the principles of sterile technique and safety in the operating room.
- Prepare, handle, sterilize, and care for surgical instruments, supplies, and equipment.
- Set up instrumentation, equipment, and supplies for various surgical procedures.
- Prepare and pass surgical instruments, medications, and supplies to the surgeon.
- Anticipate the surgeon’s needs by analyzing the progress of the surgical procedure.
The goal of the Dixie State University Surgical Technology program is to prepare competent entry-level surgical technologists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.
The nationally accredited Surgical Technology program at Dixie State University is an admission-limited, two-year course of study leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree in Surgical Technology. The program is open to all academically qualified applicants. Applications for the professional program open February 1st.
The Surgical Technology professional program is admission-limited meaning that, through a competitive application process, one cohort of no more than 12 students is admitted to the professional program per year. The start date for the program is the first day of classes of the DSU fall semester.
The intensive professional portion of the program combines classroom lectures and discussions, laboratory demonstrations with hands-on practice, and supervised clinical experiences in actual patient care settings to provide students with a variety of learning opportunities.
Detailed program course descriptions can be found here.
Graduates of DSU’s Surgical Technology program are eligible to take the National Board Certifying Examination offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST). Our students take the exam on campus in May each year.
PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS AND PREREQUISITES
ITEMS TO CONSIDER PRIOR TO APPLYING
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 DSU 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.