TSTC Curriculum


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Surgical Technology
The Surgical Technologist is a vital member of the surgical team. Surgical technologists also called surgical or operating room technologists, assist in operations under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. Before an operation, surgical technologists help set up the operating room with surgical instruments and equipment, and sterile solutions. They assemble, adjust, and check nonsterile equipment to ensure that all is working properly. Technologists also prepare patients for surgery by washing, shaving, and disinfecting incision sites. They transport patients to the operating room and help position them on the operating table. Technologists also observe patient’s vital signs and check charts. The technologist helps the surgical team don sterile gowns and gloves, and apply the sterile surgical “drapes” prior to the start of the surgical procedure.

During surgery, technologists pass instruments and other sterile supplies to surgeons and surgeon assistants. They may hold retractors, cut sutures, and help count sponges, needles, supplies, and instruments. Surgical technologists help prepare, care for, and dispose of specimens taken for laboratory analysis and may help apply dressings. They may operate sterilizers, lights, or suction machines, and help operate diagnostic equipment. After an operation, surgical technologists may help transfer patients to the recovery room, and clean and restock the operating room.

This program provides classroom education and supervised clinical experience. Students take courses in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, professional ethics, medical terminology, speech, computers and psychology. Other studies cover the care and safety of patients during surgery, aseptic techniques and surgical procedures. Students also learn to sterilize instruments, prevent and control infection, and handle special drugs, solutions, supplies and equipment.

Surgical Technologists must possess manual dexterity to handle instruments efficiently and quickly. They also must be conscientious, orderly, and emotionally stable to handle the demands of the operating room environment. Technologists must respond quickly and have a full understanding of the procedures so that they may anticipate the needs of the surgeons without having to be asked for instruments or supplies. They are expected to keep abreast of new developments in the field.

Certified surgical technologist with additional specialized education or training also may act in the role of the surgical first assistant or circulator
Surgical technologist work in a clean, well-lighted, cool environment. They must stand for long periods and remain alert during operations. At times, they may be exposed to communicable diseases and unpleasant sights, odors, and materials.

Most surgical technologists work a regular 40-hour week, although they may be on call or work nights, weekends, and holidays on a rotating basis.

• This program is offered only during the day
• Graduates are eligible to take the national certification examination to become a Certified Surgical Technologist, one month prior to graduation.
• Texas State Technical College Harlingen’s Surgical Technology Program is a CAAHEP-accredited program.
• The student must maintain a numerical average of 78 or better in each required major course to receive the Associate of Applied Science degree.

Clinical Entry Requirements

Before enrolling in clinical study, a student must have on file with the department the following materials

• Results of prescribed physical examination.
• Completion of Hepatitis B and A prior to being accepted into program.
• Proof of liability insurance of at least $1 million, health and accident insurance and needle stick insurance (available through TSTC).
• Must have a criminal background check done through Campus Police.

In this program, student will learn:

• In-depth coverage of perioperative concepts such as aseptic/sterile principles and practices, infectious processes, wound healing, and creation and maintenance of the sterile field.
• Orientation to surgical technology theory, surgical pharmacology, technology sciences, and patient care concepts.
• A health-related work-based learning experience that enables the student to apply specialized occupational theory, skills, and concepts. Direct supervision is provided by the clinical professional.
• Introduction to surgical procedures, related pathologies incorporating instruments, equipment, and supplies for perioperative patient care.
Associate of Applied Science Degree - 2013LecLabContCredit
Semester 1
BIOL2301  Anatomy & Physiology I30483
BIOL2101  Anatomy & Physiology Laboratory I03481
HITT1305  Medical Terminology I23803
MATH1314  College Algebra † * 30483
CHEM1311  General Chemistry I ** 30483
CHEM1111  General Chemistry Lab I ** 03481
Total Hours11932014
Semester 2
BIOL2302  Anatomy & Physiology II30483
BIOL2102  Anatomy & Physiology II Lab03481
ENGL1301  Composition I30483
HPRS2300  Pharmacology for Health Professions30483
PSYC2301  General Psychology30483
Total Hours12324013
Semester 3
BIOL2321  Microbiology for Science Majors ** 30483
BIOL2121  Microbiology for Science Majors Laboratory ** 03481
PSYC2314  Lifespan Growth & Development30483
  Speech Elective † 30483
  Humanities/Fine Arts Elective † 30483
Total Hours12324013
Semester 4
SRGT1405  Introduction to Surgical Technology32804
SRGT1409  Fundamentals of Perioperative Concepts and Techniques32804
SRGT1460  Clinical: Surgical Technology/Technologist0162564
Total Hours62041612
Semester 5
SRGT1244  Technological Sciences for the Surgical Technologist20322
SRGT1441  Surgical Procedures I33964
SRGT1461  Clinical: Surgical Technology/Technologist0243844
Total Hours52751210
Semester 6
SRGT1442  Surgical Procedures II33964
SRGT2462  Clinical: Surgical Technology/Technologist ° 0243844
Total Hours3274808
Grand Totals4989220870
º This course has been designated as the capstone course
† Courses articulated with high schools
‡ Course with external learning experience
** BIOL 1306/1106, BIOL 1307/1107 and CHEM 1311/1111 are prerequisites for BIOL 1321/2121
***MATH 1314 or equivalent academic preparation is a prerequisite for CHEM 1311


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