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St. Philip's College Library

MLK Campus: 210-486-2330
Location: Center for Learning Resources (CLR)

SWC Campus: 210-486-7023
Location: Building 1-C123


Surgical Technology

Building careers in healthcare!

See how you can start today.

Allied Health

Building careers in healthcare!

See how you can start today.

Allied Health

Building careers in healthcare!

See how you can start today.

Allied Health - Banner Img 3

Building careers in healthcare!

See how you can start today.

Allied Health

Building careers in healthcare!

See how you can start today.

Allied Health

Building careers in healthcare!

See how you can start today.

Allied Health

Building careers in healthcare!

See how you can start today.

The Surgical Technology Program is a two year Associate of Applied Science degree program starting in the fall semester.

Upon completion of the Surgical Technology Program, you will be qualified to assist the surgical team during surgery. A surgical technologist may work as a surgical scrub person, passing instruments and surgical supplies to the surgeon, assist the RN circulating during the surgical procedure, or other areas within the operating room department.

During your training you will learn theory, surgical procedures, instrumentation, aseptic technique, and surgical equipment and supplies. Through a clinical education course, you will receive valuable clinical experience in the operating suite of a local hospital. Upon completing your course work, you will be eligible to take the National Certification Examination.

SPC Surgical Technology on Great Day SA



Surgical Specialty

Total # of Cases Required

Minimum # of First Scrub Cases Required

Maximum # of Second Scrub Cases That Can be Applied Towards 120 Cases

General Surgery




Surgical Specialties









Peripheral Vascular






Diagnostic Endoscopy













10 diagnostic endoscopy cases may be applied toward the second scrub cases

Labor & Delivery



5 vaginal delivery cases may be applied toward the second scrub cases






  1. The total number of cases the student must complete is 120. 
  2. Students are required to complete 30 cases in General Surgery. Twenty of the cases must be in the First Scrub Role. 
  3. Students are required to complete 90 cases in various surgical specialties. Sixty of the cases must be in the First Scrub Role and evenly distributed between a minimum of 5 surgical specialties. However, 15 is the maximum number of cases that can be counted in any one surgical specialty. 
  4. The surgical technology program is required to verify through the surgical rotation documentation the students’ progression in First and Second Scrubbing surgical procedures of increased complexity as he/she moves towards entry-level graduate abilities. 
  5. Diagnostic endoscopy cases and vaginal delivery cases are not mandatory. But up to 10 diagnostic endoscopic cases and 5 vaginal delivery cases can be counted toward the maximum number of Second Scrub Role cases. 
  6. Observation cases must be documented, but do not count towards the 120 required cases. 
  7. Counting Cases 

Trauma patient requires a splenectomy and repair of a LeFort I fracture. Two cases can be counted and documented since the splenectomy is general surgery specialty and repair of LeFort I is oral-maxillofacial surgical specialty.

Patient requires a breast biopsy followed by a mastectomy. It is one pathology, breast cancer, and the specialty is general surgery; therefore, it is counted and documented as one procedure – one case.



The student surgical technologist shall perform the following duties during any given surgical procedure with proficiency. The following list is provided to identify the items that must be completed in order to document case in the first scrub role. A student not meting the five criteria below cannot count the case in the first scrub role and the case must be documented in the second scrub role or observation role.

  • Verify supplies and equipment needed for the surgical procedure.
  • Set up the sterile field with instruments, supplies, equipment, medication(s), and solutions needed for the procedure.
  • Perform counts with the circulator prior to the procedure and before the incision is closed.
  • Pass instruments and supplies to the sterile surgical team members during the procedure.
  • Maintain sterile technique as measured by recognized breaks in technique and demonstrate knowledge of how to correct with appropriate technique.


The second scrub role is defined as the student who is at the sterile field who has not met all criteria for the first scrub role, but actively participates in the surgical procedure in its entirety by completing any of the following:

  • Sponging
  • Suctioning
  • Cutting suture
  • Holding retractors
  • Manipulating endoscopic equipment


The observation role is defined as the student who is in the operating room performing roles that do not meet the criteria for the first or second scrub role.  These observation cases are not to be included in the required case count, but must be documented by the program.

For further information on the Surgical Technology (ST) program, please select a topic of interest from the list below.

Program Topics

Professional Organizations and Sites of Interest

The Surgical Technology Program maintains close ties with the Association of Surgical Technologists and the Association of Operating Room Nurses.

  • Association of Surgical Technologist
  • Association of Operating Room Nurses

The following are some interesting web sites about Surgical Technology.  

Faculty and Staff

The Surgical Technology Program faculty are certified surgical technologists with years of experience in operating room nursing. They are dedicated professionals with expertise in many surgical services, providing the student with the best academic and clinical experience available.

  • Jessica Garza, CST, Assistant Professor, Program Director
  • Liza Chapa, CST, Instructor, Clinical Coordinator


Program Accreditation and Licensure

The Surgical Technology Program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). CAAHEP awards accreditation to ST and SA programs upon the recommendation of ARC/STSA.

The NBSTSA, National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, is the credentialing agency for Surgical Technologists and Surgical Assistants. This agency is a nationally recognized credentialing agency for both surgical specialties.

In the State of Texas, the national certification exam is the mandatory credential. To be eligible to take the National Certification examination a student must graduate from a CAAHEP accredited program. The most recent National Certification Pass Rate is 100%.

See National Board of Surgical Technology and Assisting or Association of Surgical Technologists for details. See also CAAHEP for further information or contact CAAHEP at 25400 US Highway 19N, Suite 158, Clearwater, Florida 33763 or phone at 727-210-2350.


Admission and Prerequisite Requirements

Students desiring to specialize in Surgical Technology must meet all previous admission requirements for acceptance to St. Philip's College and the Surgical Technology Program. These include the following:

  • St. Philip's College Admissions
  • Surgical Technology Program Admission Requirements
  • Proof of Immunizations prior to clinical (mid September)
    • Tuberculosis (TB) PPD current year of application
    • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
    • Hepatitis B series
    • Diphtheria, Tetanus within 10 years
    • Hepatitis A series
    • Varicella (chicken pox)
    • Current flu shot
  • Criminal Background Check
  • Drug Screening Test
  • CPR Certification (AHA ONLY)

All students must also meet the following prerequisites by the start of the program with a grade of C or better.

Semester I (Prerequisites)
ENGL 1301 Composition I
MATH 1314 College Algebra
CHEM 1405 Introductory Chemistry I

Semester II (Prerequisites)

HITT 1305 Medical Terminology I
BIOL 2404 Human Anatomy & Physiology
BIOL 2420 Microbiology for Allied Health Majors

The student applying to the Surgical Technology Program must complete an application form and be available for interview by the faculty. Criteria for selection is based on interview, application, essay, completed prerequisites, corequisites and GPA. Please see the Student Technical Standards listed below.

Applications are only being accepted for the fall program during the prior spring semester. Deadline for applications is June 1st.

The Surgical Technology Program is nationally accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)


The following are essential job functions for any Surgical Technologist as complied from observations of a wide variety of job experiences. The Technical Standards must be met and maintained throughout the length of the program. If the student cannot met and maintain the following technical abilities, he or she will be dropped from the program.

  • Visual Acuity
    • Distinguish between small objects within the sterile field and outside of the sterile field.
    • Perform necessary procedures involving assembling equipment, instruments, drills, and other necessary items.
    • Be able to load needle holders with small sutures and needles.
    • Read surgeon's preference cards and instruction manuals.
    • Perform data entry tasks using computer terminals.
    • Help during insertion of needles or catheters into small anatomical structures.
  • Hearing Acuity
    • Hearing must be sufficient to communicate with others.
    • Hear and retain instruction from surgeon, OR personnel, and instructor simultaneously.
    • Hear and retain information to relay to others.
    • Hearing must be sufficient to answer telephones and intercoms in the operating room and department.
  • Speaking Ability
    • Speak clearly and loudly enough to be understood by a person in the operating room or on the phone and intercom.
    • Converse with surgeons, operating room personnel, classmates, and instructor using good communication skills.
  • Manual Dexterity
    • Must be able to grasp and manipulate small objects required to perform job function.
    • Must be able to hold and maintain instrumentation in one position for long periods of time.
    • Must be able to turn hands palm-up and palm-down.
  • Physical Stamina
    • Must be able to stand for the majority of a normal workday.
    • Lift instrument sets weighing 20 to 25 lbs.
    • Push or pull surgical equipment, furniture, supply carts.
    • Help transport and transfer patients to the OR table.
    • Help with positioning patients for surgical procedures.
    • Maintain balance while performing job functions.
    • Must be able to move freely and feel comfortable in confined areas.
    • Must not have any open wound conditions on hands and/or arms

Adaptive Ability

  • Complete required tasks/function under stressful conditions.
  • Must be flexible to changes in assignments or tasks.
  • Perform independently and safely with minimal supervision
  • Interact appropriately with diverse personalities.
  • Be able to multi-task and remain focused.
  • Must be able to remain calm under stressful conditions.



Minimum Expectations

The program must have the following goal defining minimum expectations:

"To prepare competent entry-level surgical technologist [or surgical assistants] in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains."



Application and Selection Process

Refer to the admission section above for information on the selection process. The application deadline is June 1st of every year.

Applications are available online by selecting this Application Form hyperlink.

 Click here for the Application Checklist.

Click here for the Selection Process.

Information Sessions

If you're interested in applying to the Surgical Technology Program at St. Philip's College, an information session is going to be held to provide you with an overview of the career of being a surgical technologist as well as information specifically about the program. Certificate of attendance will be provided. Information sessions will be 1 hour each. You only need to attend one (1) session.

Information Sessions:

Fall semester November 17, 2017
11:00am – 12:00pm & 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Spring semester April 20, 2018
11:00am – 12:00pm & 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Location: 3rd floor, Center for Healthcare Professions Building, Room 328


Contact Information

Program Director:
Jessica Garza, CST, AAS/BS

MLK Campus
Center for Health Professionals (CHP) 330C