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Technical Standards for Surgical Technologist Program

Upon entering the program, students enrolled in the Surgical Technologist program should be able to meet the established technical standards identified below with or without reasonable accommodations.  The technical standards for the Surgical Technologist program are representative of those found in the Surgical Technologist profession.
Ability Standard Examples (not inclusive)
Physical Skills

Students must perform physical activities that require considerable use of their hands, arms, and legs. This includes fine motor abilities like finger dexterity, manual dexterity, arm-hand steadiness and trunk strength. This must be done in a timely manner for safe and effective patient care.

  • Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, hands, and arms.
  • Demonstrate the ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp retractors, manipulate or assemble instrument parts quickly with good hand-eye coordination
  • Demonstrate the ability to quickly and continuously pass instruments in a timely manner with precision.
  • Ability to stand in one spot for an extensive amount of time as well as during shorter surgical procedures. Ability to lift surgical instrument trays as well as participate in patient lifting and positioning.
  • Wear personal, protective equipment for safe practices (masks, eyewear etc.)
Sensory Skills

Students must have hearing sufficient to perform surgical technology tasks. Possess auditory ability to monitor and assess needs of the surgeon and other operating room team members.

Students must have vision sufficient for observation and assessment necessary during a surgical procedure.

Students must the tactile ability to perform a surgical technologist's duties in a timely manner.

  • Hear and understand muffled communication without visualization of the person's mouth and lips.
  • Detect activation/warning signals on equipment
  • See the sterile field, back table, instruments, and supplies clearly without holding items closer than 12 inches from the face with or without corrective lenses and wearing safety glasses.
  • Demonstrate sufficient peripheral vision to anticipate the surgeon and function in the sterile field
  • Hold and operate instruments/retractors at correct strength for surgical procedures
  • Able to tolerate exposure to a wide range of chemical and biological agents that could be potentially harmful.
Communication Skills

Students must effectively communicate verbally, nonverbally, in writing, with groups and using information technology. The student must be able to interact appropriately with patients, peers, and with all members of the surgical team. Students must be able to interpret and convey information gathered from communications.

  • Discuss and ask questions regarding surgical procedures both preoperatively and intraoperatively.
  • Convey information in a clear, professional and timely manner
  • Listen and respond to others in an accepting and respectful manner
Critical Thinking Skills

Students must measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize data in a timely manner. They must demonstrate critical thinking, problem-solving and the decision-making ability needed to during surgical procedures. They must demonstrate clinical competency and participate in all clinical experiences.

  • Apply broad concepts to clinical situations
  • Concentrate to correctly perform surgical technology tasks within the scope of practice
  • Make correct judgments on seeking consultation or supervision in a timely manner
  • Demonstrate problem-solving skills preoperatively, intraoperatively and postoperatively.
  • Be observant of contamination of sterile areas and know how to correct the situation.
  • Combine pieces of information to form conclusions and to apply surgical practices.
  • Bring together and relate similarities of surgical procedures and situation in order to function on unfamiliar procedures
  • Quickly assess needs for surgical procedures, anticipate surgeons needs and act appropriately at all times.
  • Set up the instrument table and mayo stand for function and efficiency.

Students must demonstrate cross-cultural competency, integrity, moral reasoning, ethical behaviors and concern for others. They must acquire interpersonal skills for professional interactions with diverse individuals and communities. They must be work cooperatively with intra and inter professional teams, adapt to changing environments inherent in clinical practice, and function effectively under stress.

  • Establish a professional working rapport with surgeons, anesthesia personnel, surgical technologists, nurses and a variety of other departmental staff as well as patients.
  • Exhibit positive interpersonal skills in patient, staff and faculty interactions
  • Demonstrate appropriate impulse control and professional level of maturity.
  • Recognize appropriate boundaries in relationships with patients and colleagues
  • Demonstrate good team building skills
  • Handle demanding clinical assignments and handle the stress that goes with it.
  • Demonstrate calm and effective behavior and responses, especially during emergency situations.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 794) prohibits discrimination of persons because of her or his disability. In keeping with these laws, colleges of the Wisconsin Technical College System make every effort to ensure a quality education for students. The purpose of this document is to ensure that students acknowledge that they have been provided information on the technical standards required of a student in the Surgical Technologist program. In addition, information was given to the student on reasonable accommodations to meet the technical standards at this time.

If you know you have a recognized disability, or suspect that you might have one, it is your responsibility to identify yourself as soon as possible to the Disability Services staff in Student Services. Course standards will not be lowered but various kinds of accommodations are available to you. Adequate and reasonable time will be required to develop and provide appropriate accommodations so contact Disability Services as soon as possible. It is Mid-State Technical College’s goal to assist you in your individual educational plan. 
Your signature below affirms that you:
  • have read and understand the Technical Standards specific to the Surgical Technologist program.
  • are able to meet the Technical Standards with or without accommodations.
  • have been provided with information concerning accommodations or special services if needed at this time.

By typing my first and last name in this box, I confirm the data I have provided is accurate and that I understand the information provided on the form.