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Pass Rates & Employment Characteristics

Surgical Technology Program

Date First-Time Candidates Testing First-Time Candidates Passing on First Attempt Pass Rate
2023 13 9 69.2%
2022 11 7 63.6%
2021 15 12 80.0%
2020 12 9 75.0%
2018 15 9 60.0%
2017 15 11 73.3%
2016 14 12 85.7%
2015 15 12 80.0%
2014 14 13 92.8%


Detailed Information

It is important to consider potential job opportunities when planning a career. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, the demand for surgical technologists is expected to increase as the number of surgical procedures grows. The volume of surgical procedures is expected to increase as the population grows and ages. The over-50 population entering retirement age will account for a large portion of the general population. Older people require more surgical procedures. Technological advances, such as fiber optics and laser technology, will also permit new surgical procedures to be performed.

Hospitals are the primary employers of surgical technologists. However, fast employment growth is expected in ambulatory surgical centers, outpatient care centers, and physician's offices.

Rapid advances in medical technology will bring dramatic changes to the field of surgical technology. Operating rooms incorporate computers, lasers, fiber optics, electronics, and robotics to carry out routine patient care. The surgical technologist must be prepared to meet these advanced challenges.

The curriculum of the UAFS surgical technology program was developed to ensure students are well trained and workplace-ready for their chosen careers. The program meets or exceeds all accreditation standards of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

A surgical technologist is an allied health professional who works as part of the surgical team to ensure that the operative procedure is conducted under optimal conditions. Surgical team members function in two capacities: non-sterile and sterile. The non-sterile team members are the circulator and the anesthesia provider. In certain situations other personnel, such as the radiology technologist or pathologist, may also be present. The sterile team members are the surgeon, the surgical assistant, and the surgical technologist in the scrub role (STSR). Role descriptions for the surgical team members are available in the brochure published by the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) entitled, "Certified Surgical Technologists are vital members of the operating room team."

Professional competence requires that surgical technologists apply knowledge of anatomy, physiology, positioning, aseptic technique, organization, the scope of practice, and patient care in the performance of their duties. They must also be able to communicate effectively with patients and other health professionals. Duties may include but are not limited to:

Certified Surgical Technologist in the Scrub Role
  • Helps prepare the room and arrange supplies and instruments
  • Opens packs and instrument sets
  • Performs a surgical scrub
  • Dons gown and gloves and works within the sterile field
  • Prepares instruments and passes them during the procedure
  • Maintains the sterile field
  • Assists with other intraoperative tasks
Certified Surgical Technologist in the Circulator Role
  • Helps position the patient
  • Performs preoperative skin preparation
  • Communicates between sterile and non-sterile areas
  • Opens sterile supplies onto the sterile field during the procedure
  • Assists with other tasks not requiring action within the sterile field

  • Detail Oriented - Surgical technologists must pay close attention to their work at all times.  For example, they need to provide the correct sterile equipment for surgeons and nurses during an operation.
  • Dexterity - Surgical technologists should be comfortable working with their hands. They must be able to provide the needed equipment quickly.
  • Stamina - Surgical technologists should be comfortable standing for an extended period.
  • Stress Management Skills - Working in an operating room can be stressful. Surgical technologists should be able to work well under pressure while providing a high level of care.