As a surgical technologist, you’ll be an integral member of the health care team.

Surgical Technology is an exciting profession where the work environment is both intense and dynamic.

Surgical Technologists are essential members of the surgical team who work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses and other personnel to deliver patient care before, during and after surgery.

Scrub, circulating, first assisting and second assisting surgical technologists have primary responsibilities for maintaining a sterile field and being constantly vigilant to ensure all members of the team adhere to aseptic techniques.

The Program

TCL’s full-time Surg-Tech associate degree program is 68 credit hours completed in four consecutive semesters. Courses include general education, science and surgical technology classes taught in the college classroom, in campus laboratories and multiple clinical education sites throughout Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper.

The Surgical Technology Department Faculty of the Technical College of the Lowcountry believes that:

  • Health is the state of optimum well-being for humanity. Health is relative and constantly changing.
  • Due to this changing state, the Surgical Technologist practices in the unique role of restoring optimum health and alleviating suffering by aiding surgical intervention. In fulfilling this role, the Surgical Technologist works closely with the patient, surgeon, and other operating room professionals in the operative care of the surgical patient.
  • Surgical Technology practice is not limited to the physical setting of the operating room. It is also utilized in other health care areas and facilities. These areas and facilities include, but are not limited to Labor and Delivery, Central/Sterile Processing, Ambulatory Surgical Facilities, and private physician’s offices.
  • The educational environment of the Surgical Technology Program at the Technology College of the Lowcountry considers individual differences, which affect learning ability, and provides motivation to continue to learn and adapt in the changing surgical environment. The faculty believes an individual’s ability to learn is based on past experiences and personal potential, which permits learning to occur at different rates and levels. Learning takes place most readily when material is covered in logical sequence and progresses in difficulty from simple to complex. Under the guidance of the faculty, the student should assume responsibility for much of their own learning. The program will prepare students to become a competent entry-level Surgical Technologist by incorporating cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains such as: periodic assessments for knowledge retention, hands-on skills practice for clinical preparation, and comprehensive reviews for certification testing and post-education occupational preparedness. 
  • The faculty believes that Surgical Technology education should reflect the student’s development of skills and theoretical knowledge essential for restoring optimum health and alleviating suffering in the operative setting.

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  • Important Dates

    The application period for Fall 2024 goes through May 28, 2024. Visit the Health Sciences Application Process page for all of the information about applying.

    You may contact Cindy Mooney at cmooney@tcl.edu or make an appointment through your Navigate account to determine if you are eligible to apply. Appointments may be virtual!

    To schedule Achieve 3000—please email Health Sciences Advisor Cindy Mooney (cmooney@tcl.edu).

    • Last Day for Achieve 3000 testing will be June 16.
    • Achieve 3000 testing will take place at the Beaufort Campus.

    To schedule TEAS—please email TEAS@tcl.edu.

    Starting Fall 2022 there will be updates to the Curriculum and Curriculum Profile for the Surgical Technology Program. Please speak with Health Sciences Advisor, Cindy Mooney for any questions on the anticipated updates.

    As of May 18, 2020 math and science courses must be completed within the last 5 years to be considered for Health Science applications.

    Certify Your Skills

    2020*No graduating cohort

    Accreditation & Accolades

    Technical College of the Lowcountry is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Technical College of the Lowcountry may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org). .

    The TCL Surgical Technology program is also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Contact CAAHEP by mail at 9355 – 113th St. N, #7709, Seminole, FL, 33775 or by phone at 727-210-2350 with any questions.

    Quick Facts


    Employment opportunities are expected to grow by 15% between 2014 and 2024.


    The five-semester Surgical Technology program is 68 credit hours.


    South Carolina’s annual mean wage for surg-techs is $50,610.


    Surgical Technologists are in high demand locally and nationally. South Carolina’s annual mean wage for surgical technologists is $50,610, according to 2022 reports from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Earnings can increase substantially with time and experience.


    Tuition: 68 credits x $214 per credit = $14,552.

    Remember, this is before S.C. Lottery Tuition Assistance and other financial aid, which could drop your costs by more than half. In fact, after financial aid, many TCL students attend for free. See more about paying for TCL.

    *Based on Fall 2022 in-state, in-service-area tuition. Your actual cost may differ. Does not include fees, books and other costs. Qualifications vary; all subject to change.


    “Being a Surgical Technologist is the most rewarding career because we make a difference in patients’ lives every day.”

    Ashley Sumner

    Program Director


    Important Additional Requirements

    Applicants interested in the Surgical Technology program must first complete the college admission application process. The student will then make an appointment to meet with a Health Sciences Advisor. Acceptance into the college does not guarantee admission into a health sciences program. Applications for admission to the Surgical Technology program may only be obtained from Health Sciences Advisors. Call 843.525.8267 for additional information and to schedule an appointment with an advisor.

    Additional Career & Education Opportunities

    Many Surgical Technologists have a desire to continue their education after completing a Surgical Technology program. There are various ways in which the Surgical Technologist can accomplish this goal. The Surgical Technologist can specialize in a specific branch of surgical medicine, such as orthopedics, neurosurgery, cardiothoracic, or peripheral vascular surgery. The experienced Surgical Technologist can also become a traveling Surgical Technologist. There are also positions available in veterinary medicine. Degrees in business or healthcare administration will prepare the Surgical Technologists for a career in medical device sales or in the management of a healthcare department or facility. An advanced degree in education or a field related to Surgical Technology (such as biology or applied sciences) will allow a Surgical Technologist to meet the educational requirement to teach at a college or university. Many Surgical Technologists have also gone on to obtain advanced degrees in Physician Assistant studies. The Surgical Technologist can also advance through additional training and education to become a Surgical First Assistant.

    Is this program for you?

    Yes, particularly if you:

    • Desire to become an integral part of an exciting and rewarding career.
    • Want to play an essential role in changing patients’ lives.
    • Are searching for a career with unlimited potential in a highly sought after field within the health care industry.

    Program Outcome and Goals


    1. Students will perform as entry-level Surgical Technologists.
    2. Students will demonstrate effective communication skills.
    3. Students will appreciate and demonstrate the value of professional growth and development.
    4. The program will effectively meet the needs of the communities of interest.
    5. Students will demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills.
    6. Select appropriate instruments, equipment, and supplies for various surgical procedures.
    7. Create and maintain a sterile field utilizing basic care preparation and procedures.
    8. Demonstrate sterile surgical techniques and the use of modern operating room technology.
    9. Identify and demonstrate patient care concepts
    10. Summarize patient preparation for selected surgical procedures.
    11. Maintain a high level of ethical and professional standards.
    12. Prepare to sit for the national certification examination.

    Students complete 5 semesters of combined academic, laboratory, and clinical experience. The academic program includes professional and general education courses. All professional courses (SUR prefix) have listed course goals, objectives, and/or competencies, which must be satisfied before a student can progress. Students who complete the program will be awarded with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Surgical Technology, and may be eligible to sit for the National Certification examination through the National Board of Surgical Technologist and Surgical Assistant (NBSTSA).


    Upon successful completion of the Surgical Technology Program, the graduate should be a professional who provides and participates in the coordination of patient care as a member of the surgical team by demonstrating knowledge of aseptic technique, surgical procedures, instrumentation, and will:

    1. Demonstrate professionalism.
    2. Participate as a team member.
    3. Identify and measure quality.
    4. Practice effective oral, written, and electronic communications.
    5. Provide for patient and staff safety.
    6. Plan and prepare for surgical procedures.
    7. Practice aseptic technique.
    8. Use equipment according to established policies and procedures.
    9. Demonstrate proper use and care for instruments.
    10. Prepare medications.
    11. Participate in surgical procedures
    12. Handle instruments in an appropriate manner.
    13. Practices sterile supply room procedures.

    Perform associated duties of the Surgical Technologist at entry level in connection with all operative specialties.

    Program Dean

    Joey Swearingen

    Dean, Health Sciences


    Beaufort Mather Campus, Bldg. 4, Rm. 109


    Ashley Sumner

    Surgical Technology Program Director/Instructor


    Beaufort Mather Campus, Bldg. 4, Rm. 126

    Michael Lane

    Surgical Technology Instructor


    Beaufort Mather Campus, Bldg. 4, Rm. 204