Surgical Technology

Surgical Technology

Protect Patient Safety and Operating Best Practices

Surgical technologists are allied health professionals who are an integral part of the team of medical practitioners providing surgical care to patients in a variety of settings.

The laboratory portion of the program, which reinforces concepts learned in class, is held in operating suites at area hospitals or the surgical technology lab at Kirkwood. Students have clinical experiences in hospitals and actively participate on operating room teams during surgery while clinical preceptors oversee their work.

Apply Now Program Details

Paying for your degree may be easier than you think with our financial aid and scholarships. Kirkwood offers more than $3 million in scholarships for students each year!

Students in this program, full- or part-time, may be eligible to have half of their tuition paid for by the Kibbie Grant for up to two years.


  • Correlate the knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, biomedical science, and microbiology to their role as a surgical technologist.
  • Relate the ethical, legal, moral, psychosocial, and medical values related to the patient and surgical team during the perioperative experience.
  • Correlate the elements, action, and use of medications and anesthetic agents used during the perioperative experience.
  • Implement safe practice techniques and knowledge in regards to perioperative routines, patient transportation, positioning, and emergency procedures.
  • Integrate principles of surgical asepsis as part of the perioperative experience.
  • Demonstrates essential competencies of the surgical technologist in regards to instrumentation, counting, and knowledge of varied surgical procedures during the perioperative surgical experience.
  • Employ the professional attributes of the surgical technologist.

A one-hour program conference is required prior to acceptance to the program. You'll learn more about the program, specific admission requirements and have the opportunity to have questions answered by program faculty and staff.

Program Costs

Surgical Technology 

School Year: 2024–25

Program Entry Semester: Fall, Spring, Summer

Pre-Reqs First Second Third Fourth Total
Credit Hours per Semester 8 15 13.5 12 14 62.5
In-State Tuition $1,736 $3,255 $2,929.50 $2,604 $3,038 $13,562.50
Technology Fee per Semester $50 $50 $50 $50 $50 $250
Clinical Expenses (mileage, lodging, screenings, etc.) $0 $0 $500 $0 $1,650 $2,150
Conferences/Seminars $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Course Resources (textbooks, software, etc.) $250 $900 $600 $0 $125 $1,875
Course/Section Fees $10 $105 $40 $30 $0 $185
Laptop (required devices) $0 $1,000 $0 $0 $0 $1,000
Testing Fees $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Third Party Credentials $0 $0 $0 $0 $240 $240
Tool Sets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Uniforms $0 $0 $200 $0 $0 $200
Other $0 $0 $86 $0 $0 $86
Total Estimated Cost $2,046 $5,310 $4,405.50 $2,684 $5,103 $19,584.50


Costs provided are estimated and based on the following current tuition rates: $217 (In-State), $290 (Out-of-State), $400 (International).

Fees and costs are subject to change.

To view all costs associated with attending college visit our Tuition and Costs page.

Additional Program Requirements

To get into the Surgical Technology program, you must meet the following additional standards. These steps/requirements are in addition to Kirkwood's steps to become a student.

  • Attend a program conference
  • Apply to the program
  • Complete prerequisite courses with a minimum B grade 
    • Introduction to Surgical Technology (SUR-108) (2 credits)  starting Fall 2024
    • Basic Anatomy & Physiology (BIO-161) (3 credits) — starting Fall 2024. Students may take Human Anatomy & Physiology I (BIO-168) and Human Anatomy & Physiology II (BIO-173) as an alternate option.
    • Medical Terminology (HSC-115) (4 credits)  starting Fall 2024
  • Have placement test scores or course equivalents on file with the Allied Health office

If college-level placement is not met, students are recommended to meet with an advisor. Kirkwood and Surgical Technology admissions policies and procedures are subject to change at any time. After all admissions criteria are met, students are accepted or placed on the waitlist to the Surgical Technology program.

The Surgical Technology program is also implementing a change in the delivery of classes starting fall 2024. All ST lecture courses will be presented in a self-paced online learning format that aligns with the principles of competency-based education (CBE). CBE offers flexibility for you to complete the course requirements based on your knowledge and skills. Labs will continue to take place either at Kirkwood or nearby hospitals. Organization of clinics (and being held in hospitals within our region) will stay the same.

If you have any questions regarding these changes or, to determine if competency-based education sounds like the right learning model for you, please email the Allied Health office at or Program Director Melissa Carnahan at

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What career could this lead to?

Explore Careers

Students in Kirkwood's Surgical Technology program are encouraged to join the Kirkwood chapter of HOSA, a global student-led organization exclusively for students enrolled in health science education and biomedical science programs or have interests in pursuing careers in health professions.

HOSA is one of eight recognized members of the National Coordinating Council for Career and Technical Student Organizations (NCC-CTSO)CTSOs are co-curricular groups that help students in career and technical education programs further their knowledge and skills by participating in activities, events, and competitions.

The Surgical Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in collaboration with the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) based on the recommendations of the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting(ARC-STSA). ST graduates will apply to take the Certified Surgical Technologist test. Certification is strongly recommended, and occasionally required, for employment.


Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC-STSA)
6 West Dry Creek Circle
Suite #110
Littleton, CO 80120



9355 - 113th St. N, #7709

Seminole, FL 33775


Successful completion of this program leads to a professional licensure or certification. View the state listing guide to identify which Kirkwood program fulfills state guidelines for professional licensure and certification.

Distance Education Surgical Technology Program

Kirkwood Community College’s Surgical Technology program is being offered in partnership with Indian Hills Community College, Northeast Iowa Community College, and North Iowa Area Community College.


Program Overview

This program begins each fall.  General education courses are available at our partner colleges and the core Surgical Technology courses are offered through Kirkwood.  Labs are arranged at local hospitals and taught by Kirkwood faculty who are certified surgical technologists.  Surgical Technology courses are taught over ZOOM.  Students will be placed in clinic sites near the partner college sites, or up to 1-1/2 hours away depending upon clinic site availability. Apply to Kirkwood and one of our partner colleges indicating surgical technology as your major.

  • Attend a Program Conference at your partner college (see below for specific contact information.)
  • Send college transcripts to Kirkwood Community College’s Enrollment Services for evaluation.
  • Have placement test scores (Accuplacer/ALEKS tests or ACT placement tests) or course equivalents on file with the Kirkwood Allied Health office.
  • Complete prerequisite (BIO-168 Anatomy and Physiology I and HSC-115 Medical Terminology (or equivalent from partner college) with a minimum C- grade.
  • Financial aid can be applied to both Kirkwood and the partner college.  Kirkwood should be listed as the first institution.
  • Upon successful completion of the Surgical Technology curriculum, the student is awarded a diploma/degree from Kirkwood Community College.

If college level placement is not met, students are recommended to meet with an advisor. All of these requirements must be met prior to acceptance. Students are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. Notification of acceptance will be sent from Kirkwood Community College. Kirkwood and Surgical Technology admissions policies and procedures are subject to change at any time. 
For information about this program, call Kirkwood’s Allied Health Department 1-800-363-2220 x5566 or one of the partner colleges listed below.


Indian Hills Community College
525 Grandview Ave, Ottumwa, IA 52501
Contact: Heather Larson
641-683-5311 or 800-726-2585 x5311


Northeast Iowa Community College
8342 NICC Drive, Peosta, IA 52068
Contact: Lynn Besler
844-642-2338 x2214


North Iowa Area Community College
500 College Dr, Mason City, IA 50401
Contact: Bridget Shulz

How do I register for classes?
See your local college program advisor to register for Kirkwood courses and any courses you plan to take at your local partnered college.

How do I get my books for my Kirkwood classes?
There will be a mandatory August technical program orientation at Kirkwood for those who have been accepted. You will be assisted to purchase your books at that time. Books may also be ordered online from the Kirkwood Bookstore. You will need the Kirkwood section number to order your books (the course section number is on your registration sheet or your Kirkwood bill).

How do I apply for financial aid?
See your local program advisor to complete a Surgical Technology Distance Education Financial Aid form. You may only obtain federal financial aid from the college that grants you the degree (Kirkwood). In addition, you may only obtain financial aid from one college at a time. Therefore, Kirkwood and your local partnered college will work together to assist you in getting the financial aid you need. If you are eligible for financial aid, Kirkwood will subtract the tuition due to Kirkwood and issue a check (providing there is a balance) to you. You are then responsible for paying your remaining tuition at your partnered college.

How do I find out my schedule?
You will register for your Kirkwood classes on MyHub and your general education courses at your local partnered college. When you register you will find out your schedule.

Where will the labs for Kirkwood’s Health Skills or the Surgical Technology courses be held?
Consult with your local program advisor regarding the exact locations. The Health Skills lab will be held at your local partnered college. The Surgical Technology labs will be held at your local hospital. Please consult with your local program advisor regarding any parking issues.

When is my Surgical Technology lab scheduled?
Consult with your local program advisor regarding the exact day and time.

How will my lecture class be delivered?
The lecture component of your classes will be on ZOOM. This is a web conferencing system. This requires you to have a computer with video and audio capability.

Will my local partnered college have Surgical Technology resources/references within their library?
All the local partnered colleges have purchased surgical technology references.

What if I want to transfer a course that I took at a different college into Kirkwood for the Surgical Technology program?
Request the college where you took the course to send an official transcript to Kirkwood’s Enrollment Services for evaluation. Enrollment Services will notify you of the results of the transcript evaluation.

May I take any coursework through Kirkwood’s distance learning department?
If you are interested in pursuing your two-year degree, you may take Intro to Management (3 credits) through Anytime Anywhere (AT/AW) at Kirkwood.

Do I need a health physical and up-to-date immunizations?
You will need a current health physical (within the past 12 months prior to starting the program) and current immunizations, including Hepatitis B. The health physical form and immunization form may be found in the Surgical Technology Compliance Guide.

Do I need to have a background check?
Clinic sites require a background check on all students. Results may jeopardize a student’s completion of the program.

  • This requirement will be explained further at the program conference and again at registration for the program.
  • Specific instructions on how to complete the background check will be given at the technical program orientation.
  • If clinic sites refuse clinical placement based on the results of the background check, the student will be unable to complete the program.

Do I need OSHA (Bloodborne Pathogen) training?
This will be completed within the TALON shell titled Health Programs-Compliance. TALON is the online learning platform used by Kirkwood. In addition, the local lab faculty will provide specific OSHA guidelines for the local labs (Health Skills and Surgical Technology labs).

Do I need current CPR certification?
You need to have a current CPR card for the BLS Provider.

Do I need to provide proof of health insurance?
If the clinical site you are at requires this, you will need to provide this proof.

Which school calendar will I follow?
You will follow the Kirkwood calendar for Kirkwood courses and your local partnered college calendar for their courses. The Kirkwood calendar can be accessed here, click on the academic calendar year on the link in the bottom right. Please note that there will be some differences. The semesters may begin or end on different days, or spring break may be different.

Which school deadlines/dates do I follow?
You will follow the Kirkwood deadlines/dates for Kirkwood courses and the local partnered college deadlines/dates for their courses. Please note that there will be differences. These differences may include dates that tuition is due or the last day to withdraw.

Who will the faculty be for the Surgical Technology labs?
The faculty will be certified surgical technologists from your local area who are employed by Kirkwood. They will follow the Kirkwood course syllabus and Kirkwood guidelines.

How will I take my tests for my Kirkwood courses?
Most Kirkwood tests will be done via testing software on a computer at your local partnered college.

What do I do if there is inclement weather?
Listen to your radio or television for closings. Your Kirkwood lecture courses may be cancelled, while your local partnered college is still able to hold classes, or vice versa. The Surgical Technology labs and clinical within the hospital setting typically do not cancel due to the weather.

Will I need to travel for Clinical experiences?
Yes, you will definitely be traveling to other hospitals for your clinical experience. Please pre-plan transportation costs for this. Your last semester will involve over 500 hours of clinical experience. This will greatly limit any other additional courses or job schedules that you may have incorporated into previous semesters.

Will there be an orientation for the students accepted into the program?
There will be a mandatory technical program orientation in August at Kirkwood. Your local program advisor will know the date of this August orientation. You will receive the program student handbook, Kirkwood handbook and other documents at this orientation. This will also be an opportunity to purchase your Kirkwood textbooks and obtain your Kirkwood EagleCard. Some groups choose to carpool together to Kirkwood on that day.

What if I am struggling with any of the coursework?
Please see your local program advisor or the instructor of the course you are concerned with. They will help you determine the resources you need to be successful. You may be directed to go to the local learning center or counseling center for assistance; e.g. Tutoring, test anxiety.

We all want you to be successful. Please seek out assistance, if needed, early in the course.

What if I am absent?
The absentee policy will be addressed in each course syllabus.

Where will my diploma be from?
Your diploma will be from Kirkwood Community College.

Please contact the Kirkwood Community College Allied Health department at 1-800-332-2055 x5566 with any questions or concerns. Your local partnered college and Kirkwood Community College are working closely together to ensure you receive the quality education you are seeking.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Kirkwood Community College Surgical Technology Program is to provide students with the opportunity to obtain the knowledge and skills to become employed as surgical technologists and become contributing members of the health care team.


Allied Health
2164 Linn Hall