Surgical Services Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1:  What are the duties of a Surgical Technologist?

The Surgical Technologist works with the surgeon, anesthesia provider, and professional registered nurse as a member of the direct patient care team during surgery. Surgical technologists assist by preparing and handling supplies and equipment to maintain a safe and therapeutic environment for the patient through specific techniques and practices designed to exclude all pathogenic microorganisms from the operative wound.

  • scrub person - primary job - the sterile person who hands the surgeon the instruments during an operation.
  • circulating person - the non-sterile person responsible for assisting the anesthesia provider and making sure the sterile team has all instruments and supplies they require.
  • surgical assistant - sterile person who assists the surgeon during the operation by retracting tissue and cutting sutures.

Question 2:  Do I need any special skills to be accepted into the program?

The ability to perform under pressure in stressful and emergency situations is a quality essential to the surgical technologist. A stable temperament, a strong sense of responsibility, considerable patience, and concern for order are required. Manual dexterity and physical stamina are vital. They must be able to work quickly, but accurately, and must be oriented to detail, yet able to integrate a number of activities according to priority. They must be keenly sensitive to the needs of the patient as well as to the needs of the members of the surgical team.

Question 3:  How long is the program?

The program is nine months long, from August to May of each year.

Question 4:  Is the program full-time?

Yes, Surgical Services is a full-time program.

Fall & Spring semester - Lecture is Monday and Tuesday 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM; Clinicals are Wednesday through Friday 6:30 AM - 3 PM

The Clinical experiences are designed to match the Operating Room schedule.

Question 5:  Why are the classes only offered during the day?

The Surgical Services courses are offered only during the daytime because that is the time of day we can obtain reliable and consistent clinical experiences for the students. We would like to eventually offer some of the theory classes online but not at this time.

Question 6:  How many students are admitted for each class?

The Surgical Services program admits up to 25 students into each class.

Question 7:  Must the courses in the program follow a particular sequence?

Yes, the Surgical Services courses must follow in sequence, and there is a continuation and completion policy stating that both theory and clinical courses in one term must be successfully completed before moving on to the next term. The support courses should be completed before acceptance in the Surgical Services Program.

Question 8:  Can we pick the site for our clinical experience?

No, the sites will be selected by the faculty. The student will have clinical experiences at at least three different area hospitals and one outpatient surgery center during the program. Every effort will be made to send the student to the three closest hospitals to where they live but there is no guarantee. The program currently has clinical rotations at various hospitals and surgery centers throughout Brevard County.

Question 9:  When will I know if I've been admitted?

The admission committee will make selections approximately seven weeks after the deadline. After all paid applicants attend the Orientation, selected applicants will return for an Interview. The committee will then meet and letters will be mailed regarding program acceptance status.

It is against our policy to release results of the committee over the phone. Applicants must await the letter to learn their admission status. Applicants should be aware that if they are admitted on "standby" status, they might be called later in the summer to replace admitted applicants who decline admission for any reason.

Question 10:  How can I learn whether Surgical Technology is the right career for me?

The EFSC Career Center offers aptitude testing to determine what careers are compatible with your strengths. A Career Center can be found on every campus and the aptitude tests are free to EFSC students.

You might also consider talking to people you know who are currently practicing as Surgical Technologists. It will be helpful to talk to them at a time when they are rested, away from the site where they practice. Ask specific questions, such as why they came into Surgical Services, what the advantages and disadvantages of Surgical Technology as a career are, what their most memorable moments in surgery have been, and what the hardest and most rewarding aspects of their professional duties are.

The Health Sciences Campus Program advisor can help you understand the various Health Sciences Campus programs, if you think that various aspects of the surgical technologist's duties would not appeal to you. There is also a Health Sciences Campus Programs brochure that outlines the various programs, deadlines for admission, etc.

There are other resources that you might want to consider. The Internet can be a valuable tool for researching questions you may have, and outlining issues of the profession. Journals from the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) and the Association of periOperative Nurses (AORN) are available at the EFSC Library. These may also help you to find answers in your research.

Question 11:  What is the employment outlook?

There is a shortage of Surgical Technologists all over the country. Because of this, the field will continue to grow. The 2016 graduating class had a 100% employment rate within six months of graduation.