Jul 21, 2024  
2024-2025 CNM Catalog, Volume 56 
2024-2025 CNM Catalog, Volume 56

Surgical Technology, Associate of Applied Science

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School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety (HWPS)

Surgical Technology is an associate degree program that presents the knowledge and skills necessary to work in a surgical environment and function as a vital member of the operating room team. The learning environment consists of the campus classroom and laboratory along with local hospitals, day surgery centers and physicians’ offices. Accreditation is from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Students will be administered the Surgical Technologist National Certifying Examination just prior to graduation. Surgical Technologists who take and pass this examination are certified and authorized to use the initials CST to designate their status as Certified Surgical Technologist. The CNM Surgical Technology Program adheres to the most current CAAHEP approved Curriculum for Surgical Technology.

See Recommended Sequence of Courses

Special Requirements

Criminal Background

Most of the health programs in HWPS require students undergo the New Mexico Department of Health caregivers criminal history screening program. This involves state and federal felony criminal background checks with fingerprints. This must be completed prior to starting their program or prior to beginning their clinical experiences. Students with a disqualifying conviction can appeal some of those convictions through the New Mexico Department of Health. Depending on the program, students may or may not be allowed to remain in the program pending appeal. Students who do not successfully appeal a disqualifying conviction will not be allowed to start or remain in the program. A successful appeal does not guarantee eligibility for licensure after graduation in professions that require licensure.

Other Compliance Requirements

Many of the health programs in HWPS require students to undergo a routine urine drug screen, provide documentation of current immunizations, have a current Healthcare Provider Basic Life Support (CPR) certificate and other training prior to beginning the program or beginning clinical education, all of which, along with the criminal background check, are verified through the Office of Verification and Compliance.

Physical Requirements

Students must be in good physical and psychological health. Students may be asked to provide documentation of a recent physical examination. Many health programs require the student to be able to safely lift and/or move a minimum of 50 pounds. Reasonable accommodations are made for students with disabilities. However, some disabilities may prohibit students from completing program specific competencies or gaining employment. Students with disabilities that may interfere with completing program competencies are advised to contact the HWPS Office for more information.

Program Fees

Program fees cover costs incurred on behalf of the student for student-issued equipment, background checks, drug screens, etc.


Students are responsible for their own transportation to off-campus training sites (i.e. clinical courses at hospitals, internships, etc.).

Approximate Costs of this Educational Option

Financial Aid Considerations

Educational Opportunities

For the graduation policy refer to the Graduating from CNM section, cnm.edu or the Students tab in my CNM.

Career Opportunities

Surgical Technologists perform many roles within and outside the operating room or surgical setting, but the primary role is to prepare and protect the sterile field, pass instruments, and assist the surgeon in an operative procedure. There is a demand for Surgical Technologists in Albuquerque and throughout the state of New Mexico.

Ten Year Rule for CTE Courses

Career and technical education courses in this program will qualify for credit for a period of ten academic years. Due to changing technologies, trends, and professional demands, courses completed ten or more years in the past will satisfy program requirements only if they are approved by the instructional school in which they were offered. Cohorted programs may have additional restrictions.

Program Requirements


Term 3 (Typically Offered in Summer and Fall Only)

This program’s first term courses are typically offered in the Summer and Fall term. This may delay a student’s program start date.  Please check with an advisor for more information.

Term 4 (Typically Offered Fall and Spring Only)

Term 5 (Typically Offered Spring and Summer Only)

Minimum Credit Hours Required to Complete Degree: 62

* HLTH 1001 is a pre- or corequisite course for NA 1020  

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