Surgical technologists or technicians assist the surgical team by preparing the operating room, transporting patients and maintaining equipment. One path to certification is to complete a surgical technology program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Graduates of these associate degree programs must pass a national exam to gain the title of Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).
Three of the top schools to offer surgical technician programs include the University of Montana, the University of Akron and Bismarck State College, all of which are 4-year institutions ranked among the top in the region or nation by publications such as U.S. News & World Report.
The University of Montana in Missoula
|School Highlight: The university was tied at #122 among top public schools, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2017.|
In addition to the Missoula campus, the University of Montana (UM) has affiliated campuses in Helena, Dillon and Butte, MT. UM was tied at 214th in U.S. News & World Report's 2017 rankings of the best universities in the nation and 122nd in the best public schools. An Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Surgical Technology program is offered through the Department of Health Professions within the College of Technology. Students may apply for the 4-semester program after completing the prerequisite courses at the college. The program is CAAHEP-accredited and includes on-the-job clinical training at locations within Missoula.
The University of Akron in Akron, OH
|School Highlight: The university's diverse study body comes from more than 45 states and 92 countries.|
The University of Akron (UA) was named a best Midwestern College in the Princeton Review's 2017 edition of The Best 381 Colleges. It as ranked a tier 2 school among national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2017. The university offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in many areas including engineering, law and health professions. Through Summit College, the UA offers a CAAHEP-accredited program leading to an AAS in Surgical Technology. The 67-credit program includes a surgical technology laboratory and can be completed in about two years. The program covers subjects such as medical terminology, anatomy and pharmacology.
Bismarck State College in Bismarck, ND
|School Highlight: The school's surgical technician program is CAAHEP-accredited.|
Bismarck State College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology. The program is designed to prepare students for the National Surgical Technologist Certifying Examination, and the most recent cohort of students had a 100% pass rate. In addition to general education classes and career-specific science courses, students must complete a clinical internship prior to graduation. They can choose between two-year and three-year tracks to completion. For 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Bismarck State #7 among public schools and tied at #56 among regional colleges in the Midwest.
Top Surgical Technology Schools
Excellent surgical technology programs are also available at some of the following schools:
- New England Institute of Technology, a private school in Warwick, RI, offers strong career services and recruitment services for graduates.
- Northern Michigan University's surgical tech program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Committee for Surgical Technology and Surgical Assistance. The school is located in Marquette, MI.
- Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA, was tied at #13 among regional colleges in the North, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2017 listings.
- U.S. News & World Report named Robert Morris University in Chicago, IL, the most diverse school in the Midwest region.
- The surgical tech program at the University of Arkansas in Fort Smith is sponsored by the American College of Surgeons.
- University of Cincinnati - Clermont College in Batavia, OH, has a relatively low 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
- At Vincennes University in Vincennes, IN, students can apply their credits towards a bachelor's degree at the University of Southern Indiana.
Aspiring surgical technicians can find strong programs at universities and institutions of technology around the country. These programs typically lead to an associate's degree and prepare students for certification.