Jul 24, 2024  
NIACC Catalog 2024-2025 
NIACC Catalog 2024-2025

Surgical Technology, A.A.S.

The Surgical Technology program is offered at North Iowa Area Community College through a distance education agreement with Kirkwood Community College (KCC), Cedar Rapids, IA. Students take the Kirkwood Surgical Technology courses over ZOOM (computer based face-to-face) and the general education requirements through NIACC. Lab courses are taught by Kirkwood adjunct faculty at MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center, Mason City.

Surgical technologists are allied health professionals who are an integral part of the team of medical practitioners providing surgical care to patients in a variety of settings.

Surgical technologists work under medical supervision to facilitate safe and effective conduct of invasive surgical procedures. This individual works under the supervision of a surgeon to ensure the operating room or environment is safe, that equipment functions properly, and that the operative procedure is conducted under conditions that maximize patient safety.

A surgical technologist possesses 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.

The Surgical Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in collaboration with the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the Associate of Surgical Technologists (AST) based on the recommendations of the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC-STSA).  Students will apply to take the Certified Surgical Technologist exam before graduation.

The Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC-STSA) can be contacted at:

6 West Dry Creek Circle, Suite 110
Littleton, CO 80120

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) can be contacted at:

25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763


Career Options

  • Hospital operating rooms
  • Ambulatory surgery centers
  • Hospital labor and delivery
  • Hospital central supply
  • Sterile processing
  • Teaching


Entrance Requirements/Program Admission

To enter the Surgical Technology program, you must meet the following additional standards. These steps/requirements are in addition to Kirkwood’s requirements to become a student and application requirements for NIACC.

  • Apply to Kirkwood and NIACC specifying the Surgical Technology program.
  • Attend a Program Conference. Please contact Steven Story (Steven.Story@niacc.edu or 641-422-4246) to schedule this conference at NIACC.
  • Send high school transcripts or high school equivalency scores, plus any additional transcripts, to Kirkwood Community College and North Iowa Community College.
  • Have placement test scores (Accuplacer/ALEKS tests or ACT placement tests) or course equivalents on file with NIACC and the Kirkwood Allied Health office. Information about testing at NIACC is available at the Testing Center.
  • Complete prerequisite courses with a minimum C- grade.

If college-level placement is not met, students are recommended to meet with an advisor. All of these requirements must be met prior to acceptance. Students are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. Notification of acceptance will be sent from Kirkwood Community College. Kirkwood and Surgical Technology admissions policies and procedures are subject to change at any time. 


Required Compliance Process

The Surgical Technology program compliance process is comprised of variables in three general areas. These areas are Background Checks, Health Records and Immunizations, and Additional Compliance Certifications. This information will be reviewed during the Program Conference. For up-to-date information, please visit to the Kirkwood website to view the compliance guide.


Upon successful completion of the Surgical Technology curriculum, the student is awarded an Associate in Applied Science by Kirkwood Community College.

Students must receive a C in all technical courses in the Surgical Technology program and a C- in BIO - 206 Anatomy and Physiology I , BIO - 207 Anatomy and Physiology II , and support courses in order to successfully complete the program.

Required Courses/Suggested Schedule

Term 0

Total: 7-8 s.h.

First Term (Spring)

Total: 15-16 s.h.

Second Term (Fall)

  • (4 s.h.) **
  • HSC-107 Professionals in Health (2 s.h.) (Kirkwood)**
  • SUR-126 Surgical Technology I (4.5 s.h.) (Kirkwood)
  • SUR-128 Surgical Technology I Lab (2 s.h.) (Kirkwood)

  • SUR-182 Microbiology for Surgical Technologists (1 s.h.) (Kirkwood)
  • or   (4 s.h.) **

Total: 13.5-16.5 s.h.

Third Term (Spring)

  • SPC-101 Fundamentals of Oral Communication (3 s.h.) (Kirkwood)*
  • or COM-222 Communication for Health Care Professionals (3 s.h.) (Kirkwood)*
  • or COM-723 Workplace Communications (3 s.h.) (Kirkwood)*
  • or   (3 s.h.)

  • SUR-322 Surgical Technology II (3 s.h.) (Kirkwood)
  • SUR-323 Surgical Technology II Lab (1 s.h.) (Kirkwood)
  • SUR-340 Surgical Specialties I (1 s.h.) (Kirkwood)
  • SUR-420 Pharmacology for the Surgical Technologist (2 s.h.) (Kirkwood)
  • SUR-440 Biomedical Sciences for Surgical Technology (2 s.h.) (Kirkwood)

Total: 12 s.h.

Fourth Term (Summer)

  • SUR-341 Surgical Specialties II (3 s.h.) (Kirkwood)
  • SUR-520 Surgical Technology Practicum I (2 s.h.) (Kirkwood)
  • SUR-523 Surgical Technology Practicum II (9 s.h.) (Kirkwood)

Total: 14 s.h.

Total Program Hours: 61.5-66.5 s.h.

*Students must receive a C or higher in order to take BIO - 207 Anatomy and Physiology II .

^Students taking HSC - 120 Medical Terminology I  at NIACC must also take HSC - 121 Medical Terminology II . This can be taken during the first term to satisfy the NIACC elective.

**Courses may be taken before beginning the program.

Surgical Technology students will apply and take the National Certified Surgical Technologist exam.