Surgical Technology students getting their hands “dirty”

What is a surgical technologist?  They are a vital member of the operating room team, which includes the Surgeon, Anesthesia Care Provider, and Circulating Registered Nurse.

Before a surgical procedure, they help prepare the operating room by setting up sterile surgical instruments, equipment and supplies, such as drapes, gowns, gloves, suction tubing, and receiving solutions and medications from the circulator. Surgical technologists assemble the sterile equipment, check to ensure it is all working properly and make adjustments as necessary.

During the surgical procedure, the surgical technologist is responsible for anticipating the needs of the surgeon by passing instruments and providing needed supplies such as sponges, performing counts of the instruments and sharps, providing solutions and medications to the surgeon, receiving tissue specimens to be passed off to the circulator and ensuring there are no breaks in sterile technique in order to prevent the patient from acquiring a surgical site infection.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports a projected job growth of 15% between 2014-2024, estimating 14,700 new jobs, which is must faster than average for all occupations.  Moraine Park Technical College offers a two year AAS program in Surgical Technology.

Students in the Surgical Technology program are provided opportunities to work with simulators that allows them to “perform” various surgical procedures, including breast biopsy, inguinal hernia repair, appendectomy, and ovarian cyst removal.  The program also has an endoscopic tower and abdominal trainer in which students are able to learn how to assist in laparoscopic surgeries, which is an ever growing field.

If you have any questions regarding the Surgical Technology program, please contact Danielle Cook at or 924-6391.

Students removing a lump for biopsy.

Students removing a lump for biopsy.


Students removing a lump in the mock OR lab.


Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy (gall bladder)

Written by Danielle Cook
Surgical Technologist Instructor