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What is Surgical Technology?

Surgical Technolgists are responsible for the preparation of operating rooms, obtaining and opening sterile supplies and devices, and assisting in preparing the patients for surgery by reviewing patient charts, monitoring vital signs, positioning the patient, and providing emotional support.  They function as members of the surgical team who directly provides instruments for the surgeon. 


What can I do with a Surgical Technology degree?

The need for Surgical Technologists is expected to grow much faster than average through the decade.  Surgical Technologists work under the supervision of nurses and/or physicians performing procedures in operating rooms, departments of Emergency Medicine, delivery rooms, post-anesthesia care units, cardiac catherization laboratories, ambulatory surgery units, and gastrointestinal laboratories.  After receiving an Associates Degree in Surgical Technology, students also have the opportunity continue their education at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and obtain a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare.

What kind of courses will I take?

The courses listed below are only a small glimpse into the Surgical Technology courses available on our campus. To view the full list of Surgical Technology course descriptions, click here.

This course will introduce the student to the components of effective communication in the operating room. It will include ethical, legal, and moral responsibilities of operating room personnel; terminology; and the history of surgery. The student will be introduced to the principles of sterilization, equipment used in the operating room, and the basics of safe patient care. Students will learn how to perform the surgical scrub as well as gown and glove procedures. Surgical instrumentation, sutures, and procedures will be introduced.

Students will be introduced to disinfection and sterilization procedures and practice such procedures in the operating room and central sterile supply areas. Students will be assigned to the OR’s patient holding area and assist in the preoperative preparation of the surgical patient. Students will transport and position patients for surgery, assist with circulating duties, scrub, gown and glove, and participate in surgical intervention.

This course will introduce the student to the basic principles of pharmacology.  Students will identify basic drugs used by the surgical patient, their side effects, and the common dosage. The student will be exposed to  the proper response to drug reactions and demonstrate safe practice when using drugs on the sterile field. The student will also be instructed in the legal responsibilities of the surgical technologist in handling drugs and solutions.


Surgical Technology Links

These links have been provided for those who want more information on both the Pitt-Johnstown Surgical Technology Program, and the world of Surgical Technology as a whole.

Pitt-Johnstown Surgical Technology

Degree Requirements (.pdf)

Conemaugh Hospital: Surgical Technology

Want More Information?

If you want to receive more information about Pitt-Johnstown in general, please visit the Admissions Office homepage by clicking the Mountain Cat!


Last Reviewed: January 10, 2012