Surgical Technology

Associate of Science Surgical Technology w/ Con Flexible Endoscope Reprocessing

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Earn your associate degree in surgical technology, and take focused coursework on flexible endoscope reprocessing. Start working toward your future as a vital part of the surgical team.


In our Associate of Science in Surgical Technology program, you’ll receive hands-on training and education that equips you to help surgeons and patients before, during, and after surgery. You’ll study pharmaceutical drugs, sterilization, surgical procedures, and relevant lab testing. You’ll also cover clinical care, including how to position, prep, and drape patients. In addition to spending time in our Surgical Technology classrooms and labs, you’ll gain clinical experience in operating rooms at hospitals and outpatient surgery centers.

For your concentration, you’ll take an additional course designed to prepare you to become a safe and competent flexible endoscope reprocessor technician. After completing this course and gaining 6 months of experience, you’ll be eligible to sit for the Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor Certification Exam offered by the Certification Board for Sterilization Processing and Distribution (CBSPD).

Develop Essential Skills in:
  • Surgical patient care
  • Decontamination and sterile processing
  • Surgery preparation and support
  • Pharmaceutical drug use and effects
  • Instrumentation and supply handling
  • Flexible endoscope processing

See All Surgical Technology Programs

South College Surgical Technology

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Tuition and Fees

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Examples of Scholarships and Grants That May Be Available (Check with Your Campus Financial Aid Office For More Information)

South College Promise

This Grant is offered to provide assistance for recent high school graduates in order to help keep student loan debt to a minimum. Qualifications are required.

TN Promise

South College is proud to offer the TNP Scholarship for those that qualify helping to offset the first 2 years of tuition with required Community Service hours.

Concentrations in this Program

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You May Enjoy This Line of Study If You…

  • Enjoy being a key member of the team and a high-performance group
  • Thrive on being in the middle of what’s going on
  • Are fascinated by surgery and the complexity of the human body
  • Do your best work under pressure in fast-paced, rapidly changing environments where accuracy and timing are crucial
  • Can be counted on to act professionally and ethically
Goals/Learning Outcomes

The goal of the South College Surgical Technology program is to prepare competent entry-level surgical technologists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

Graduates of this program of study will:

  1. Demonstrate competency in the background information, content, and skills required for performance as a surgical technologist in the operating room.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively with all members of the health care team in terms of staff and patient needs.
  3. Exhibit conduct that reflects practice standards that are legal, ethical, and safe.
Additional Information
Professional Certification Acknowledgement

Currently there are no requirements for state licensure for Surgical Technologists. Professional certification is required to practice as a Surgical Technologist. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting currently sets certain eligibility criteria to take the surgical tech certification exam. Graduates of an accredited program in surgical technology or surgical first assisting programs can take the exam with a notarized letter from their program director stating their graduation date, with a copy of their transcript.

The Certificate in Surgical Technology program offered at the Asheville campus is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( (25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763, 727-210-2350), based upon the recommendation of the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC-STSA).

The application and self-study for the Associate of Science in Surgical Technology program offered at the Knoxville campus to the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (, 9355 – 113th St. N, #7709, Seminole, FL 33775, 727-210-2350) has been submitted and a site visit scheduled for pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. This step in the process is neither a status of accreditation nor a guarantee that accreditation will be granted. Accreditation must be awarded to the program prior to graduates being able to attempt the required certification examination to practice as a Surgical Technologist.

State Law Overview

The following states have passed law related to the education and certification of surgical technologists. This includes graduation from a CAAHEP-accredited surgical technology program, obtain the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST®) credential from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA), and maintain the CST® credential by completing mandatory continuing education (CE) hours.

NOTE: When a state passes this law, nothing in the law prevents an employer from requiring all of its surgical technologist employees (not just new-hires) to meet the full requirements of the law regardless of whether the employee fits into the “grandfathered” or “military” exceptions.

Indiana (2009)
Massachusetts (2012)
Nevada (2017)
New Jersey (2011)
New York (2015)
Oregon (2016)
Pennsylvania (2020)
South Carolina (2018)
Tennessee (2013)
Texas (2009)
Idaho (1991) – Idaho has an administrative rule requiring that surgical technologists (referred to as “operating room technicians” in the rule) either complete a CAAHEP-accredited program OR satisfy the NBSTSA requirements for CST/certification.
The following states require surgical technologists to register in order to work in the state:

  • Colorado (2016) (CST not required for registration)
  • North Dakota (2011) (“Unlicensed Assistive Person” registry; CST not required for registration)
  • Washington (2010) (CST not required for registration)

The following states offer optional registration/title protection for surgical technologists:

  • Arkansas (2017) (Must be a CST in order to qualify for the registry/title protection)
  • Illinois (2004) (Must be a CST in order to qualify for the registry/title protection)
  • Virginia (2014) (Must be a CST in order to qualify for the registry/title protection)
CST Exam Pass Rate

First-Time Pass Rate for NBSTSA CST Exam (Knoxville campus):
September 2021 Graduating Class – 100%
March 2022 Graduating Class – 80%
September 2022 Graduating Class – 100%

Admission Requirements
Students applying to this program must:
  1. Be generally admitted to South College;
  2. Meet specific health and/or essential functions pertinent to the responsibilities performed by the Surgical Technologist;
  3. Successfully complete STE 1000 Introduction to Surgical Technology, STE 1100 Patient Care Concepts I, and STE 1101 Patient Care Concepts I Lab courses;
  4. Students will be required to consent to a drug screening and background check prior to beginning clinical rotations. Failure to pass the screenings will result in non-admission;
  5. Clinical sites are dispersed; assigned sites may exceed 75 miles from South College. It is the responsibility of the student to allow for the proper travel time to ensure prompt arrival at the clinical facility.
Students will be accepted on a conditional basis until all admission requirements are met. Readmission is subject to completing all the specified admission requirements. Cohort sizes are campus-specific and based on clinical rotation slots.


Beginning in the year 2000, only graduates of a surgical technology program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) may take the certification exam. Beginning in July 2006, surgical technologists practicing in the state of Tennessee must be certified or a graduate of a CAAHEP-accredited program. This accreditation is provided in collaboration with the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST).


Asheville, Knoxville, and Pittsburgh

The Associate of Science in Surgical Technology program offered at the Asheville, Knoxville, and Pittsburgh campuses is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (, 9355 – 113th St. N, #7709 Seminole, FL 33775, 727-210-2350, upon the recommendation of the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (AR/STSA).


Atlanta, Indianapolis, Nashville, and Orlando 

The Associate of Science in Surgical Technology program offered at the Atlanta, Indianapolis, Nashville, and Orlando campuses have a site visit scheduled for pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( This step in the process is neither a status of accreditation nor a guarantee that accreditation will be granted.

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