Undergraduate Catalog: 2021-22

Surgical Technology AS

The surgical technology curriculum leading to the Associate of Science degree consists of a balance of general education courses and surgical technology professional courses. Concepts relating to patient needs, surgical conditions, asepsis, surgical routines, human behavior, communication, and the surgical technologist’s professional role provide the framework on which the surgical technology curriculum is based. As the student progresses through the curriculum, classroom theory is applied to clinical practice in the operating room. Students are gradually introduced to the operating room environment with a mix of laboratory practice and hospital operating room experience the first year. The second year emphasizes clinical experience in a broad range of surgical specialties and operating room settings to prepare the student for future practice as a surgical technologist.

Surgical technology general education and professional courses are distributed over two academic years. The student may elect to extend the program over three academic years by concentrating on general education courses during the first year and surgical technology professional courses during the remaining two years. The surgical technology professional course sequence begins every fall, with courses taken in a prescribed order. Options are available for the student to attend full or part time, however clinical courses take place during the day.


The University of Saint Francis Department of Surgical Technology exists to serve its communities of interest in the field of surgical technology by providing a learning environment that emphasizes Franciscan values, the liberal arts tradition and professional excellence.

Program Goals

The program is designed to:

  1. Prepare competent entry level surgical technologists in the cognitive, psychomotor and affective learning domains.
  2. Provide employers with skilled surgical technologists who effectively apply theory to practice.
  3. Promote development of clinical competencies adhering to best practices.
  4. Enhance the surgical technology student personally and professionally through general education.
  5. Assist students in developing effective learning patterns on which to build further professional growth.

Student Learning Outcomes

Reflecting Franciscan values, the Surgical Technology graduate will:

  1. Demonstrate strong surgical conscience and ethical decision making during perioperative patient care and professional relations.
  2. Skillfully apply scientific and surgical theory to aseptic technique, instrument handling skills, tissue manipulation and patient care.
  3. Use critical thinking skills to anticipate the needs of the surgeon and other members of the surgical team.
  4. Utilize technology in preparation for expanded roles as a surgical technologist.
  5. Integrate concepts from the social and behavioral sciences into interpersonal relations through effective communication.
  6. Assume responsibility for self-direction by participating in activities that contribute to personal and professional growth.


Upon completion of the surgical technology program, students are eligible to sit for the National Certifying Examination offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. This credential validates essential skills and knowledge necessary for practice as a surgical technologist. Certification is recognized nationally and is required by some states and/or employers in order to practice as a surgical technologist.  In the State of Indiana, certification is required to enter practice as a surgical technologist.  At the conclusion of their final semester, University of Saint Francis surgical technology students participate in pre-graduation group testing to obtain certification as surgical technologists.

Upon successful completion of the exam, practitioners may use the title Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).

Degree Requirements

The Associate of Science in Surgical Technology degree requires 61 credit hours.

Program of Studies

  • Departmental core: 40 credit hours: COHS 108, SURG 101, 151, 155, 171, 175, 261, 265, 280, 281, 285, 290
  • General education: 21 credit hours: BIOL 221, 222, 223, ENGL 101, MATH 131, PSYC 121, THEO 105

Admission Requirements

The applicant without previous college experience must meet two of the following criteria:

  1. Rank in the upper half of the high school graduating class.
  2. Have a high school GPA of 2.4 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Earn an SAT score of 1,000 (verbal/critical reading and math combined) or above or an ACT composite score of 21 or higher. For SAT test administrations prior to April 1995, a score of 800 or above is required.
  4. Possess a General Educational Development (GED) total score of 2,500, with no sub-score below 500. Prior to 2002, a composite score of at least 50 and no sub-score below 40 is required.

Applicants who have previously attended an accredited college or university must submit official college transcripts with a GPA of 2.4 or higher on a 4.0 scale in 12 credit hours of academic subjects.

Previous healthcare experience is helpful, but not required.

Final consideration for acceptance will be made by the Surgical Technology Admissions Committee. Each applicant will be reviewed on an individual basis. Exceptions to the stated requirements may be made at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.

Transfer Student Admissions

Surgical Technology Courses

Applicants meeting admissions criteria who have completed surgical technology courses at another institution may apply for transfer credit. The courses must have been completed at a CAAHEP accredited surgical technology program no more than two years prior to the semester in which the student enrolls in the surgical technology sequence at the University of Saint Francis. The following will be considered in the approval of transfer credit:

  1. Similarity of course content.
  2. Two professional references from the previously attended surgical technology program.
  3. Evaluation of clinical competency by University of Saint Francis faculty.
  4. Availability of space in the appropriate surgical technology course.

At least 55 percent of the degree requirements must be completed at the University of Saint Francis.

Clinical Experience Requirements

To ensure the safety of self and others, clinical students are required to complete a variety of activities prior to working with patients on a clinical unit:

  • Submit proof of currency in CPR Certification for Health Professionals
  • Submit a completed health history and physical examination form
  • Provide documentation of immunizations, including Hepatitis B status
  • Submit a negative TB skin test each year
  • Sign confidentiality forms
  • Provide verification of health insurance
  • Annually complete drug testing
  • Annually undergo a background check, which includes criminal history, driving history and Office of Inspector
  • Complete an OSHA Respirator Fit Test
  • Complete an OSHA Medical Clearance form
  • General’s list of excluded individuals
  • Meet technical standards related to:  observation; communication; intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities; motor skills; behavioral and social attributes; tests and evaluations and clinical assessment.
  • Attend orientation and compliance sessions as required by clinical facilities

The cost of the above activities is at the student’s own expense.

Affiliating agencies may withhold clinical experiences for students with the following records:

  • Positive drug screen
  • Crimes against the person such as battery or assault
  • Crimes based on dishonesty or untruthfulness such as theft or embezzlement
  • Drug and other substance abuse related crimes
  • History of recent DUI or other driving violations/penalties

Without clinical experiences, the student cannot complete all aspects of the program and will be dismissed from the program.

Progression Requirements

In order to advance in the surgical technology clinical sequence, the student must achieve the following:

  1. Complete all prerequisites and enroll in all co-requisites.
  2. Achieve a “C” (2.0) or above in each surgical technology and science course.
  3. Maintain a “C” (2.4) or above cumulative GPA in all courses taken at the University of Saint Francis.
  4. Demonstrate satisfactory clinical competencies and appropriate professional traits.
  5. Maintain currency and eligibility in requirements for clinical practice.

A student receiving an “F” or “WF” in a general education course, but maintaining a cumulative GPA above 2.4, may repeat the failed course.  A second failure results in dismissal from the Surgical Technology program.

Evaluation of overall student progress will be made by the Surgical Technology Faculty Committee after completion of each semester.

Graduation Requirements

The Associate of Science degree with a major in Surgical Technology is awarded after the student meets all university requirements for an associate degree and meets the following:

  1. Completion of required credits indicated in the curriculum plan.
  2. Achievement of a final grade of “C” (2.0) or above in each surgical technology and science course and a 2.4 or above cumulative GPA.
  3. Completion of the program requirements within eight semesters once enrolled in the surgical technology course sequence.
  4. Demonstration of clinical competency in routine surgical procedures.
  5. Completion of the National Examination for the Certified Surgical Technologist offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.
  6. Exhibition of desirable professional behaviors.

To meet Surgical Technology Core Curriculum standards, all students must complete at least 120 surgical procedures in the first scrub or second scrub role by the end of the program. Of these, at least 80 cases must be in the first scrub (independent and proficient) role. The experiences must be appropriately distributed between general surgery and specialty procedures.