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Aims surgical technology associate degree students get hands-on experience practicing using surgical equipment.

Surgical Technology

Earn an Associate Degree in Surgical Technology at Aims

Turn your desire to help others through medical science into a fulfilling career as a surgical technologist. Earn a surgical technology associate degree at Aims and get a job working as a surgical technologist at a hospital, clinic or surgical center.

Surgical technologists are an integral part of surgical teams, working with surgeons, nurses and other technicians to ensure that the operating room is safe and that all equipment is functioning correctly. 

While earning an associate degree in surgical technology, study subjects including:

  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Surgical safety standards and techniques
  • Proper use of surgical equipment, including endoscopy, robotics and lasers 

In this two-year surgical technologist degree program, learn the surgical preparation and assisting techniques and safety protocols required to become a surgical tech. Gain hands-on skills both in a lab setting and during internships working with actual patients. Get practice in applying critical thinking skills, providing patient care and multi-tasking in a fast-paced work environment.

If you’d like to work in the medical field by applying acute attention to detail in a high-pressure, fast-paced environment, the associate degree in surgical technology program at Aims might be for you.

Turn Your Passion for Helping People Into a Fulfilling Career as a Surgical Technologist

Aims Degree Video - Allied Health - Surgical Technology
Study the fundamentals that will help you start your career as a surgical technologist including human anatomy and physiology, microbiology, medical terminology, the fundamentals of surgical technology, surgical pharmacology and surgical procedures.

Katie Overturf, department chair of the Aims surgical technology program, talks about the exciting and fast-paced learning environment of the surgical technology degree program.

Gain the Skills You Need To Prepare for a Career as a Surgical Technologist

The surgical technology associate degree program at Aims combines lectures, labs and internships to give you the medical knowledge and hands-on training you need to start your surgical tech career.

Gain skills in:

  • Using surgical instruments 
  • Preparing a surgical suite and equipment
  • Gowning and gloving yourself and others
  • Assisting in a variety of surgical procedures
  • Dressing wounds
  • Surgical incisions and simulations
  • Using endoscopy instruments and the laparoscopy tower for appendectomies
  • Operating robotic and laser equipment

After studying a procedure in the classroom, you’ll do mock surgeries in the lab. The Aims surgical lab has many of the same instruments and equipment you’ll use in the field, including a laparoscopic tower. Learn instrumentation for several different surgical specialties, including scissors, hemostats, clamps and retractors. The lab environment is fast-paced to mimic what it’s like during an actual surgery, requiring you to think on your feet and quickly apply what you’ve studied. 

The surgical tech degree program also teaches you essential soft skills that employers want. Gain practice thinking quickly in high-pressure and fast-paced situations. Learn how to present a professional demeanor and remain calm in a variety of medical situations. 

“It's amazing to know when you have a patient come in and you help perform a surgery that is lifesaving for them.” --Katie Overturf, Aims Surgical Technology Department chair and instructor

I had the opportunity to gain real life experiences in the field as well as lab simulations that were practiced in the classroom. Together those experiences gave me the confidence I needed to succeed in the operating room. I am now a CST working side-by-side with surgeons providing care to patients when they need it most.

Tyler Jones
former surgical technology student at Aims
Aims surgical technology student Tyler Jones

CAAHEP Pass Rates for Aims Surgical Technology Degree Students

With higher than average passing rates, Aims surgical technology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education (CAAHEP).

Aims Surgical Technology Pass Rates
Year Aims Community College Pass Rate National Pass Rate
2021 73.3%
2020 81.8% 73.7%
2019 25% during transition to new director 64.6%

Gain Introductory Healthcare Career Skills with a Sterile Instrument Processing Certificate

Certificate programs offer an affordable route to develop new career skills quickly. If you’re curious about a career in surgical technology or another healthcare field, earning a medical materials management certificate provides an introduction to what it’s like to work in a healthcare setting. 

Sterile instrument processing is a semester-long program offered each spring semester. Students spend five weeks in online class and four hours daily practicing lab skills on the Greeley Campus. After that, students are assigned a clinical site, where they complete 405 clinical hours which will prepare them to take the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management (IAHCSMM) certification exam after they graduate.

If you are interested in getting on the waitlist for sterile processing, please email your contact information to: erin.miyoshi@aims.edu.

  • Sterile Instrument Processing Certificate

Launch Your Career as a Surgical Technologist

Surgical technologists work anywhere surgeries are performed, including hospitals, standalone surgery centers, clinics and medical offices. 

Upon completing your associate degree in surgical technology, you’ll be prepared to sit for the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) competency exam and become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST). This national certification will allow you to find an entry-level job in any surgical setting.

Surgical technologists can work in a variety of surgical environments, including:

  • General surgery (hernia repair, appendectomy, bowel resection, gallbladder removal, lipomas)
  • Spinal and neurosurgery (cranial, spinal fusion, ruptured discs)
  • Obstetrical and gynecological surgery
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Cardiothoracic (heart and lung) surgery
  • Plastic surgery (birth defect repair and elective)
  • Vascular (vessels and arteries) surgery
  • Burn/skin grafting
  • Urologic surgery (kidney stones, prostrate removal)
  • Oral/maxillofacial surgery

Surgical Technology Faculty and Staff

Many of the surgical technology faculty are Aims alumni who returned to teach students interested in a career as a surgical technologist. Smaller class and lab sizes offer ample opportunities for one-on-one instruction and guided practice learning new skills.

  • Headshot of Erin Miyoshi

    Erin Miyoshi

    Program Coordinator, Radiologic Technology, Surgical Technology and Sterile Processing
  • Katie Overturf headshot

    Katie Overturf

    Chair, Surgical Technology and Sterile Processing
  • Headshot of Melissa Lickfeldt

    Melissa Lickfeldt

    Part-Time: Assistant Instructor, Surgical Technology
  • headshot of Kimberley Gehring

    Kimberley Gehring

    Part-Time: Assistant Instructor, Surgical Technology
  • Kimberly Juarez

    Part-Time: Assistant Instructor, Surgical Technology
  • headshot of Donald Cisneros

    Donald Cisneros

    Part-Time: Assistant Instructor, Sterile Processing