Surgical Technology-A.A.S. Degree

Debbie Fillmore, Program Director

Students in the program are educated to be Surgical Technologists who work as part of the surgical team to ensure the operative procedure is conducted under optimal conditions.

The ST is responsible for three phases (preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative) of patient care with minimal direction. All surgical team members must adhere to the principles of asepsis and the practice of sterile technique.

The ST normally functions in a sterile capacity by passing instruments, equipment and supplies to the surgeon during the surgical procedure but may also perform many non-sterile duties throughout the workday.

The ST program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), 25400 US Highway 19 N - Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763.

Students admitted to The University of Montana enter as Associate of Arts (AA) General Studies majors with an emphasis in the program of their choice.  

Students must select the specific prerequisite courses required for their chosen area of study after meeting with the program advisor.  Students must apply to the program by October 1. Students may apply while enrolled in the A.A. prerequisite courses with acceptance to the program to be determined after the Autumn semester grades are finalized.

The course, BIOH 201N/202N (SCN 201N), Anatomy and Physiology I, and lab, must be passed with a grade of B (3.0).  All other prerequisite courses must be passed with a grade of C (2.0). The program-specific courses begin spring semester.

Find Surgical Technology Program specific admission applications here. 

Once accepted to the program, a student must complete each Surgical Technology-specific course (those courses with an AHST with a minimum grade of ‘C' (80%) in order to continue in the ST program.  All other required courses must also be passed with a grade of "C".   Course grading scales may vary. If a student does not pass the required courses, he/she will not be able to continue in the program and will need to apply for readmission. If a student is re-admitted, he/she will be required to complete skills labs, AHST 115 (SUR 102T) and AHST 215 (SUR 202T), to ensure sterile technique skills are acceptable for patient care. A student may take any required course a maximum of two (2) times.  A student may apply to the program a maximum of two (2) times.

A student will become a member of the Association of Surgical Technologists during the first year in the program. A student anticipating program completion will write the National Certification Exam prior to graduation. A student who successfully completes the ST program is awarded an A.A.S. degree in Surgical Technology. The credential of Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) will be awarded to a student upon passing the National Certification Exam and graduation from the ST program.  The credential of Certified is awarded by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).

Students are required to rotate sites during the clinical portion of their education. During the last semester of the program, internships may be outside the Missoula area. Transportation and housing are the student's responsibility.  Prior to entering a healthcare facility for clinical experiences, a student will be required to submit a background check.  Many healthcare facilities have increasingly stringent requirements.  A student could be refused entry into a clinical facility based on information disclosed in a background check.  If this is a concern for you, please consult the Program Director.  If a student is denied agency access based on the Background Check, there will be no placement at an alternate site, and the subsequent inability of the student to complete the clinical education will result in inability to continue in the Surgical Technology program.

The University of Montana Missoula College Surgical Technology Program also has Outreach campuses in Butte and Billings. The Butte site is the Montana Tech of The University of Montana Missoula College campus in collaboration with St James Healthcare.  The Billings site is the Montana State University-Billings Missoula College campus in collaboration with St Vincent Healthcare and Billings Clinic.  Students at those sites take the equivalent prerequisite courses on their respective campuses. The Surgical Technology-specific courses begin spring semester. Students must apply to the ST program by October 1. Students may apply while enrolled in the prerequisite courses with acceptance to the program to be determined after fall grades are finalized. The classroom portion of the ST program curriculum is delivered in web-based format using the Moodle course delivery system from the Missoula campus. Lab and clinical courses are conducted on each Outreach campus. Outreach students are required to travel to Missoula to write the National Certification Exam and to participate in Commencement exercises. Prospective students may contact the Health Professions' Office at 406-243-7868 for more information regarding the ST Program on the Butte and Billings campuses.  Please refer to the specific course catalogs on the Butte and Billings campuses for prerequisite requirements.

Surgical Technology Program Outcomes Trends 2013-2015*

OUTCOME

Year

Percentage

OUTCOME

Year

Percentage

Student Graduation

2015

70

Employer Survey Return Rate

2015

57

2014

77

2014

95

2013

79

2013

53

OUTCOME

Year

Percentage

OUTCOME

Year

Percentage

CST™ Exam** Participation Rate

2015

100

Employer Satisfaction Rate

2015

100

2014

100

2014

94

2013

95

2013

90

OUTCOME

Year

Percentage

OUTCOME

Year

Percentage

CST™ Exam** Pass Rate

2015

95

Graduate Survey Return Rate

2015

53

2014

100

2014

50

2013

95

2013

54

OUTCOME

Year

Percentage

OUTCOME

Year

Percentage

Graduate Placement

2015

94

Graduate Satisfaction Rate

2015

100

2014

86

2014

100

2013

83

2013

100

National Outcomes Trends 2013-2015*

OUTCOME

Year

Percentage

OUTCOME

Year

Percentage

Student Graduation

2015

65.30%

Employer Survey Return Rate

2015

64.86%

2014

60.41%

2014

64.76%

2013

60.92%

2013

65.66%

OUTCOME

Year

Percentage

OUTCOME

Year

Percentage

CST™ Exam** Participation Rate

2015

96.87%

Employer Satisfaction Rate

2015

95.90%

2014

95.69%

2014

95.17%

2013

90.60%

2013

94.02%

OUTCOME

Year

Percentage

OUTCOME

Year

Percentage

CST™ Exam** Pass Rate

2015

77.30%

Graduate Survey Return Rate

2015

65.85%

2014

75.77%

2014

62.37%

2013

64.93%

2013

63.13%

OUTCOME

Year

Percentage

OUTCOME

Year

Percentage

Graduate Placement

2015

85.38%

Graduate Satisfaction Rate

2015

96.98%

2014

83.50%

2014

96.13%

2013

78.05%

2013

94.72%

Established ARC/STSA Thresholds

Student Graduation Rate

70% for all graduates

CST™ Exam Participation

100% for all graduates

CST™ Pass Rate

70% for all graduates

Graduate Job Placement

80% for all graduates

Employer Survey Return Rate

50% for all surveys sent to employers

Employer Satisfaction Rate

85% for all employers who return the survey

Graduate Survey Return Rate

50% for all surveys sent to graduates

Graduate Satisfaction

85% for all graduates who return the survey

Surgical Technology Curriculum

Subject Type Option Track
Surgical Technology Associate of Applied Science