Surgical Technology Specialist - College Credit Certificate


patchPending deletion for fall 2020

This program will no longer be offered.  Only the surgical services as degree - surgical technology is available

Do you like to watch Surgery on the Learning channel?


Would you like to work in a unique environment?

  • As a member of the sterile 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 under the supervision of the surgeon (also called scrub or operating room technician in the past). With further training they can become first assistants.

  • This college credit certificate program will prepare you for the role of the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) who understands surgical procedures preparing, opening and establishing the sterile field, passing instruments  and anticipating the surgeon’s needs for each step of the operation.
  • This program can be your first step on a career ladder that leads to an associate degree in science specializing in surgical services, then a bachelor degree in organizational management. You can complete both programs right here at GCSC while working full, part time or simply continuing your education. You can then progress to a master’s degree at the college of your choice by following their plan requirements.
  • Surgical Technologists can perform the roles of scrub role; assistant circulator (identify, position, and prepare the patient for surgery), or second scrub (maintain retraction, manipulate the camera during cut suture, or hold clamps applied by the surgeon).
  • Your national board certification for surgical technology (CST) is recognized in all states.
  • As you mature, 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 2016 income for Surgical Technologists was $45,160 and job growth in the field is expected to be faster than average.
  • The professional association is the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST).

Contact the ADVISor

Libby McNaronProfessor Libby McNaron
Coordinator, Surgical Technology
Health Sciences Building, Third Floor, HS326

Visit my faculty page


Who is eligible for the Surgical Technology Specialist CERTIFICATE program?

  • surgery
    If you are a high school graduate, you can apply to this program.
  • If you have earned credits from a regionally accredited college or university, you may have a head start at Gulf Coast State College. Contact as below for a personalized advising plan.

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 does your work environment look like?

  • Usually full time; may require call for nights, weekends and holidays.
  • May require work shifts greater than 8 hours
  • May require standing long hours and fast room turnovers (break down and setup) for the next case.

How many ST's are there?

  • In 2014, there were 100,000 ST employees who held jobs. (O Net)

What is the Job Outlook forecast by the Bureau of Labor Statistics?   

  • The need for graduates is rated as “faster than average with an increase of 12% or higher is expected by 2026” which are approximately 12,600 job openings between 2014 and 2026.  

What is the program’s Placement Rate?

  • 100% were hired as an entry level surgical technologist or are continuing school in 2015.

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 surgical 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.
  • For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed this program and other important information, please visit GE Statistics  and see page 3 of the Information/Application packet. 

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

    2016 CST graduate certification examination pass rate was 100%.

    2015 CST graduate certification examination pass rate was 90%.

  • The program is fully accredited since 1997 in our area, since 2002 at GCSC.

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
The education program of Surgical Technology is accredited.
CAAHEP is located at 1361 Park Street, Clearwater, Florida 33756.
Contact via email:
Phone: (727) 210-2350
Fax: (727) 210-2354

If you would like further information, go to:

  • Association of Surgical Technologists: Job descriptions Surgical Technology:  AST Job Description   

HOW DO I APPLY TO THE Surgical Technology Specialist PROGRAM?

Surgical TechnologistTo 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.


Check out the class registration dates and plan your schedule 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.

2019-2020 Catalog Requirements

Prerequisite Courses CH
+#*HSC1000, Orientation to Perioperative Services 3
+#*HSC1000L, Orientation to Perioperative Services Lab 1
+#*HSC1531, Medical Terminology 2
#*HSC2520, Microbiology for Perioperative Services 3
#*STS1300C, Surgical Anatomy and Physiology 6
Major Courses
+#*STS1310, Surgical Tech & Procedures 6
+#*STS1310L, Surgical Tech & Procedures Lab/Clin 2
+#*STS1340C, Pharmacology & Anesthesia 3
+#*STS1940C, Introduction to Surgery Clinical 2
+#*STS2323, Surgical Procedures I 4
+#*STS2323L, Surgical Simulation Lab I 1
+#*STS2324, Surgical Procedures II 4
+#*STS2324L, Surgical Simulation Lab II 1
#*STS2361, The Art of Teamwork in Surgery 1
# *STS2365, Professional Skills for the OR Team 1
+#*STS2944C, Surgical Clinical I 3
+#*STS2945C, Surgical Clinical II 3
#*STS2953, Surgical Technologist Portfolio I 1
#*STS2954, Surgical Technologist Portfolio II 1
+#*STS2936, Surgical Certification Symposium 1



+ Prerequisites and/or corequisites required. See course descriptions.

# Applies to A.S. degree and certificate programs.

= PSAV course.

* Minimum grade of "C" required.


Department Chair

Laura Justice
Chair, Health Sciences