Tag Archives: Surgical technologist programs


Becoming a Surgical Technologist

Can you imagine a surgical room without a surgical technologist? Me neither. The first surgical technologists were born and bred out of the military. Since nurses were not allowed anywhere near the battlefield, the military trained “medics” to work alongside surgeons. However, it was not after the two world wars of the twentieth century that sparked the need for trained operating room personnel. The role of the “operating room nurse” and “medic” evolved into a separate allied health career, now known as Surgical Technology.

Surgical Technologists- Duties and Responsibilities

Did you know surgical technologists are also called surgical technicians or operating room technicians? These highly skilled allied health professionals fulfill many important duties and responsibilities required for a successful surgery.

Before a surgical procedure, the surgical technologist (ST) is responsible for ensuring the proper arrangement and availability of all necessary equipment needed for the patient’s surgical procedure. They ensure that each surgical equipment and monitoring device is connected and working properly. The surgical technologist is also responsible for prepping the patient for surgery.

During the surgery, one of the (ST) duties is to pass instruments and other sterile supplies to the surgeon and surgical assistant. After the surgical procedure, the (ST) gathers and secures all contaminated instruments, cleans and disinfects the surgical instruments and preps the operating room for the next procedure. sat

Essential Traits

In order for a surgical technologist to be a valued team member, he or she must be able to maintain focused and calm during extremely stressful, emergency situations. Other highly regarded traits are the ability to listen, to follow directions; one wrong move can put a patient in critical condition. The aspirant surgical technologist must also have a strong desire to contribute to society and to help others feel better. Do you think you have what it takes to be a successful surgical technologist?

Educational Requirements

To become a skilled surgical technician, a person must obtain post-secondary education. Training for surgical technology can take ten months to two years to complete. Depending on the school the individual decides to attend, they will either receive a diploma of completion or an associate degree. Students in the surgical technology program at our Anthem Education schools learn hands-on training in areas such as: sterilization techniques and instrumentation set-up, and learn about surgical instruments and supplies. Students are also trained in basic surgical skills and laboratory procedures that support operating room functions. If you have any questions about the healthcare field or the surgical technology program, contact one of our campuses, we would love to get you on the right career track.

Career Outlook

A surgical technologist, besides enjoying a place of significance in the healthcare industry, also promises an increased number of job opportunities in the healthcare sector for the future.

Industry statistics and experts (BLS) have predicted a growth in the job outlook of the surgical technologist job position, and have estimated at around 30% growth in the sector for this career. This estimation of 30% growths has been predicted from 2012 to 2022, with the percentage increase in job opportunities greater than in other sectors of the industry.

If you are passionate about pursuing a career in the healthcare industry, and wish for a career with significant opportunities, then a career as a surgical technologist might just be what you seek.




Career Colleges and Other For-Profits Still Tops in Enrollment Growth

And the trend continues!

Last year, the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics reported that for-profit colleges showed the most growth in enrollments for 2009. This year, the story is pretty much the same.

According to an article for Inside Higher Ed, enrollment in for-profit colleges grew by 8.3 percent for fall 2010, compared to 2.3 percent at public universities, and 2.4 percent at private nonprofit schools. 

So why might more students be enrolling in for-profit colleges, many of which are vocational schools that provide training for specific career fields?

Wait, did I just answer my own question there?

Seriously though, while there is no singular reason that shows why for-profits are seeing more growth in enrollment, there is no arguing that jobs are still hard to come by and many employers are looking for a specific set of skills.

The healthcare sector, for example, which is expected to see the most job growth from 2010-2020, tends to require some form of post-secondary education and/or training.  Schools and colleges that offer healthcare programs help provide the specific career training that students need to enter a field without having to jump on the traditional 4-year public university train.

Are you interested in pursuing a career in the healthcare field, but don’t know where to start? How about starting by getting trained and developing skills for a specific career, such as Dental Assistant, Medical Assistant, Medical Billing and Coding, Pharmacy Technician, Surgical Technologist,  or Limited Scope X-Ray Technician!

Many of the 23 Anthem Education schools and colleges offer career-focused training programs for the healthcare field. Visit our locations page to find a campus near you.

If you don’t see one nearby, don’t worry! Anthem College Online is the online division of Anthem College and also offers healthcare-related programs, such as Medical Office Administration, Health Information Management, Healthcare Management, and Medical Assistant.

Visit the Anthem Education website to learn more about our programs and services. You can also call us directly at 1.866.381.6397 or click the “Chat Live” button at the top of the page to chat  now with one of our online representatives.

Ashley Roberts with Anthem College Surgical Tech Program Director Chad Skurdahl and Campus President Janet Mack.

Anthem College-Aurora Student Wins Surgical Technologist Scholarship

Contact: J. Todd Rash
For Anthem Education Group

Ashley Roberts, a Surgical Technologist student at Anthem College-Aurora, near Denver, is one of 16 students from around the nation to receive a scholarship from the Foundation for Surgical Technology this year.

The Foundation is sponsored by the Association of Surgical Technologists, the oldest and most widely recognized professional organization for surgical technologists and surgical assistants.

“Ashley has always shown great professionalism and demonstrated great skills while enrolled in our Surgical Technology Program,” says Chad Skurdahl, who chairs the Surgical Technology program at Anthem College-Aurora. Skurdahl cited Roberts’ “enthusiasm and willingness to both learn and mentor other students” as one of her key strengths.

Roberts, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at age 10, says that her decision to study surgical technology is largely due to her positive experiences with surgical teams from a young age. “To this day, I remember going to surgeries so terrified, and the surgical team always did everything they could to ensure I felt safe in their care,” she says. “I want to give back in the same ways that I was helped during this extremely difficult time in my life.”

“Ashley is a true leader and demonstrated perseverance through challenges that many would have taken the easy road on. She exemplifies what a healthcare professional strives to be, caring and compassionate,” says Janet Mack, Campus President for Anthem College-Aurora. “As a student, she set the bar high, not just for herself but for her classmates. We know she will have every success in her future as a Surgical Technologist.”


About Anthem College-Aurora

Originally established in 1994, Anthem College-Aurora is part of Anthem Education Group (AEG), a Phoenix, Arizona-based family of schools and colleges that provides career-focused training and education programs at 23 accredited institutions in 15 states and Anthem College Online. The AEG family of schools includes Anthem College, Anthem College Online, Anthem Career College, Anthem Institute, Morrison University, and Anthem College – Bryman School. For more information, visit http://www.anthem.edu.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.anthem.edu/disclosures.

(click to download press release in PDF format)
The Bryman School of Arizona

Bryman WOWs Students with Interactive Learning

The education team at Anthem College – Bryman School is always looking for exciting ways to keep its allied health students engaged in the learning process and give them the chance to practice their skills and interact with other students (and sometimes other classes!). Dean of Education, Susan Pinkerton, calls these class exercises, “Bryman WOWs.”

Here are some recent WOWs from Anthem College – Bryman School.

  • Medical Assistant students recently spent part of their class observing Surgical Technologist students practice sterilization techniques and perform a mock C-Section in the OR lab. “It was amazing,” remarked MA instructor, Trina Hargrave. “My students were able to recognize different surgical techniques, and gain a better understanding of what would be expected when performing minor surgical procedures in a medical office.”
  • The Pharmacy Technician students occasionally participate in counting exercises in class to help them become more comfortable with building speed and accuracy when counting out medications. During the most recent exercise, students competed head-to-head and were graded on speed and accuracy. To show their progress and help motivate them to improve, students were given Counting Competition Report Cards. “It was great to see some students get excited about taking their report cards home to show their family,” said PT instructor, Shannon Gentry. “To make the next exercise even better, I’m thinking of competing with the students!”
  • Students in Candace Ramirez’s Medical Billing & Coding class were split up into groups of 3. Each group was assigned to outline a section of a chapter in their textbooks. The students had to work together to complete the task and were then required to teach the rest of the class their section of the chapter. “This was a nice change from the typical class lecture,” remarked Ramirez. “Students had the chance to build their teamwork skills and encourage more active student participation.”
  • Dr. Christine Lee’s allied health students recently held a debate concerning Unique National Identifiers. “Some of the students were really concerned with how these numbers would affect their privacy and the government’s opportunity to intrude in their lives,” said Lee. “Other students did not really understand all the concern surrounding these identifiers.” By turning it into an organized debate, everyone had the chance to research information to back-up their viewpoint. The students were then able to debate this topic from a more educated, rather than opinion-based, perspective.

If you are interested in getting trained in an allied health field, contact Anthem College – Bryman School at 602.274.4300 . Current programs include: Dental Assistant, Medical Assistant, Medical Billing & Coding, Pharmacy Technician, Practical Technologist in Radiology and Surgical Technologist.

Surgical Technology program

Anthem College Orlando Launching Surgical Technology Degree Program

The Anthem College Orlando campus is set to launch a new Surgical Technology Associate in Science degree program in July.

The program will prepare students to compete for entry-level positions assisting surgical personnel before, during and after surgery. Students will receive hands-on training in surgical procedures and techniques, and learn about surgical instrumentation, infection control, pharmacology and anesthesiology.

The associate degree program also includes general education classes such as communication, composition and psychology, which help students develop workplace and personal skills.

The program adds to an already comprehensive list of available healthcare programs at Anthem College – Orlando, including Basic X-Ray Machine Operator, Dental Assistant, Medical Assistant, Medical Billing and Coding, and Pharmacy Technician. The college offers a Computer Networking and Security program as well.

The Orlando area is home to multiple hospitals and surgical centers that employ trained surgical technologists. In fact, Medical City at Lake Nona is currently being built and will include at least two new hospitals, a Nemours Children’s Hospital and a new VA hospital. “With new OR’s expected to be completed in 2012, we are going to see an increase in the need for surgical technologists in the Orlando and Central Florida region,” says Anthem College—Orlando Campus President, David Champlin.

The area is also home to Orlando Health, a healthcare network of hospitals and medical centers, which describes itself as “Central Florida’s fifth largest employer with nearly 14,000 employees.”

To learn more about Orlando’s new Surgical Technology program, call us at 407.893.7400 or visit our Web site.

Read more about the programs and campus life at Anthem College Orlando:

Anthem Education Programs Train for the Steady Healthcare Field

Anthem College – Orlando Hosts Student Support Night

Anthem College Orlando PT Instructor Honored

Orlando MT Students Raise Funds for Children’s Residence, Ovarian Cancer Alliance

Anthem College student veteran

Press Release: Anthem College Student Veteran Receives Award

ATLANTA, GA, May 3, 2011—A student attending Anthem College—Atlanta has been awarded the Imagine America LDRSHIP Award given each year to ten student veterans enrolled in career colleges.

Lauren Santiago, who is pursuing an Associate of Science degree in Surgical Technology, was selected “for her impressive military record and excellent grades,” according to the award letter sent to Anthem College.

“Lauren is a wonderful student who displays the same hard work and dedication in the classroom as she did in her service to this country,” says Steven Temple, President of Anthem College—Atlanta. “I have every confidence that she will be successful in any endeavor she undertakes. Congratulations to her on a well-deserved honor.”

“It is a true and valuable blessing to have received this leadership award,” Santiago says. “I am elated that my military service and academic accomplishments have been recognized and grateful that I was selected.”

Santiago served as a Navy Airman and Aviation Ordnanceman with the designation of Air Warfare, or AOANAW. She was honorably discharged in February 2006.

The Imagine American Foundation gives the LDRSHIP award to students who are active duty, reservist, or honorably discharged from the military and who have maintained a 3.5 grade point average while in school. Students must also post an attendance record of 95% or better.

The award includes a cash grant applied toward tuition.

Anthem College offers Active, Reserve and Veteran military personnel the opportunity to get a quality education at a local campus. Learn more at /military/. Military personnel or veterans interested in online learning should visit http://anthemcollege.edu/military/.



About Anthem College—Atlanta

Originally established in 1988, Anthem College—Atlanta is part of Anthem Education Group (AEG) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based family of schools and colleges that provides career-focused training and education programs at 23 accredited institutions in 15 states as well as online. The AEG family of schools includes Anthem College, Anthem College Online, Anthem Career College, Anthem Institute, Morrison University, and Anthem College – Bryman School. For more information, visit http://www.anthem.edu.

(click to download press release in PDF format)

Anthem College Maryland Heights Holds 4th Annual Trauma Day

If you follow the Facebook page for Anthem College, you surely knew that Trauma Day was approaching at Maryland Heights.

Trauma Day is held every March. This year`s chair for the event, Criminal Justice Lead Instructor Tabatha White, explains that the purpose for Trauma Day is to give students hands-on, lifelike opportunities to practice the skills they are learning in class. It also provides a great opportunity for students to meet peers in other programs as they work on socialization and communication skills important for their future jobs.

Instructors, Lead Instructors, and Managers provided scenario cards for the types of injuries students could expect to see in real-life situations. Tabatha assigned the role players to those parts.

Role-playing is an exciting part of Trauma Day. Role players were dressed and made up to look like realistic accident victims. They included both staff and students.

The college held Trauma Day events for each of its four sessions that lasted 1.5 to 2 hours.

This year`s highlights included:

  • Simulated deaths (three on the “accident” scene and one in the surgical technology waiting area)
  • Chasing and arresting criminals
  • Assessing and fining departments who violate health and safety codes. In fact, one surgical technology area was shut down because of violations. Mimnic James and Alina Rosen played the roles of OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration inspectors, that regulates and inspects worksite facilities for employee safety and health.
  • Massage therapy students provided massage services to emergency personnel following each event.

The majority of students in all programs said Trauma Day was an excellent or good event and would participate again. Some suggested holding the event twice a year.

Look for photos and comments from Trauma Day on the Anthem College Facebook page.


Anthem College-Brookfield Open House 1/5

Anthem College–Brookfield (Milwaukee) is hosting its first Open House of the year this Wednesday, January 5, from 4 – 8 p.m.

Anthem College is located at 440 S. Executive Drive, Suite 200, in Brookfield.

Faculty and staff will be on hand to talk about allied health programs that prepare students for entry-level positions in some of the fastest-growing careers around:

  • Massage Therapy
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Billing & Coding
  • Surgical Technology

Anthem College students can earn either a Diploma or Associate of Applied Science degree in any of these programs, except Surgical Technology, which only offers the Associate degree.

Let 2011 be the year to prepare for a new career! To RSVP or get more information, call Anthem College-Brookfield at 262-373-7000, or visit our Web site.


Anthem College-Brookfield Celebrates Surg Tech Week

Anthem College—Milwaukee celebrated National Surgical Technologist Week September 19—September 25.

Throughout the week, students and staff took an opportunity to kick back and have some fun in the otherwise serious world of the OR.

In addition to sponsoring pizza parties, the department celebrated by hosting games based on the popular TV game show Minute To Win It—with a Surgical Tech twist that featured surgical products used in the spirit of the show:

  • Penrose drains transformed into slingshots to shoot peanuts into a kick bucket.
  • Using an Asepto, students competed to shoot the most water across the room and into a suction container.
  • And what Surg Tech can resist gown folding and instrument stringing contests?

Best of all, everyone won prizes.

Editor’s note: Penrose drains are used after a procedure to drain blood and other fluids from a surgical site to reduce the chance for infection. Aseptos are irrigating syringes that push liquids out by squeezing a bulb.

Reported by Trudy Armstrong

Surgical Technology Extern Evaluator


HTI Surgical Tech Grad Featured in Journal

Shane Cronk, a 2009 graduate of the Surgical Technologist associate degree program at High-Tech Institute Anthem College – St. Louis Park is featured on the cover of the Spring 2010 issue of The Link, the journal of the Association of Private Sector College and Universities.

Shane is featured in the cover story about a successful nontraditional student in a career education program. After graduation, Shane took a position with a clinic in Arizona. Dr. Paul Bao from the AEG home office was also interviewed for the piece.