School and Ranking Information
There are about seven schools in the Indianapolis area with surgical technology programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Based on program offerings and type of school, the top three schools in Indianapolis for aspiring surgical technologists are:
- Winner: Ivy Tech Community College awarded more than 100 associate-level degrees in surgical technology in 2011-2012 and enrolls more than 21,000 students annually, making it the top choice in the area.
- Runner-Up #1: Harrison College is a private for-profit institution and awarded the second most degrees of the top three schools.
- Runner-Up #2: Indiana University Health offers a hospital-based certificate program in surgical technology that prepares students to work competitively in the field.
In Indiana, surgical technologists don't need to be licensed. However, the title 'certified surgical technologist' can only be used by individuals who've completed an accredited program and passed a credentialing exam given by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Ivy Tech Community College||Harrison College - Indianapolis||Indiana University Health|
|Location||Indianapolis, IN||Indianapolis, IN||Indianapolis, IN|
|School Type||Two-year, public||Four-year, private for-profit||N/A|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)|| $3,455 (undergraduate, in-state);
$7,302 (undergraduate, out-of-state)*
|$16,050 (undergraduate)*|| $2,012.85 (internal, for the 11-month program);
$3,951.15 (external, for the 11-month program)**
|Surgical Technology Program Levels Offered||Associate||Associate||Certificate|
|Surgical Technology Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in (2011-2012)||117*||40*||N/A|
|Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time)||8% of students who began their studies in 2008*||29% of students who began their studies in 2006*||N/A|
|Noteworthy||Ivy Tech's surgical technology program is very selective, only enrolling a handful of students each year***||The School of Health Sciences offers 10 diploma, certificate, and undergraduate degree programs****||Ranked as the top academic health center in Indiana*****|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Indiana University Health, ***Ivy Tech Community College, ****Harrison College, *****U.S. News & World Report (2013).
Winner: Ivy Tech Community College
- All students interested in the surgical technology program must attend an hour-long information session
- Students must complete a series of prerequisites and be accepted as an undeclared major before officially enrolling in the program
This two-year public institution features nine separate schools and offers more than 150 programs around the state of Indiana. Ivy Tech's School of Health Sciences has 16 degree and certificate options, including an associate-level surgical technology program. Students in this program learn how to set up surgical equipment and instruments, assemble and sterilize equipment, and prepare incision sites on patients. In addition to didactic coursework, students complete a clinical component to gain practical experience in the field. Graduates of the program can either earn professional certification and find work as surgical technologists or go on to earn a bachelor's degree.
Runner-Up #1: Harrison College - Indianapolis
- Upon completion of the program, students can sit for the national certification exam
- 95% of all first-time Harrison students received some form of financial aid in 2011-2012, according to the NCES
Established in 1902, Harrison College houses 11 campuses throughout Indiana, including one in Indianapolis. Administered through the School of Health Sciences, the 96-credit surgical technology program prepares students for entry-level positions in the field. Professional classes cover pharmacology, medical terminology, operating room procedures, and basic surgical skills; general education coursework is required as well. Students also participate in a 12-credit externship.
Runner-Up #2: Indiana University Health
- The clinical portion of the certificate program is completed at one of several Indianapolis-area hospitals
- IU Health is known as the most in-depth, comprehensive healthcare system in the state of Indiana
IU Health's surgical technology certificate program is divided into trimesters and can be completed in 11 months. Students must pass a handful of orientation and core classes with scores of 80% or better before proceeding further with the program. Program-specific courses are classified as level one or level two and include various clinical experiences, practicums, and classes focused on surgical techniques. Students complete a total of 1,491 contact hours that include clinical experiences in various areas of surgery, such as plastic surgery, ophthalmology, and general surgery.