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Surgical Technology

Associate's Degree

Please note: The Surgical Technology program at Radford University Carilion will transition to Virginia Western Community College beginning with the Fall 2022 semester. Learn more about the transition of the Surgical Technology program to Virginia Western Community College.

The Surgical Technology Program at Radford University Carilion is a two-year/five-semester program designed to prepare students to become an integral part of the healthcare team.

The program focuses on providing surgical care to patients in a variety of settings and provides a balanced approach of theoretical and practical application in the classroom, laboratory and clinical settings. The clinical environment allows the student to apply theory and practice in state-of-the-art surgical settings, all with hands-on learning from some of the top faculty in the nation.

For more detailed program information and requirements, visit our Academic Catalog.

Program Overview

Surgical technologists are crucial members of the operating team. The surgical technologist is not only responsible for the instruments and equipment a surgeon will need to perform a successful operation, but they are at the surgeon’s side throughout the entire operation anticipating the surgeon’s next move and executing the instrument hand-off flawlessly. It’s a fast-paced, detailed and essential clinical position.

As part of Carilion Clinic, the Radford University Carilion program gives the student hands-on experience from day one. The student will learn from faculty, who are nationally recognized as experts in their field. The student will be expected to perform at a high-level, scrubbing in on more patient cases than their peers. They’ll learn to think like a surgeon, and anticipate his or her next move.

What makes this program different?

  1. Carilion Clinic. A student at Radford University Carilion will be part of a healthcare clinic that employs nearly 14,000 healthcare professionals and has facilities that span over 200 miles. The program provides access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, national leaders in all areas of healthcare practice and administration. The student will scrub in on all rotations at Carilion Clinic. 
  2. More hands-on experience. Many schools require a minimum of 120 cases, however, Radford University Carilion students sometimes scrub up to 200 cases. That additional experience gives our students a huge advantage when applying for a job and in preparing for the workforce.  
  3. Your learning lab is a real operating room. Unlike others, the Radford University Carilion lab for surgical technology is a real operating room with every surgical instrument needed to prepare you for clinical practicums. The student is not in a simulated experience, but from day one, is learning in an exact environment and experience you’ll find out in the field. 
  4. Learn from the best. You will experience one-on-one instruction with highly-skilled and experienced faculty.
  5. 100% Exam Pass Rates. In 2018, for the third consecutive year, the graduates of the Surgical Technology Program achieved a 100% pass rate on their National Board Certified Surgical Technologist Exams (the national average pass rate is only 67.3%). 

Career Path

Surgical technologists mostly work in hospitals and medical centers where surgery takes place. This opens up the possibilities for where you can find employment. Many surgical technologists continue in the profession while some certified surgical technologist’s progress in their careers with additional specialized education or training so they may act in the role of the surgical first assistant. 

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment of surgical technologists is projected to grow 15 percent by 2024, much faster than the average for other occupations. As a result, surgical technology is ranked as one of the top 13 fastest growing healthcare professions in the country. 

Admission Requirements

Not every program has the same requirements. The following requirements are specific to this program. 

  • Students must have completed prerequisite courses, BIO 211/211L and HLT 215 with a C or better prior to taking surgical technology (SUR) courses.   


The Surgical Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( upon the recommendation of Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA). Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs,  25400 US Highway 19 N., Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763, 727-210-2350

Surgical Technology Outcomes

Standard Represented   8/1/2020 to 7/31/2021
8/1/2019 to 7/31/2020 
8/1/2017 to 7/31/2019 8/1/2016 to 7/31/2017 8/1/2015 to 7/31/2016
Graduate Placement 100% 100% 90% 80% 100%
CST Participation Rate 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
CST Pass Rate 87.5% 100%
100% 100% 100%

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs: