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Surgical Technology
voice: 956.364.4805
voice: 800.852.8784

Robert Sanchez
voice: 956.364.4805
voice: 800.852.8784

  Mailing Address:
TSTC Harlingen
1902 Loop 499
Harlingen, TX 78550
The Surgical Technology Program is located in the Sen. Eddie Lucio Health Science Technology Building, Office 196.
  Office Hours:
M-F: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sat., Sun.: Closed

Surgical Technology Program

Mission Statement

The Surgical Technology Program of Texas State Technical College-Harlingen supports the mission of the College and the Instructional Division by providing and maintaining an efficent, high quality Associates Degree technical education program.

Program Goals

The goal of this program is to provide graduates with opportunity to gain employment as an entry level surgical technologist and become a contributing member of the health care team.This will be accomplished by (1) preparing competent entry level surgical technologists in the cognitive(knowledge), psychomotor(skills), and affective(behavior) learning domains, and (2) meeting or exceeding the criteria set forth in the current CAAHEP standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational programs in Surgical Technology.

The Profession

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 non-sterile 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 patients’ 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. 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.

Technologists advance by specializing in a particular area of surgery, such as orthopedics, neurosurgery or open heart surgery. They may also work as circulating technologists. A circulating technologist is the “unsterile” person during the procedure who interviews the patient before surgery, keeps a written account of the surgical procedure and answers the surgeon’s questions about the patient during the surgery. With additional training, some technologists advance to first assistants, who help with retracting, sponging, suturing, cauterizing bleeders, and closing and treating wounds. Some surgical technologists manage central supply departments in hospitals or take positions with insurance companies, sterile supply services, and operating equipment firms.


The Surgical Technology Program is accredited by Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). CAAHEP accredits Surgical Technology Programs upon the recommendation of the Accreditation Review Committee on Education in Surgical Technology (ARC-ST). The program received accreditation on October 15, 1999.


The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting(NBSTSA) is responsible for the national certifying examinations for the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) and the Certified Surgical Technologist/Certified First Assistant (CST/CFA).

Students must be Certifed in order to gain employment.

Note: This program is offered only during the day.

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