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 Surgical Technology

Dane Matthews
Program Director


The Malcolm X College Surgical Technology program prepares competent entry-level surgical technologists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. This program is dedicated to providing Surgical Technology students the knowledge and skills required to provide quality patient care in an ever-changing healthcare environment.                                
We are committed to graduating Surgical Technologists that exhibit the characteristics of moral integrity, honesty, surgical conscience, and a commitment to upholding the highest principles of aseptic technique.                                      

Occupational Overview

Surgical Technologists are allied health professionals who assist with surgical care of patients. They are experts in the area of aseptic technique, and they function under the direct supervision of the surgeon. Their job responsibilities include, but are not limited to, scrubbing, gowning and gloving self and surgical team, establishment of the sterile field, verification of instrument and miscellaneous counts and the maintenance of the sterile field and the sterility of personnel and supplies during the pre, intra and post operational phases of surgery.​

The Accreditation Review Committee on Education in Surgical Technology describes the Surgical Technologists as:


“… Possess[ing] expertise in the theory and application of sterile and aseptic technique and combines the knowledge of human anatomy, surgical procedures, and implementation tools and technologies to facilitate a physician’s performance of invasive therapeutic and diagnostic procedures."                                

Please check the Department of Labor for statistics on current wages and occupational outlook for this profession.                                                                       

Certification Exam

ARC/STSA standards require a 100% participation rate in certification exams therefore, all Surgical Technology students who have passed the program exit exam and completed clinical case requirements must sit for the national certification exam administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) as part of program completion. The program will arrange for On-Campus Web Based Testing (WBT) and submit student qualifications to NBSTSA. The student is responsible for payment of exam fees and providing items required for the exam application.                                

Careers in Surgical Technology

In addition to healthcare facilities, Surgical Techs are eligible for roles in veterinary clinics, vein clinics, hair restoration clinics, management roles in Sterile Processing Departments, and as educators and administrators in academic settings as well.                                


Malcolm X College is going through the initial accreditation process with its cohort that began classes in the Fall 2021 semester. Surgical Technology programs cannot receive accreditation without first beginning a cohort for the Committee on Accreditation (COA), Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA) to evaluate. The above thresholds are the criteria that will be evaluated to determine if accreditation will be granted.                                

You can also find the program status at                                    


6 W. Dry Creek Circle, Suite #110
Littleton, CO 80120
Phone: 303-694-9262
Fax: 303-741-3655                                                                                                    

Institutional Program accreditation status can be found at:

Malcolm X College is accredited by the HigherLearningCommission.                                     

230 South LaSalle, Suite 7-500                                      

Chicago, IL 60604-1411
Phone: 1-800-621-7440
Fax: 312-263-7462                                                                                                   

For questions regarding program status, please send an e-mail to                                     

Surgical Technology                                       

Malcolm X College offers an associate’s level degree program in Surgical Technology that prepares students for jobs as entry level Surgical Technologists. Surgical technologists, work with and assist surgeons, nurses, and other members of the operating room team throughout a surgical procedure. The role of the surgical technologist is critical to ensuring infection prevention and avoiding retained foreign objects in surgical patients.                                    

Scope of practice                                      

The professional responsibilities of Surgical Technologists can be divided into three stages: before the surgical procedure (preoperative), during the surgical procedure (intraoperative), and after the surgical procedure (postoperative).                                   

According to the definition provided by the Association of Surgical Technologists, “The surgical technologist in the first scrub role handles the instruments, supplies, and equipment necessary during the surgical procedure. He/she has an understanding of the procedure being performed and anticipates the needs of the surgeon. He/she has the necessary knowledge and ability to ensure quality patient care during the operative procedure and is constantly on vigil for maintenance of the sterile field.”                                   

Preoperatively, surgical technologists focus on sterility and preparation. This includes:                                      

· Preparing the sterile instrumentation and the operating room​                                      

· Gathering, counting, and setting up the surgical instrumentation, equipment, and supplies needed during the surgery                                     

· Assisting with patient preparation for the procedure                                      

Intraoperatively, surgical technologists also have a variety of important responsibilities:                                      

· Maintaining sterility within the sterile field                                      

· Maintaining an accurate accounting of what instrumentation and supplies are within the sterile field                                      

· Anticipating and passing surgical instrumentation to the surgeon and the surgical assistant                                      

Postoperatively, surgical technologists assist with wrapping up the procedure and are responsible for:

· Reconciling the counts of surgical instrumentation and supplies used during the surgery                                      

· Applying dressings to surgical wounds                                      

· Disposing of sharps and supplies                                      

· Maintaining the sterile environment of the operating room until the patient is taken to the recovery room                                      

Malcolm X College is the only City College in Chicago that offers the Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology.                                      

Malcolm X College – Surgical Technology program provides a complete academic and clinical education for a career in Surgical Technology. The program is a five-semester, Associate of Applied Science degree. The clinical component requires students to be at least 18 years old, obtain certain immunizations and provide proof of immunity, submit a background check, and provide proof of health insurance or access to medical care. In addition, the clinical component requires students spend 24-32 hours per week as assigned at a clinical partner location. The clinical site assignment will be made by the clinical coordinator and program director according to the needs of the program and its clinical partner.                                     

The program curriculum incorporates the standards established by the Association of Surgical Technologists and the guidelines set forth by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accreditation Review Council on Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA).                                      

FREQUENCY OF ADMISSION                                      

Every Fall semester. The application deadline is April 22nd of each year. Classes are offered on campus for lecture and lab courses barring complications due to Covid-19.                                   

LENGTH OF COURSE/PROGRAM SCHEDULE                                      

The program is five-semesters.                                             


Admission Requirements               


Applicants must:                                     

1. Be admitted to Malcolm X College.                                      

2. Be at least 18 years of age.                                      

3. Completion of prerequisite courses must not be more than five years old and all prerequisite coursework must be completed with a grade of Grade of “C” or better. These courses are:                                      

​Code Title​ Hours​​
Any College Level Math (MATH 118 Recommended) ​3 or 4

Biology 121                                    

Biology I                                       
Biology 120
Terminology for Medical Careers ​3
Biology 226​​ ​Human Structure and Function I ​4
​Eligibility to take English 101 

4. Provide the college with official college transcripts for any previous course work.

5. Have a minimum 2.5 College GPA.                                      

6. Complete the Special Admissions Application.                                         

7. All students are required to undergo a criminal background check. Students with a positive background check that contains disqualifying convictions may be prohibited from being placed at a clinical site, sitting for certification board examinations, and securing future employment. Students are responsible for the cost of performing the background check. The program’s Clinical Coordinator will provide instructions to obtain the Background Check at the New Student Orientation session.                                  

As defined by Illinois State Law (225ILCS46/25):                                 

All healthcare workers and student health care workers are required to undergo a criminal background check in order to work in a clinical setting.  A student with a positive background check containing disqualifying conditions will not be allowed to enter the clinical portion of this program, thus preventing the student from obtaining mandated certification and/or licensure in Sterile Processing. Please contact the Program Director to discuss disqualifiers. The applicant is responsible for the cost of the background clearance. Prior to clinical placement, the student will be required to provide a cleared drug screen at their own cost.                                        

For more information about admissions requirements and the application process, visit the program website                                

8. Attend a consultation with members of the Surgical Technology program's staff and/or advisory board before acceptance into the program.                                   

9. All college transcripts from colleges/universities attended outside City Colleges of Chicago are required to be sent to Malcolm X College Office of Registrar Services or from the specific college/university. We do not have access to transcripts submitted to other City Colleges of Chicago.                                


As defined by Illinois State Law (225ILCS46/25): All healthcare workers and student health care workers are required to undergo a criminal background checkin order towork in a clinical setting. A student with a positive background check containing disqualifying conditions will not be allowed to enter the clinical portion of this program, thus preventing the student from obtaining mandated certification and/or licensure in Surgical Technology. Please contact the Program Director prior tosubmitting an applicationto discuss disqualifiers. The applicant is responsible for the cost of the background check. Health Career students with direct patient contact must be drug-tested prior to clinical site assignment. The student is responsible for the cost of the drug screen. Clinical locations are assigned based on student performance and can bea distance of up 50 miles from the college. Clinical Hours are Monday through Friday and can include any of three shifts at a designated clinical site. The student must be willing to take any location and any shift the program faculty deem appropriate for their success. The student cannot be substituted for a paid employee once at a clinical site and will not be compensated for their duties performed there. The student will be responsible during the program to provide additional clinical placement background check, clinical placement drug screen and the Association of Surgical Technologists Gold Package. This package includes the student’s membership in the Association of Surgical Technologists, the National Board exam fee and the review materials for the National Board exam.                                     

To Apply to the Program:


· Complete program prerequisite courses.​                                  

· Submit official college transcripts.                                       

· Calculate admissions cumulative GPA.                                      

· Apply to Program through the Special Admissions application​.                                     

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Faculty & Staff

Name​ Email                 Phone Room
Dane Matthews​ (312) 850-7351 2103 A
​​Delila Rodriguez ​​ ​(312) 850-7352 ​2103-027
​Nichole McClelland ​ ​(312) 850-7358 ​2103-024

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