Top Surgical Technician Programs in Oregon: Your Guide to a New Career Path

Are you on the hunt for surgical technician programs in Oregon? Get straight to the point with our guide which compares accredited programs, spells out admission requirements, and illustrates career pathways. Designed for aspiring surgical technologists, this resource simplifies your search and steers you toward a resilient career in healthcare.

Key Takeaways

  • Oregon offers a variety of accredited surgical technician programs, with Mt. Hood Community College and Concorde Career College among the prominent institutions providing comprehensive training and the opportunity to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree.
  • Surgical technologist programs emphasize mastering a set of essential skills such as attention to detail, hand-eye coordination, and manual dexterity, as well as understanding operating room procedures, sterile technique, and infection control protocols.
  • Completion of surgical technician programs opens up multiple career opportunities in healthcare settings, with the added benefit of enhanced job prospects and potential career advancement for those obtaining National Board Certification.

Overview of Surgical Technician Programs in Oregon

Surgical technician program classroom in Oregon

Oregon boasts an array of accredited surgical technician programs for those keen on becoming surgical technologists. These programs, with their curriculum focused on imparting essential skills and knowledge, pave the way to a challenging yet rewarding career.

Institutions like Mt. Hood Community College and Concorde Career College provide comprehensive training in surgical technology.

Mt. Hood Community College

Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) offers a comprehensive Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Surgical Technology. This program is designed to prepare students for a successful career as surgical technologists, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in this field and achieve national certification.

Mt. Hood Community College Surgical Technology Program

  • Program Overview:
    • The Surgical Technology program prepares students to assist in surgical operations, ensuring the sterile field is maintained, and providing necessary tools and equipment to surgeons.
    • Students will gain experience in preparing operating rooms, arranging equipment, and assisting during and after surgeries.
    • Emphasis on developing knowledge, technical skills, and professional behavior.
  • Curriculum:
    • Prerequisite Courses: Human Anatomy and Physiology I (BI231), Microbiology (BI234), Quantitative Reasoning or Beginning Algebra, and Introduction to College Writing or Composition I.
    • Core Surgical Technology Courses: Surgical Technology Theory I-IV, Surgical Technology Lab I-II, Clinical Practicum, and specialized courses in various types of surgeries such as General, Pediatric, Orthopedic, Neurosurgery, etc.
    • Additional Requirements: Medical Terminology, computer skills courses, health and physical education, and human relations courses.
  • Key Features:
    • Accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
    • Comprehensive training that includes both theoretical knowledge and hands-on clinical practice.
    • Preparation for the national certification exam by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).
    • Clinical rotations in various healthcare settings to provide real-world experience.
  • Student Support:
    • Faculty advisers available for guidance and support throughout the program.
    • Access to the Academic Advising & Transfer Center for prerequisite advising.
    • Comprehensive student handbook and program details available for reference.
    • Resources such as the Student Services and Disability Services to ensure a supportive learning environment.

The Surgical Technology program at Mt. Hood Community College offers an accredited and rigorous education pathway, preparing students for national certification and a successful career in surgical technology. The program combines academic coursework with practical clinical experience, supported by dedicated faculty and comprehensive student services.

Concorde Career College – Portland

Surgical technology lab at Concorde Career College in Portland

Concorde Career Colleges offers a comprehensive Surgical Technology program designed to prepare students for a career as surgical technologists. This program provides the necessary education and hands-on training to equip students with the skills required to assist in surgical procedures and ensure a sterile environment in operating rooms.

  • Program Overview:
    • The Surgical Technology program prepares students to work alongside surgeons and other healthcare professionals in the operating room.
    • Focuses on developing skills for preparing operating rooms, arranging surgical equipment, and assisting during surgeries.
    • Emphasizes maintaining a sterile environment and understanding surgical procedures.
  • Curriculum:
    • The program includes both theoretical instruction and practical training.
    • Courses cover a range of topics including anatomy, surgical procedures, aseptic techniques, and patient care.
    • Hands-on training in real-world clinical settings to provide practical experience.
  • Key Features:
    • Accredited program ensuring a high standard of education and training.
    • Preparation for national certification exams, enhancing employability and professional recognition.
    • Supportive learning environment with access to experienced instructors and modern facilities.
  • Student Support:
    • Comprehensive support services including academic advising, career services, and financial aid assistance.
    • Resources available to help students succeed academically and professionally.
    • Opportunities for clinical rotations to gain hands-on experience in various healthcare settings.

Concorde Career Colleges’ Surgical Technology program offers a robust educational pathway for aspiring surgical technologists. The program combines theoretical knowledge with practical training, preparing students for national certification and a successful career in the healthcare industry.

Essential Skills for Surgical Technologists

Surgical technologist demonstrating sterile technique

Pursuing a career in surgical technology necessitates a distinctive set of skills. Attention to detail is paramount for ensuring patient safety and accurate preparation of instruments. Surgical technologists must also possess excellent hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity, as handling delicate instruments such as sutures is an everyday task.

Operating Room Procedures

Surgical technologists, during their training, become adept at operating room procedures. This includes preparing surgical trays, identifying the necessary instruments for different surgical procedures, and mastering sterilization methods. These skills are vital for dressing wounds, adjusting room lighting, and maintaining an accurate instrument count, which are all critical for the smooth flow of surgery.

Sterile Technique and Infection Control

Sterility in the operating room isn’t just a guideline; it’s a strict protocol that surgical technologists must adhere to. Proper handling of instruments, gowning, gloving, and even the placement of furniture all contribute to maintaining a sterile environment in operating rooms.

Surgical technologists are rigorously trained in infection control protocols to prevent complications and ensure patient safety.

Admission Requirements for Surgical Technology Programs

Candidates need to fulfill certain requirements for admission into a surgical technology program. These include:

  • Providing immunization records
  • Passing drug screenings
  • Undergoing a criminal background check
  • Fulfilling prerequisite course requirements with a grade of ‘C’ or higher
  • Showing proof of CPR certification

Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite courses for surgical technology programs typically include:

  • Human Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Medical terminology
  • Microbiology
  • Pharmacology

A solid grasp of these subjects is essential for understanding the complexities of surgical procedures and effectively communicating with the surgical team.

Application Process

Although the application process for surgical technology programs may seem overwhelming, it’s a crucial step on the path to a new career. It often involves:

  • Submitting an online application
  • Attending an information session
  • Completing a written exercise that showcases one’s understanding of the surgical technologist’s role

Additionally, applicants should apply early to secure a spot in their desired program.

Gaining Real-World Experience: Clinicals and Labs

Surgical technology students during clinical experience

In surgical technology education, surgical technology theory is just one facet of learning. Clinical experiences and lab training are where students get to apply what they’ve learned in a real-world setting, solidifying their understanding and skills. These experiences are typically initiated during the second semester and continue throughout the program, offering critical exposure to the role of surgical technologists in real-life surgical settings.

Clinical Experience

Any surgical technology program fundamentally relies on clinical experiences. They provide students with exposure to various surgical specialties, such as general surgery, orthopedic surgery, and neurosurgery. Under the supervision of experienced professionals, students learn about surgical team dynamics and the importance of patient safety, completing a required number of surgical procedures to meet their clinical case requirements.

Lab Training

Lab training complements clinical experiences in the medical field by offering a simulated environment where students can practice surgical techniques and gain technical proficiency with medical equipment. This hands-on experience is invaluable, preparing students to support a multidisciplinary surgical team effectively.

Career Opportunities and Certification for Surgical Technologists

Certified surgical technologist in a hospital setting

Upon completion of a surgical technology program, graduates have a wealth of career opportunities awaiting them in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, and physicians’ offices. Certification from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) can further enhance job prospects and offer the potential for career advancement.

Employment Prospects

Surgical technologists can expect promising employment prospects, with a growth projection of 5% from 2022 to 2032. There are also numerous job openings expected each year, primarily due to workforce attrition such as retirement.

This growth is driven by the increasing number of surgeries, advancements in medical technology, and the aging population.

National Board Certification

National Board Certification is a significant credential for surgical technologists. It requires graduation from an accredited program and passing the CST exam. The exam, developed by the CST-ERC and reviewed for quality and relevance, is a reflection of the current practices and knowledge necessary in the field.

With the program’s accreditation by the NCCA, certification from the NBSTSA assures a standard of excellence and professionalism.

Financial Considerations: Costs and Financial Aid

Surgical technology programs in Oregon come with varying costs, and students should carefully consider the financial investment involved. Fortunately, there are numerous financial aid options available to help manage these costs, including grants, loans, and work-study programs.

Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms a crucial part of this process.

Tuition and Fees

The tuition and fees for surgical technology programs vary across institutions, therefore students should thoroughly investigate all available financial aid options. With careful planning and the right resources, the financial burden can be managed, allowing students to focus on their education and future careers.

Financial Aid Opportunities

The FAFSA opens up financial aid opportunities and is the initial step to determining eligibility for different types of federal financial aid. Additionally, veterans and their eligible dependents can access educational benefits, providing further assistance and support.


Oregon offers a solid foundation for those aspiring to become surgical technologists, with accredited programs that provide comprehensive education and hands-on experience. The path to becoming a surgical technologist is paved with rigorous academic work, practical training, and the opportunity for certification and career advancement. With a bright job outlook and financial aid options available, a career in surgical technology is an accessible and rewarding choice for those dedicated to making a difference in the medical field.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a surgical tech in Oregon?

To become a surgical tech in Oregon, you’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent, complete an accredited program in the operating room or surgical technology, obtain certification from a nationally recognized organization like NBSTSA, and maintain current CPR certification. Good luck on your journey!

What is the best major for a surgical tech?

The best major for a surgical tech is medical technician, followed by nursing, business, biology, chemistry, exercise science, or other health-related areas. These majors provide a strong foundation for entering a master’s program in surgical technology.

How much does a certified surgical tech make in Oregon?

In Oregon, a certified surgical tech can expect to make an average salary of $60,780 annually, with wages ranging from $46,640 to $77,290.

What is the highest-paid surgical tech?

The highest-paid surgical tech specialties include Surgical Neurophysiologist with a salary range of $276,000-$300,000 per year and Cardiovascular Surgical Tech with a salary range of $74,000-$143,000 per year. These are among the highest-paying surgical technology specialties.

What are the essential skills needed to become a surgical technologist?

To become a surgical technologist, essential skills include attention to detail, hand-eye coordination, organizational skills, adaptability, problem-solving, communication, ethical behavior, and stress management skills. These skills are crucial for success in this field.