Surgical technicians are able to function within the sterile environment of the operating room assisting surgeons during surgical procedures.  They work as members of the health care team alongside physicians, surgeons, registered nursing, and other healthcare workers. They prepare and maintain medical equipment for surgical procedures, follow hospital regulations and industry procedures to tend to the patient during pre-operation procedures. They perform preop preparations to the patient's skin, body and medical equipment. During surgery, surgical technologists keep an inventory of supplies and hand instruments and other equipment to surgeons and assistants. They might also cut sutures, hold retractors, operate suction machines or diagnostic equipment and apply dressings. After surgery, they clean and restock the operating room and might transport patients to a recovery area.

Core Curriculum

The curriculum for the surgical technology follows the Association of Surgical Technologists Core Curriculum, 6th Edition.  The curriculum includes 1,760 clock hours of theory.  Clock hours of theory also include opportunities to practice techniques during “mock” surgery practicum occurring in San Manuel Gateway College Skills Lab.  Theory presentation will include the following curriculum content:

  •     Principles and Practices of Surgical Technology
  •     Anatomy and Physiology
  •     Microbiology and Infection Control
  •     Surgical Technique I: Asepsis and Patient Care Skills
  •     Surgical Pharmacology
  •     Surgical Technique II: Instrumentation and Equipment
  •     Surgical Procedures I:  Mock Surgery Practicum I; Endoscopy, Physics, and Robotics
  •     Surgical Procedures II: Mock surgery Practicum II

Clinical Experience

The clinical rotation will include 1000 clinical lab hours.  Students will have an opportunity to rotate throughout the Loma Linda University Medical Center facility, with particular time and emphasis spent in the operating room suites and the obstetrical suites.  Students will work under the direct supervision of either their clinical instructor or a member of the health care facility.

Job Outlook


Most surgical techs are employed in hospitals.  However, surgical technologists also work in out-patient surgery centers.

Employment of surgical tech is projected to grow 15 percent from 2014-2024.  Several factors lead to demand for surgical technologists.  With advances in medical technology, surgeries are safer and more operations are being done to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries.  Additionally, as individuals age, they may be more willing than previous generations to seek medical treatment to improve their quality of life, such as procedures involving surgical interventions (such as, knee replacement operation).


Surgical techs earn an average salary ranging between $43,000 - $48,000 per year in California.  However, the salary for a Surgical Technologist may vary depending on a number of factors including industry, company size, location, years of experience and level of education. (


  • Physical stamina
  • Excellent visual acuity and manual dexterity
  • Ability to maintain good working relationships with patience and tact
  • Can handle high-stress situations
  • Dependable
  • Pay attention to details