Graduation Requirements


• Comply with all formal procedures for graduation in accordance with College policy. See College Catalog.
• Completion of all course curriculum (See Curriculum) and clinical requirements.
• Graduates are required to take the National Certification Exam from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting

First Scrub Role (FS)
1. To document a case in the FS role, the student shall perform the following duties during any    given surgical procedure with proficiency:

a) Verify supplies and equipment

b) Set up the sterile field

1) Instruments

2) Medication

3) Supplies

c) Perform required operative counts

1) AST guidelines (AST Guidelines for Best Practice can be found on the AST website.

2) Facility policy

d) Pass instruments and supplies

1) Anticipate needs

e) Maintain sterile technique

1) Recognize sterility breaks

2) Correct sterility breaks

3) Document as needed

Second Scrub Role (SS): defined as the student who is at the sterile field who has not met the criteria for the first scrub role, but actively participates in the surgical procedure by completing any of the following:

a) Assistance with diagnostic endoscopy

b) Assistance with vaginal delivery

c) Cutting suture

d) Providing camera assistance

e) Retracting

f) Sponging

g) Suctioning

Observation Role (O): the student who is in the OR performing roles that do not meet the criteria for First or Second scrub role. These observations must be documented, but are not included in the 120 required cases.

II. Students must complete a minimum of 120 cases as delineated below.

A. General Surgery cases

1. Students must complete a minimum of 30 cases in General Surgery; 

  1. 20 which must be performed in the First Scrub Role (FS). 
  2. The remaining 10 cases may be performed in either the First or Second Scrub Role (SS).

B. Specialty cases

1. Students must complete a minimum of 90 cases in various surgical specialties, excluding General Surgery; 

  1. A minimum of 60 which must be performed in the First Scrub Role (FS) and evenly distributed between a minimum of four surgical specialties. 
  1. A minimum of ten cases in four different specialties must be completed in the FS role (40 cases total).
  2. The additional 20 cases in the FS role may be distributed amongst one surgical specialty or multiple surgical specialties. 

     b.    The remaining 30 cases may be performed in any surgical specialty in either the    FS or SS role           

2. Surgical specialties (excluding General Surgery)

  1. Cardiothoracic
  2. Genitourinary
  3. Neurologic
  4. Obstetric and Gynecologic
  5. Orthopedic
  6. Otorhinolaryngologic
  7. Ophthalmologic
  8. Oral Maxillofacial
  9. Peripheral vascular
  10. Plastic and reconstructive
  11. Procurement and transplant 

III. Counting cases

1. One pathology is counted as one procedure.

  • A patient requires a breast biopsy followed by mastectomy. It is one pathology, breast cancer, and the specialty is general surgery, therefore, it is counted and documented as one procedure and one case.

2. Counting more than one case on the same patient

  • Trauma patient require a splenectomy and repair of a Lefort I fracture.Two cases can be counted and documented since the splenectomy is a general surgery specialty and repair of LeFort I is oral-maxillofacial surgical specialty. 
  • A procedure that requires different set-ups and includes different specialties may be counted as separate procedures. A mastectomy procedure (general surgery) followed with immediate reconstruction or augmentation (plastics and reconstruction) are counted as separate cases. 

       3.    Diagnostic vs operative endoscopy cases.

  1. An endoscopy classified as a semi-critical procedure is considered a diagnostic case.
  2. An endoscopy classified as a critical procedure is considered an operative case.
  3. Diagnostic and operative cases will be counted according to specialty.
  4. Diagnostic cases are counted in the SS role up to a total of ten of the required 120 cases.
  • A cystoscopy is a diagnostic procedure. If an adjunct procedure is performed, it is considered operative; therefore, a cystoscopy with ureteral stent placement is an operative procedure. 
  •   Vaginal delivery cases are counted in the SS role of the OB/GYN specialty up to a total of five of the required 120.

IV. Documentation

  1. Case performed
  2. Role performed
  3. Performance evaluations
  4. Verification by program director
  • The surgical technology program is required to verify through the surgical rotation documentation the students’ progression in the scrub role in surgical procedures of increased complexity as he/she moves towards entry-level graduate competency. 



Accreditation and Eligibility for Certification

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredits the Surgical Technology program.

1361 Park Street
Clearwater, FL 33756
Phone 727-210-2350    Fax: 727-210-2354

Students who complete the Surgical Technology program are required to sit for the national certification exam. The exam will be given at the completion of the program at the college.

The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA)
6 West Dry Creek Circle, Ste. 100
Littleton, CO 80120
Toll Free:   1.800.707.0057    Fax: 303.325.2536

Establishing Eligibility to Test
The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) retains the sole authority to establish eligibility requirements and make all final decisions regarding eligibility.

Before testing, individuals must first establish eligibility by submitting the appropriate examination application form along with the correct fees. NBSTSA does not refund processing fees for ineligible candidates.

Once approved, NBSTSA provides candidates with an Authorization to Test number (ATT), and both the phone number and web address to contact the testing agency to schedule the test.

NBSTSA accepts all properly completed applications from qualified applicants regardless of the applicant’s age, sex, race, religion, marital status, disability or national origin.

Certified Surgical Technologist - Examination Content Outline

CST-Content-Outline for Certification  Exam

I. Perioperative Care: 105 items (Recall - 42, Application - 59, Analysis - 4)

A. Preoperative Preparation: 29 items (Recall - 10, Application - 17, Analysis - 2)
B. Intraoperative Procedures: 66 items (Recall - 28, Application - 36, Analysis - 2)
C. Postoperative Procedures: 10 items (Recall - 4, Application - 6, Analysis - 0)

II. Additional Duties: 20 items (Recall - 6, Application - 12, Analysis - 2)

A. Administrative and Personnel: 10 items (Recall - 2, Application - 7, Analysis - 1)
B. Equipment Sterilization and Maintenance: 10 items (Recall - 4, Application -5, Analysis - 1)

III. Basic Science: 50 items (Recall - 20, Application - 30, Analysis - 0)

A. Anatomy and Physiology: 30 items (Recall - 12, Application - 18, Analysis - 0)
B. Microbiology: 10 items (Recall - 4, Application - 6, Analysis - 0)
C. Surgical Pharmacology: 10 items (Recall - 4, Application - 6, Analysis - 0)

Copyright © 2012. National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting