Your new career as a surgical technologist IS possible.
- Typical program length of 20 months
- Transfer up to 48 approved credits
- Complete select general education classes online
- Hands-on training on campus in New Orleans and clinical training
- Pathways to continue advancing your education (BS, MBA)
Jumpstart your career in less than 2 years
The operating room is not just for doctors and nurses. Surgical technologists play a major role in high-tech operating rooms across the country.
If you're well organized, can keep track of details and aren't squeamish about watching surgery, you could start your career in surgical technology in less than 2 years by enrolling in the Herzing University associate degree program in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Additional program highlights:
- Small class sizes
- Strong support from experienced, surgical technologies certified faculty
- Family-friendly environment
- Hospital affiliations in the area (clinical training)
Classes Start August 9th
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Classes, program length and curriculum details
As a student in Herzing's New Orleans, Louisiana surgical technology program, you'll be prepared with the skills needed to work effectively as an integral part of a surgical team. The coursework includes anatomy and physiology, microbiology, medical terminology, in addition to core surgical technology classes. At the end of the core classes you will complete 540 hours of hands-on practice at clinical sites for 3 months and sit for the Certified Surgical Technologist exam. Upon successful completion of the program, you'll be prepared for entry-level surgical technology positions in the operating room or other surgical healthcare settings.
|Associate of Science in Surgical Technology||65||20*|
*Average number of months for students to complete program
General Education Prerequisites
The following general education prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of C (70%) or better for a student to be continued in the Surgical Technology program: Anatomy and Physiology with Lab General Microbiology with Lab All other general education courses must be passed with a grade of D (60%) or better to be continued in the Surgical Technology program. A student who is dropped from the program for failing to achieve the minimum grade specified in the general education courses, but who otherwise meets the academic standards of the University, may transfer to another Herzing degree program and/or may reapply to the Surgical Technology program in a future cycle.
Required Support Course #
12.00 semester credit hours are required.
Required Surgical Technology Courses
All courses, 33.00 semester credit hours, are required.
General Education Requirements #
Students enrolled in this associate degree must complete a minimum of 24.00 semester credit hours in general education (◊includes 6.0 credit hours from Anatomy and Physiology listed in above required) distributed among the following disciplines. Refer to the General Education section of this catalog for Herzing University courses that would satisfy these requirements.* 9.00 Semester Credit Hours in Communications 3.00 Semester Credit Hours in Humanities (must include 3 semester credit hours of cultural diversity) 3.00 Semester Credit Hours in Social or Behavioral Science 3.00 Semester Credit Hours in Mathematics ◊Science Semester Credit Hours are satisfied through Anatomy and Physiology requirement listed above. * Transfer students may transfer courses that are within 1.00 semester credit hour of the courses listed above to meet these discipline requirements. Any resulting deficiency in the total of 24.00 semester credit hours required in general education may be made up with general education electives from any of the listed disciplines.
Personal and Professional Development Courses
2.00 semester credit hours are required.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here is the primary general distinction:
- Sterile Processing Technicians are responsible for sterilizing equipment needed for medical procedures. Their duties are primarily outside of the operating room; however, their job function is critical to the operating room.
- Surgical Technologists are responsible for aseptic technique, understanding surgical procedures and instruments, maintaining the sterile field, passing instruments during the sequence of the procedure, as well as many other duties. They function as the masters of aseptic technique in the operating room.
Job titles, duties and responsibilities can vary between different healthcare institutions. Different states might have their own unique restrictions for who is qualified to handle what responsibilities. Some states require that the surgical technologist have a current certification for employment. Some surgical technologists handle the sterilization of equipment as well.
Earning your associate degree and becoming a certified surgical technologist is your ticket to becoming an indispensable member of a surgical team, handle many different types of tasks and become highly valuable to employers.
The surgical technology associate degree program takes about 20 months to complete on average, meaning you can earn your degree and start your new career in 2 years or less.
There are many unique job titles within surgical technology. Going back to school and earning your associate degree gives you further opportunity to climb the career ladder in the operating room. Potential job titles could include:
- Surgical Technologist
- Surgical Technician
- Scrub Tech
- Operating Room Technician
- Operating Room Assistant
Note: Becoming a “Surgical Assistant” requires additional education and is not within the surgical technology scope of practice. A surgical tech program does not offer surgical assistant training.
Healthcare institutions may have their own conventions for how positions are titled, the education/certification they require, and the specific roles and responsibilities assigned to each.
Earning your associate degree in surgical technology from Herzing University provides the education you need to thrive as a surgical technologist and carve your own unique career path in the OR.
With an associate degree in surgical technology, you can expect to work in a hospital, outpatient care center, privately for a surgeon, or ambulatory surgical facility. Typically, surgical technologists work a regular 40-hour week, although you could be on call or work nights, weekends and holidays on a rotating basis.
As a graduate of our program, you will be prepared for an entry-level career as a surgical tech in hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities.
Complex math isn’t part of the day-to-day for the typical surgical technologist. Simple calculations or unit conversion may be required, but no further advanced math skills will be commonly needed.
There is a 3 credit hour general education requirement for mathematics as part of the Herzing surgical technology program.
Before an operation, surgical technologists help prepare the operating room by setting up surgical instruments and equipment, sterile drapes, and sterile solutions. They also get patients ready for surgery as well as pass instruments and other sterile supplies to surgeons and surgeon assistants during surgery.
Surgical technologists advance by specializing in a specific area of surgery, such as neurosurgery or open-heart surgery.
- Certified surgical technologists with additional specialized education or training also may act in the role of the surgical first assistant or circulator. The surgical first assistant, as defined by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), provides aid in exposure, hemostasis (controlling blood flow and stopping or preventing hemorrhage), and other technical functions under the surgeon’s direct supervision, assisting with a safe operation.
- A circulating technologist is the “unsterile” member of the surgical team who interviews the patient before surgery, prepares the patient, helps with anesthesia, obtains and opens packages for the “sterile” people to remove the sterile contents during the procedure, keeps a written account of the surgical procedure, and answers the surgeon’s questions about the patient during the surgery.
- Some surgical technologists manage central supply departments and sterile processing instrument departments in hospitals, work as private scrubs for surgeons, work in tissue retrieval and procurement, are employed as sales representatives for medical device manufacturers, teach and direct in surgical technology programs in colleges and universities, or take positions with insurance companies.
Get a preview of the career and walk through the day in the life of a surgical tech.
The short answer: no.
Becoming a certified surgical technologist requires hands-on training to be able to perform the day-to-day requirements of the job. This isn’t something you can learn entirely from online coursework. You will need to graduate with an associate degree from an accredited surgical technologist program like Herzing’s.
However, there is an online component of the Herzing program—you may complete some of your general education classes online.
According to 2020 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for surgical technologists in Louisiana is $51,510 per year ($24.77 per hour).* Pay depends largely on where you work, the type of healthcare institution you work for, your education and level of experience. Keep in mind this is not an entry-level salary; you will need to work towards this level of pay.
Surgical Technologists are also cross trained for several different departments related to surgery, and also have the option of over-time pay, and shift differential. Additionally, many of our affiliate hospitals offer tuition reimbursement for employees, enabling the surgical technologist to advance their education.
Are surgical techs in high demand?
As the number of surgeries increases to meet the needs of our aging population, so will the career opportunities for surgical technologists. The BLS projects a 7% increase in demand nationwide for surgical technologists from 2019-2029.*
Go back to school and start a new career in healthcare
Also called surg techs, scrubs, and surgical or operating room technicians, surgical technologists work under the supervision of registered nurses, creating and maintaining the sterile field, passing instruments, holding retractors, cutting sutures and help count sponges, needles, supplies, instruments and more. A career as a surgical technologist could be right for you if you:
- Are well organized and detail oriented
- Are not squeamish about watching surgery and being expose to blood and other bodily fluids, as well as smells
- Have good hand-eye coordination
- Work well in a team
- Work well under pressure
- Can quickly respond to multiple requests
- Can communicate clearly and concisely
- Have discipline, concentration and stamina
Graduates from surgical technology programs like Herzing’s are members of operating room teams, consisting of surgeons, anesthesiologists, and circulating nurses. Potential job titles include Surgical Technologist, Lead Surgical Technologist, Travel Surgical Technologist and Material Manager.
Accreditations & Disclosures
1. The Associate of Science in Surgical Technology program at the New Orleans Campus is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES, 7777 Leesburg Pike, Suite 314, North Falls Church, Virginia, 22043, 703-917-9503, www.abhes.org).
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2020. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.
Come visit our campus in New Orleans, Louisiana to get a feel for the learning environment and learn more about our surgical technology associate degree program. We are located east of the airport just south of I10.
New Orleans Campus
3900 North Causeway Blvd Suite 800
Metairie, Louisiana 70002
View all New Orleans degree programs.
"The economy started to tank and I lost my job. My son had some extensive medical bills as well. You can either go sideways, down or up. I chose to go up and enrolled at Herzing."