Surgical technologist courses are most often available at vocational schools and community colleges, including Seattle Central College and Ivy Tech Community College, although hospitals and universities may also offer programs for this career. Rather than just taking courses, aspiring surgical technologists typically earn a certificate, associate's degree or diploma, notes the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education programs accredit programs in the field.
Some courses students might take in these programs include those in anatomy, medical law, surgical procedures, microbiology, pharmacology, biology, medical terminology and psychology. General courses like English and sociology are also often part of the curriculum.
Students in surgical technology programs not only take courses but also gain supervised experience in a clinical setting. For example, Ivy Tech Community College's associate degree program requires three semesters of clinical practice, while Seattle Central Community College's associate degree program requires students to participate in 120 surgical cases, including in specialties, as of 2015.
The National Center for Competency Testing and the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting offer certification options for surgical technologists, and some states require certification, states the BLS. After passing the exam to get certified, surgical technologists must keep their skills up to date through continuing education.