Surgical Technician Study Guide

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Core Competency Areas

The exam tests for 'Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities' (KSAs) in the following core competency areas:

5%The Profession and the Professional

10%Communication and Teamwork

12%Medicolegal Aspects of Surgical Technology

10%Diagnostic and Assessment Procedures

5%Environmental Hazards

20%Microbes and the Process of Infection

5%Moving, Handling, and Positioning the Surgical Patient

10%Surgical Instruments

5%Perioperative Pharmacology

5%Anesthesia, Physiological Monitoring, and Post Anesthesia Recovery

8%General Surgery and Specialty Surgery

5%Disaster Preparedness


Topical Breakdown

Use the following topical guide to help you prepare for the exam:

I.  The Profession and the Professional (5%)

  • Short History of the Profession
  • Surgical Technology Education and Certification
  • Required Skills
  • Becoming a Health Care Professional

II.  Communication and Teamwork (10%)

  • Elements of Communication
  • Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
  • Supporting the Psychosocial Needs of the Patient

III.  Medicolegal Aspects of Surgical Technology (12%)

  • Types of Law
  • Facilities Standards and Policies
  • Patients’ Rights
  • Proper Documentation

IV.  Diagnostic and Assessment Procedures (10%)

  • Concepts Related to Pathology
  • Vital Signs
  • Microbiological Studies

V.  Environmental Hazards (5%)

  • Risk and Safety
  • Electrical Hazards
  • Fire Safety
  • Standard Precautions

VI.  Microbes and the Process of Infection (20%)

  • Microorganisms and the Diseases They Cause
  • Sterile Technique and Infection Control
  • Principles of Decontamination, Sterilization, and Disinfection
  • Instrument Cleaning and Decontamination

VII.  Moving, Handling, and Positioning the Surgical Patient (5%)

  • Patient Identification
  • Transport and Transfers
  • Preoperative Skin Marking

VIII.  Surgical Instruments (10%)

  • Equipment Operation
  • Use of Instruments by Tissue Type
  • Passing Surgical Instruments in Surgery

IX.  Perioperative Pharmacology (5%)

  • Regulation of Drugs, Substances, and Delivery
  • Unit Systems of Measurement
  • Prescription and Drug Orders
  • Drug Preparation and Transfer to the Sterile Field

X.  Anesthesia, Physiological Monitoring, and Post Anesthesia Recovery (5%)

  • General, Regional, and Procedural Sedation
  • States of Anesthesia

XI.  General Surgery and Specialty Surgery (8%)

  • Gastrointestinal Surgery
  • Gynecological and Obstetrical Surgery
  • ENT Surgery
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Thoracic and Pulmonary Surgery
  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Emergency Trauma Surgery

XII.  Disaster Preparedness (5%)

  • Training
  • Classification and Definition of Disasters
  • Disaster Management and Government Structures


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