Surgical Technology, AAS

Through quality clinical practice and excellent classroom programs, Yakima Valley College’s Surgical Technology program helps students gain the skills needed to work as a surgical technologist in the in-demand healthcare field.

Combining convenient online instruction, laboratory simulations, and supervised clinical practice, this degree prepares students for a career as a Surgical Technologist. Instruction includes core courses essential to health care professionals as well as specialty courses in Surgical Technology.

Simulation of surgical suites allows for hands-on practice of essential psychomotor skills to become an integral part of the surgical team. Clinical practice in hospital operating rooms, surgery center operating rooms, surgical processing services, and labor and delivery centers provide actual experiences to prepare students for entry-level positions as surgical technologists.

Program Location

The program is offered all four quarters on the Yakima campus.

Application and Acceptance Period

YVC offers one opportunity for application and acceptance to the program. A program application is required, with up to 16 students accepted annually, each fall quarter with a deadline of August 1st by a competitive point system.

Program Curriculum

Surgical Technology, AAS

Combining convenient online instruction, laboratory simulations, and supervised clinical practice, this degree prepares students for a career as a Surgical Technologist.  Instruction includes core courses essential to health care professionals as well as specialty courses in Surgical Technology.

Simulation of surgical suites in the Allied Health laboratory allows for hands-on practice of essential psychomotor skills to become an integral part of the surgical team.  Clinical practice in hospital operating rooms, surgery center operating rooms, surgical processing services, and labor and delivery centers provide actual experiences to prepare students for entry-level positions as a Surgical Technologist.

This AAS is 96 credits in length.

Catalog Curriculum Sequence

Program Information

Surgical Technology is a demanding, challenging, and satisfying profession. A Surgical Technologist functions as an integral member of the surgical team. Surgical Technologists can perform in the sterile role or the non-sterile “assistant circulating” role, and assume responsibilities before, during, and after surgery. A Surgical Technologist possesses expert knowledge in the theory and application of sterile technique, human anatomy, surgical procedures, and instruments and technologies used in the surgical arena. Primary responsibilities include preparing the surgical patient for surgery; selecting and opening sterile supplies and equipment; maintenance of the sterile surgical field; passing instruments, sutures, sponges, and other supplies during surgery; maintaining records; and, along with the circulator, accounting for sponges, needles, and instruments before, during, and after surgery.

Surgical Technologists work in a cool, brightly lit, fast-paced environment. Prolonged periods of standing on hard surfaces are necessary. Surgical Technologists often begin their work shift very early, and on-call availability for emergency surgeries during the weekend or at night may occasionally be required.

Surgical Technology is a physically and mentally demanding profession. Students must be physically capable of accurately and safely performing the tasks within the program and the profession. Surgical Technologists should possess personal integrity, have the ability to pay close attention to detail, be conscientious, and be orderly. An essential characteristic of a Surgical Technologist is the ability to sustain attention to detail and maintain accuracy even in stressful or emergencies. Due to the confined, stressful environment, emotional stability is a must. The profession of Surgical Technology demands the ability to multi-task and use critical thinking skills. Additionally, students must be willing to continue their education throughout their careers to keep abreast of new developments in the field.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 9% employment increase nationwide is projected from 2020-to 2030 (U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Projections Program, 2022). Surgical Technologists may be eligible for employment in hospital operating rooms, delivery rooms, ambulatory care areas, central supply/reprocessing departments, or employed privately by surgeons.

CST Exam Pass Rates

  • 2018-90%
  • 2019-60%
  • 2020-57%
  • 2021-67%

Graduation Rate

  • 4-yr average (2018-2021): 95%
  • Employment Rates for Graduates (5 yr average 2017-2021): 94%
  • Mean Wage for WA state: $29.35 hourly
  • Typical Starting wage for Central WA: $21-$24 hourly

Students will be able to:

  • Participate in the National Surgical Technologist Certification Examination.
  • Compete for an entry-level position as a surgical technologist, showing competency in both general and specialty procedures.
  • Exhibit professionalism while completing tasks within the field of surgical technology, adhering to a code of ethics and values as taught within the program.
  • Identify qualities of successful technology professionals.

Program Mission Statement

The mission of the Yakima Valley College Surgical Technology Program is to provide educational experiences that instill the professional values of ethics and responsibility while students learn according to current standards. This program is designed to prepare entry-level Surgical Technologists who are competent in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains to enter the profession. The faculty is dedicated to fostering a learning environment that encourages trust and interaction to achieve the overall goal of providing a diverse community with well-prepared surgical technologists who are capable of providing quality health care.

Program Goals

  • Apply the fundamentals obtained in biological science courses to safely perform operating room competencies.
  • Utilize knowledge gained in interrelationship and social science courses to recognize the cultural, legal, and ethical implications of their actions in relating to the patient and as a member of the surgical team.
  • Integrate knowledge gained in core surgical technology courses to prepare for and assist with surgical interventions.
  • Utilize biomedical skills in the performance of operating room competencies.
  • Employ appropriate medical terminology to communicate within the surgical setting and to provide for accurate documentation.
  • Comprehend the concept of professionalism as it relates to the practice of surgical technology on personal, institutional, local, state, and national levels.

This degree is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA).  Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program, 9355 – 113th St. N, #7709, Seminole, FL 33775; 727.210.2350.

The following costs are estimates of the expenses students can expect when entering this program. These costs do not include course work taken prior to entry or fees not assessed by the program including YVC application fee: $30, Surgical Technology acceptance fee: $45, and graduation application fee: $10. All costs are estimated and subject to change.

Table 1: First-Year Anticipated Expenses

Expense Item Quarter 1 (8 cr) Quarter 2 (13 cr) Quarter 3 (12 cr) Quarter 4 (18cr)
Tuition (resident)* $1036.40 $1494.88 $1428.42 $1827.18
Books/Supplies $ 250.00 $ 250.00 $ 250.00 $ 250.00
Lab Fees $130.00
Liability Insurance $15.00
Clothing (scrubs) $50.00
Name Pin $10.00
Immunizations (varies) $500.00
Total $1801.40 $1744.88 $1678.42 $2517.18

Table 2: Second-Year Anticipated Expenses

Expense Item Quarter 5 (19 cr) Quarter 6 (13 cr) Quarter 7 (13 cr)
Tuition (resident)* $1827.18 $1494.88 $1494.88
Books/Supplies $ 200.00 $ 200.00
Lab Fees $120.00 $35.00 $25.00
WA DOT ST Reg. $70.00
National Exam Fee $190.00
Total $2217.18 $1919.88 $1519.88

About Tuition and Fees

*Tuition and lab fees are subject to change. Quarter one and Quarter four lab fees include liability/malpractice insurance fees. The current fees and rates are located under Financial Aid. The estimated cost does not include transportation, room, and board, or other personal needs.

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Technology Item Estimated Costs
Desktop or laptop computer, tablet, or IPad $350.00-900.00
Web camera (built-in or external) $30.00-$180.00
Printer (recommended) $130.00-$180.00

The Surgical Technology program courses use Canvas, a web-based learning management system, for the delivery of content. Computer labs are available on campus, but will not be available during campus-wide closures. Students will need a laptop or desktop computer, tablet, or IPad in order to participate in classes. A webcam (built-in or external) is also required. If students wish to view Canvas on a device with a smaller screen, we recommend using the Canvas mobile app. Please note: it may be impossible to complete all required coursework on a mobile device. Some items in the “MINDTAP” website, a companion site for Surgical Technology textbooks, may not fully function on a mobile device or tablet.

Students must have access to the Microsoft Excel program, as well as access to a scanner or scanning app.

A printer is recommended, since printing availability on campus may be limited.

Device: Desktop, laptop, or tablet

Operating System: Windows XP SP3 and newer, or Mac OSX 10.6 and newer (avoid Chromebook). Mobile: iOS 7 and newer/Android 2.3 and newer

Browser: Google Chrome

PC or laptop tech specs:

  • At least 8 MB of RAM, 16 MB is preferable
  • 256 GB hard drive minimum
  • Web Camera-internal or external
  • Intel i5 processor-9th gen or later

IPad: 128 GB minimum

Printer: Laserjet (uses a toner cartridge-cost effective)

Note: A limited number of laptops and hotspots may be available to borrow by the quarter, more information can be found at the media center.

The YVC Surgical Technology program is a fast-paced, intense program. Due to the time commitment involved, students are advised NOT to work full time while completing the Surgical Technology Program.

The Allied Health Surgical Technology (AHST) courses are taught by experienced professionals who are working, offering up-to-date educational opportunities. While the theory portion of the AHST courses will be offered via the internet, most courses include a correlating laboratory component to practice hands-on competencies. These lab activities will be scheduled around instructor work schedules, and will often include evening or weekend hours. Class times will be available during registration for the AHST courses, and students are required to arrange their schedules to attend. Class absence or tardiness due to work or other events will not be excused and may result in failure of the course(s) at the discretion of the individual instructor.

The clinical experiences required to complete the surgical technology program will be offered at several sites. Students may be required to travel up to 90 miles one way to the site assigned and may be rotated through sites to take advantage of surgical educational opportunities. Students will be required to complete entire shifts at the assigned facility and must arrive at the site in time to be involved in the preparation for the first case of the day, often 7:00 AM or earlier.

During the second clinical rotation, students will be assigned to “take call” at a hospital. This allows students a real-world view of the surgical technology career, as well as to be involved in trauma surgery. On-call dates may be scheduled at the beginning of the quarter or throughout the quarter as needed, and it is the student’s responsibility to make plans to ensure availability on those dates.

Application Process

Application and Acceptance Period: May 1August 1

YVC offers one opportunity for application and acceptance to the Surgical Technology program, through a competitive point system. A program application is required, with up to 16 students accepted annually, each fall quarter with an application period open from May 1st to August 1st.

Step 1: Apply for admission to Yakima Valley College

Step 2: Request a Surgical Technology Handbook

Step 3: Submit Surgical Technology Advising Form Requirements (Required step.)

Step 4: Submit Surgical Technology Application Form (View preview a  Preview the Surgical Technology Application.)

Contact Allied Health

Email: alliedhealth@yvcc.edu  or Phone: 509.574.4913

Libby McRaeSurgical Technology Program Coordinator
Allied Health Program Assistant

Learn more about Allied Health Programs

YVC offers a unique approach to obtaining a variety of health professional certificates or degrees.

  • Our shorter-term certificate offerings range from 5 to 69 credits in length.
  • Our Associate of Applied Science Degree, we offer several options which range from 90 to 106 credits in length.

Our Allied Health Technology programs provide career and enrichment coursework and clinical experiences in order to build the knowledge, skills, and competencies for providing care for people of all ages in a variety of medical professions. Each program has different admission criteria, coursework, and degree options, ranging from introductory classes and certificates to associate of applied science degrees focused on a specific area of study. The majority of courses are offered in an online format. Clinical laboratory practice and clinical externship are required in some program courses.

West Campus Allied Health Building

YVC’s recently opened West Campus features expanded classrooms and labs for five of the college’s Allied Health programs: Medical Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy, Sterile Processing Technician, and Surgical Technology. The new facility is designed to prepare students to excel as healthcare professionals by providing spaces that mimic real-life healthcare settings. Learn more about West Campus and the Allied Health Building.

Contact Allied Health

Email: alliedhealth@yvcc.edu  or Phone: 509.574.4913