Surgical Technology

Requirements of a Certified Surgical Technologist

Surgical Technologists prepare the operating room, including the sterile field, setting up surgical equipment, supplies and solutions. During surgery, surgical technologists pass instruments, fluids and supplies to the surgeon and prepare and manage surgical equipment. Surgical technologists simultaneously manage the sterile field and specimens. Surgical technologists perform a count of sponges and supplies to prevent foreign retained objects. Surgical technologists are certified following successful completion of a CAAHEP-accredited program or other programmatically-accredited surgical technology program and the national Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) examination administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.

How to become a Board Certified Surgical Technologist (CST)

Savannah Technical College students who have successfully completed the necessary course work for the Surgical Technology program MUST PARTICIPATE in taking the Board exam. The Department Head submits the necessary application to NBSTSA the accrediting body for review, and after receiving approval and student’s testing fee, the National Board Exam is scheduled for proctor at the College.  The student will then sit for the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) board exam and if successful are awarded National Certification as a Surgical Technologist.

Savannah Technical College NBSTSA Exam Results

Outcomes Assessment Exam (CST) pass rate:

Class of 2013       17/24     70.8%

Class of 2014       17/20      85.0%

Class of 2015       14/15     93.3%


Surgical technologists work as members of a healthcare team alongside physicians and surgeons, registered nurses, and other healthcare workers. For more information, see the profiles on physicians and surgeons or registered nurses.

Before an operation, surgical technologists prepare the operating room by setting up surgical instruments and equipment. They also prepare patients for surgery by washing and disinfecting incision sites, positioning patients on the operating table, and covering patients with sterile drapes. Surgical technologists prepare sterile solutions used in surgery and check that all surgical equipment is working properly. They help the surgical team put on sterile gowns and gloves.

During an operation, surgical technologists pass instruments and supplies to surgeons and first assistants. Technologists also may prepare, care for, and dispose of specimens taken for laboratory analysis. In addition, they apply dressings. After an operation, surgical technologists may help transfer patients to recovery rooms and may clean and restock operating rooms.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of surgical technologists is expected to increase 19 percent through 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics