All provisions within this catalog are subject to change without notice. If you have questions or comments, please contact

Surgical Technology

Associate of Applied Science Degree

Program Director: Daisy Gibson

A hybrid option is available for this program. Please contact the Program Director for more information.

Program Website

Program Application  (Spring 2020 Application available October 2nd)

What is a Surgical Technologist?

Are you a detail-oriented person looking for a rewarding health career? Would you like a job where you can make a real difference in a patient’s life? If you think you would thrive in the fast-paced world of a hospital operating room, consider a career as a surgical technologist! You may be able to hold a beating heart in your hand. You may be part of a team in the operating room that works on replacing a total hip or knee in the orthopedic rotation at your site. You will certainly hand many different instruments to the surgeon in the correct fashion and at the correct time. You will be the keeper of the sterile field. The goal is for surgical technologists to be able to anticipate the next move the surgeon is going to make in order to make the surgical procedure as smooth and efficient as possible.This is a very rewarding career in the Health Science Field. It is not nursing; you do a very specific technical job and work under the RN and Surgeon.

Surgical Technologists, often referred to as “scrub nurse,” “scrub tech,” or “operating room tech,” are integral members of the operating room team. Their role includes assisting the physician during surgery by preparing and handling instruments, equipment, supplies, and medications.

Job Opportunities

Surgical Technologists usually work within the operating room itself, which may offer specialization in specific fields such as orthopedics, plastics, ENT, ophthalmic, or cardiovascular. However, technologists may qualify for work within various medical fields such as dental assistants, veterinary assistants, procurement technicians, and instrument processing technicians without much more additional education than on-the-job training. As medical technology advances, so do the opportunities for the working surgical technologist.


The curriculum is designed as hybrid courses of lab, classroom, online instruction and surgery clinicals to provide theoretical foundations of operating room techniques. The student will learn skills in a competency-based clinical lab and apply learned skills in the clinical facilities. Within the operating room, the student will observe and then participate in a supervised position. The student will then be expected to advance to a high level of independence by their internship.

Students who enter the program are required to rotate through clinical sites. Some clinical rotations are outside of the Great Falls area. Transportation and housing costs are the responsibility of the student.

Upon completion of the Surgical Technology Program, students will be prepared to begin a career as a surgical technologist. Students are prepared to sit for the national examination to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).

The Surgical Technology Program will meet or exceed Accreditation Review Committee on Education in Surgical Technology & Surgical Assisting (ARC-STSA) benchmark standards on student retention, CST exam results, graduate job placement, employer satisfaction, and graduate satisfaction.

Application and Registration

The Surgical Technology Program has a limited number of students per year due to clinical space and various other factors. This requires the student to complete a program application one semester prior to the semester they plan to begin the program. The program begins only in the spring semester. Interested students are urged to contact the Program Director or the Advising & Career Center Advisors for student advising specific to admission requirements and criteria for program acceptance.

For more detailed information please visit the program website.

Program Accreditation

This program is nationally accredited through CAAHEP, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, 25400 U. S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763, 727.210.2350,, in collaboration with the Accreditation Review Committee on Education in Surgical Technology & Surgical Assisting (ARC-STSA).

Graduates are prepared to:

  • Work with surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and other health professionals in providing direct or indirect patient care while demonstrating positive workmanship, ethics, professionalism and effective communication skills in the surgical setting.
  • Practice critical thinking with professional, value directed actions based on didactic and clinical knowledge, ethical principles and legal standards as a member of the surgical team.
  • Organize surgical instrumentation, supplies and equipment in an efficient manner while utilizing principles of aseptic technique for physical preparation and maintenance of the surgical environment.
  • Demonstrate understanding of technical literacy and biomedical sciences and technology as it applies to the patient focused events that occur in the operating room.
  • Promote lifelong learning fostering the development of professional and personal growth, engaged citizenship and leadership.
  • Perform under pressure in stressful and emergency surgical situations.
  • Meet the Accreditation Review Council on Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARCSTSA) benchmark pass rate for the CST exam.

Estimated Resident Program Cost*

Tuition and Fees $8,544
Application Fee $30
Lab/Program Fees $709
Books/Supplies $3,134
Total $12,418

Many students need preliminary math, science, and writing courses before enrolling in the program requirements. These courses may increase the total number of program credits. Students should review their math and writing placement before planning out their full program schedules.

GFC MSU Additional Graduation Requirement

Prerequisite Courses

AHMS 144Medical Terminology +3
BIOH 201Human Anat Phys I/Lab (= 301) **,+4
BIOM 250Microbiology for Hlth Sci wLab *,+4
COMX 115Intro to Interpersonal Communc +3
M 090Introductory Algebra (OR higher) **,+3
PSYX 100Introduction to Psychology +3
Select one of the following:
WRIT 101College Writing I **,+3
WRIT 121Intro to Technical Writing **,+3
WRIT 122Intro to Business Writing **,+3

Program Course Requirements After Formal Acceptance

The courses below are to be taken in the order that they are listed. Admission into the Surgical Technology program is mandatory to qualify to take the courses below.

A grade of “C-” or above must be achieved in all courses to advance and graduate from the program.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
AHST 101 Intro to Surgical Technology *,+ 3
AHST 115 Surgical Lab I *,+ 3
AHST 154 Surgical Pharmacology *,+ 3
BIOH 211 Human Anat Phys II & Lab(=311) *,+ 4
PHL 221 Intro Philosophy &Biomed Ethcs + 3
AHST 200 Operating Room Techniques *,+ 5
AHST 201 Surgical Procedures I *,+ 4
AHST 215 Surgical Lab II *,+ 3
AHST 250 Surgical Clinical I *,+ 4
Second Year
AHST 202 Surgical Procedures II *,+ 5
AHST 251 Surgical Clinical II *,+ 5
AHST 295 Surgical Practicum *,+ 5
 Total Credits47