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  • Rooted in Patient Care

    During World War II, the need for perioperative personnel was overwhelming. The role of the surgical technologist was born and evolved into a separate allied health field. Surgical technologists serve as an integral part of the surgical team providing surgical care to patients. Surgical technologists work under the supervision of a surgeon to facilitate the safe and effective conduct of surgical procedures. 

  • Our Longstanding History

    The Association of Surgical Technologists was established in 1969 by members of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the American Hospital Association (AHA), and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). 

    Today, surgical technologists are working in one of the fastest growing professions in the country. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the surgical technology profession will grow faster than the average of all other occupations through the year 2030, and it is anticipated that the volume of surgery will increase exponentially due to the expanding senior population.

    As the oldest and most widely recognized professional organization for surgical technologists, AST's primary purpose is to ensure that surgical technologists have the knowledge and skills to administer patient care of the highest quality. 

    AST, the only national organization that represents more than 80,000 surgical technologists, is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors. On the local level, 50 formed state assemblies address member concerns and issues.

    What We Do

    Certified Surgical Technologist Definition

    Surgical Technologist Job Description

    Surgical Assistant Job Description

    CSPS Surgical Team Member Role, Partner Organizations and Credentials

    Our Foundational Documents

    AST Bylaws

    AST Code of Ethics

    AST Professional Code of Conduct

    Foundation Principles of Surgical Technology

    How We Promote the Profession

    • AST collaborates with the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA) to set standards for education, such as the associate degree as the preferred level of entry into the profession.

    • AST partners with the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) on behalf of the CST and CSFA credentials.

    • AST provides lobbying support at the state and national levels to advocate for legislative recognition of graduation from an accredited program in surgical technology and holding/maintaining the Certified Surgical Technologist credential as a condition of employment, and for similar regulation of, and reimbursement for, nonphysician surgical assistants.

    • AST provides continuing education opportunities to advance the knowledge and skills base of practicing surgical technologists and surgical assistants through a national Journal and an annual conference.

    • AST offers national recognition through National Surgical Technologist Week, a week that has been specifically designated to celebrate and honor the professions. It began by a resolution adopted by the AST Board of Directors in 1984.

    • AST provides a brochure entitled Creating the Surgical Environment. It describes the surgical technologist in sterile and nonsterile roles, as well as how they participate in case management. In addition, this brochure discusses the role of AST and the importance of accreditation and certification. For hard copies, contact Member Services.