Certificate: 40 credits
Program contact: Program Chair (815) 921-3205
Surgical technologists prepare the operating room and equipment used for surgery, assist in preparing patients for surgery, are responsible for creating and maintaining the sterile environment in the operating room, and assist in other aspects of the procedure. The Program, featuring classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences, prepares students to assume an important role with surgical teams at entry level.
AST CST exam pass rate: 70%
|Exam Date||Students That Took Exam||Students Passed Exam||Students Failed||Pass Rate Percentage|
Graduates are employed in hospital operating rooms, delivery rooms, emergency departments, ambulatory surgical centers, travel agencies, physician offices, dental offices, and central sterilizing departments. With additional specialized education and training, graduates can become Surgical Assistants, Program Directors, Instructors, and Surgical/Medical Sales Representatives.
Graduates are eligible to become Certified Surgical Technologists (CST). Students in their last semester of the program will sit for the National Certification Examination through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) prior to graduation.
The Rock Valley College Surgical Technology Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP) (caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Association of Surgical Technology (AST).
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 US Highway 19 N., Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763
Admission is selective and competitive. The Grade Point Average (GPA) from any College where a (prerequisite) course is used to fulfill the Program requirements will be combined and averaged for an Overall GPA. The Overall GPA and strength in the sciences is of great consideration in the selection process. Healthcare experience considered but is not required.
Core Curriculum developed by the Association of Surgical Technology (AST/CCST 6th edition).
1. A graduate of a recognized or accredited secondary school at the time of enrollment or complete the GED as required by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
2. Admission to Rock Valley College according to college policies governing full-time students.
3. Biology/Chemistry requirement:
Note: BIO 281/282 may be substituted for BIO 185. Both BIO-281 and BIO-282 must be completed.
Note: Check the RVC catalog for prerequisite requirements for BIO 185 (or BIO 281 and BIO 282) and BIO 274. Other colleges’ biology course prerequisites may be different than RVC.
4. Math requirement: Minimum Math requirement for the Surgical Technology Program is MTH 092 - Beginning Algebra, at the college level. To meet biology and chemistry’s prerequisite at RVC MTH 094 or higher level math with a minimum grade of ‘C’ is required. Other colleges’ Math course prerequisites may be different than RVC.
5. Grade Point Average: A minimum GPA of 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale) is required of all college course work completed for college credit. Program admission is limited, therefore is selective and very competitive.
6. Concurrent hospital clinical practice also necessitates that students meet the following requirements:
7. Students must be admitted to Rock Valley College and math and chemistry must be completed to be reviewed for admission to the program. All General Education Course Requirements must be completed, with a minimum grade of ‘C’, before enrollment in the Surgical Technology (SRG) Program courses.
8. Qualified applicants who are residents of Rock Valley College District 511 or who reside in a district that has a cooperative agreement with Rock Valley College will be admitted first. Out-of-district applicants will be admitted only if the Surgical Technology class has not been filled and all qualified in-district or cooperating community college applicants have been accepted.
1. The following records must be sent directly to the Allied Health division office:
2. Applicants are required to complete a separate application for admission to the Surgical Technology Program, hereafter referred to as the Surgical Technology application.
3. The Surgical Technology application may be filed at any time and must be filed before April 15th prior to the fall term a student hopes to enter the program. Only completed applications are processed.
4. Students will be notified of their admission status prior to June 15.
5. Applicants not selected one year are individually responsible for reactivating and updating their application in subsequent years.
Students will undergo a criminal background check and drug testing upon admission to the program. It is possible that a student’s criminal background and/or a positive drug test will prevent participation in hospital clinical practice and program completion.
Students are required to earn at least a minimum grade of “C” in each theory/clinical course, along with the AST standard of 120 documented cases verified as completed, with a total of 80 First Scrub cases. Failure to do so will prevent a student from graduating. (See table below.)
|SURGICAL ROTATION CASE REQUIREMENTS (once you are in the program)|
|Surgical Specialty||Total # of Cases Required||Min. # of First Scrub Cases Required||Max. # of Second Scrub Cases that can be
applied towards 120 cases
|10 diagnostic endoscopy cases may be applied toward the second scrub cases.|
|Labor & Delivery||5 vaginal delivery cases may be applied toward the second scrub cases.|
Comparable BIO, ENG, and HLT courses may be taken at the cooperative community colleges.
Cooperative community colleges are: Highland Community College, Kishwaukee College, and Sauk Valley College.
Choose the year to view Gainful Employment information for this program/certificate. Gainful Employment information includes program costs, length of time to complete the program, potential occupations tied to this program, as well as success rates and job placement rates where applicable.
The role of the Surgical Technologist began on the battlefields in World War I and World War II when the United States Army used "medics" to work under the direct supervision of the surgeon. Nurses were not allowed on the battlefield or aboard combat ships at the time. This led to a new profession within the military called operating room technicians (ORTs).