CCTC’s Surgical Technology program will transition to an associate’s degree this fall

Students in Central Carolina Technical College’s surgical technology program will soon be able to use their skills in more ways than ever before.

Beginning in the fall 2021 semester, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Surgical Technology program will offer an Associate’s Degree in Surgical Technology, rather than a diploma.
The goal of the program will remain the same, which is to prepare students for employment as surgical technologists. Students will also still be eligible to take the National Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam upon completion of their courses.

What will change is the increased number of opportunities that await students in the future.
“Our accrediting agency recommended it a few years ago because of the amount of skill and technology required in the program,” said Brie Weber, university program manager for surgical technology. “It was just going to be more manageable for students. Students will have more time in a clinical setting to learn about surgery and acquire the required number of surgeries to graduate.”

Having an associate degree program at CCTC will provide students with additional lab hours, more clinical hours, and a greater level of experience in the third semester. The degree also opens up career prospects for graduates.

The revised curriculum will also offer a new Sterile Processing course that covers the fundamental understanding of sterile processing of instruments and materials used in a surgical setting. An additional humanities and fine arts requirement has also been added to the curriculum.
Weber is excited about the timing of these changes because of the number of surgical tech jobs available. Graduates will be qualified for employment in various areas of the health care system, including operating rooms, emergency rooms, outpatient surgery centers, and veterinary practices.

“Having the associate’s degree is going to help students perform, it’s going to help with retention, and it’s going to help them be better qualified for those jobs,” Weber said.

Central Carolina students can complete their associate’s degree in surgical technology in just five semesters, with classes offered during the fall, spring, and summer sessions. For more information about the Surgical Technology program, contact Brie Weber at 803-778-7811 or

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