Surgical Technologist – A.S. Degree in Surgical Services


Surgical Services PatchDo you like Anatomy?

Do you like to watch surgery on TV?

Doctor's in Surgery  Would you like to work in a unique environment?

  • As a member of the operating room team.
  • In a challenging fast paced environment that can change human lives. An emergency can occur anytime and no two human beings are alike so… it is never boring.
  • Every day is spent exploring the human body, becoming familiar with surgical techniques, procedures and treatments.
  • There is always something new every day. Technology and innovative changes are ongoing.

The Surgical Technologist works directly with the surgeon during surgery to complete the surgical procedure. Before an operation, you would set up the instruments and equipment. Ensure that both sterile and nonsterile equipment is assembled and adjusted to make sure it works properly.  During the surgical procedure, you must know the surgical procedure, observe the conditions of the anatomy,  pass instruments to the surgeon, anticipate the needs of the surgeon, and react quickly to emergencies by providing the appropriate supplies or equipment.

Surgical technologists can perform the scrub role;  assistant circulator (identify, position, and prepare the patient for surgery), or second scrub role (maintain retraction, cut suture,  manipulate the camera for minimal invasive surgery, or hold clamps applied by the surgeon). With further training the surgical technologist can become  a first assistant.

 The professional association is the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST). Just prior to graduation, you will take the nationally recognized and accredited National Board of Surgical Technologists and Surgical Assistants (NBSTSA) surgical technology exam to become a board Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).

As you mature by gaining experience, you can opt to specialize in a particular field such as General Surgery, Trauma, Open Heart, Orthopedics, Gynecology/Obstetrics, Transplant, Robotic and/or Neuro Surgery.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median 2015 income was $44,330 and job growth in the field is expected to be much faster than average.


Who is eligible for the SURGICAL TECHNOLOGIST A.S. DEGREE program?

If you are a high school graduate, you can apply to this program. Deadline is June 1st each year with applications accepted until all positions in the class are filled or the End of Fall drop/add registration has occurred. Students in Surgery

If you have earned credits from a regionally accredited college or university, you may have a head start at Gulf Coast State College. Transfer credits can be evaluated.  General Education classes need to be started in January (Spring) or May (Summer) to be ready for the Surgical Technology prerequisites offered in August (Fall Term) each year. You need at least 3 general education courses to start the Fall program. Those with all their General Education requirements receive additional points in the selection process. 

Where do you work?

  • Hospitals or ambulatory care centers
  • For a physician group in a clinic setting
  • Opportunities abound, are you interested in traveling? You can apply for traveling assignments throughout the United States including Alaska and Hawaii.

What can I do with this Major?

  • Go on to earn an associate degree in surgical services and then a bachelor degree in healthcare or business management.
  • Become a team leader in a specialty service such as orthopedics.
  • Move into management of a central sterile supply or inventory department.
  • Return to school to move into other related branches of medicine such as a surgical assistant, physician’s assistant, registered nurse or physician.


  • If you haven’t already been to Gulf Coast’s Panama City campus, you should know that we’re located right on the Gulf Coast shoreline, with many great views of the water. Schedule a personal tour to learn more about the campus.
  • Gulf Coast State College’s health sciences programs also have clinical site agreements with many hospitals and outpatient centers in the area, including Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center and Bay Medical Sacred Heart in Panama City.
  • Our faculty care deeply about your career success and will help you through the rough spots along the way. They are your advocates, and after graduation, your professional colleagues.
  • Your national certification for surgical technology (CST) is recognized in all states.
  • For the student who is already a certified surgical technologist (CST or ST-C) or has documented military training as a surgical technologist, up to 45 credits can be awarded.  A personal plan to attain your associates degree can be requested based on your transcripts and documentation.  Note: To graduate from GCSC, 25% of the programs 64 credits must be taken at GCSC (16 credits for the AS in surgical services degree).
  • Our program meets the requirements of the national accreditation agency:

    Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)

    The education program of Surgical Technology is accredited.

    CAAHEP is located at 9353  - 113th Street North, #7709, Clearwater, Florida 33775.

    Contact via email:
    Phone: (727) 210-2350
    Fax: (727) 210-2354



Surgical Technologist

To apply to the program, you’ll need to complete the general admission application to Gulf Coast State College.  Visit the Gulf Coast admissions page to learn more about the application process. Consult the Gulf Coast State College Catalog to find out more about the program. Download an Information Packet that Includes the Application Process.


Check out the class registration dates and today.


There are many options available to help you pay for college. Find out more about  scholarships and financial aid at Gulf Coast State College.


Program Faculty

Shannon E. Smith, M.H.Sc., CDEI, CST, CSFA, FAST
Surgical Services Program Coordinator

Surgical Services Program Advisor 
for those with last names A-M

Visit my faculty page

Brittany Page, AS, CST, CSFA
Assistant Coordinator
850-769-1551, ext. 5881

Surgical Services Program Advisor 
for those with last names N-Z

Visit my faculty page

George Sasser, CST
Clinical Manager
850.769.1551, ext. 3324
Rebecca Acton
Senior Administrative Assistant


Laura Justice
Chair, Health Sciences