Clinical Case Requirements

The MCC-Penn Valley surgical technology student must meet the following clinical guidelines in order to qualify for completion of the program. The clinical case requirement, defined in the current edition of the Core Curriculum for Surgical Technology, 6e, must be defined as the following:

  • The total number of cases the student must complete is 120.
  • MCC-Penn Valley surgical technology students are required to complete 30 cases in general surgery. 20 of the cases must be in the first scrub role.
  • Surgical technology students are required to complete 90 cases in various surgical specialties. 60 of the cases must be in the first scrub role and evenly distributed between a minimum of five surgical specialties. However, 15 is the maximum number of cases that can be counted in any one surgical specialty.
  • MCC-Penn Valley surgical technology program is required to verify through the externship experience documentation the students progression in first and second scrubbing surgical procedures of increased complexity as he/she moves towards entry-level graduate abilities.
  • Diagnostic endoscopy cases and vaginal delivery cases are not mandatory. But up to 10 diagnostic endoscopic cases and five vaginal delivery cases can be counted toward maximum number of second scrub role cases.
  • Observation cases must be documented, but do not count toward the 120 required cases.
    • Counting Cases: Cases will be counted according to surgical specialty.
    • Examples:
      • Trauma patient requires a splenectomy and repair of a Le Fort I fracture. Two cases can be counted and documented since the splenectomy is general surgery specialty and repair of Le Fort I is oral-maxillofacial surgical specialty.
      • Patient requires a breast bx followed by mastectomy. It is one pathology, breast cancer, and the specialty is general surgery; therefore, it is counted and documented as one procedure - one case.

First Scrub Role: (1st)

The MCC-Penn Valley surgical technology student shall perform the following duties during any given surgical procedure with proficiency. The following list is provided to identify the items that must be completed in order to document a case in the first scrub role.

A student not meeting the five criteria below cannot count the case in the first scrub role and the case must be documented in the second scrub role or observation role.

  • Verify supplies and equipment needed for the surgical procedure.
  • Set up the sterile field with instruments, supplies, equipment, medication(s) and solutions needed for the procedure.
  • Perform counts with the circulator prior to the procedure and before the incision is closed.
  • Pass instruments and supplies to the sterile surgical team members during the procedure.
  • Maintain sterile technique as measured by recognized breaks in technique and demonstrate knowledge of how to correct with appropriate technique.

Second Scrub Role: (2nd)

The second scrub role is defined as the student who is at the sterile field who has not met all criteria for the first scrub role, but actively participates in the surgical procedure in its entirety by completing any of the following:

  • Sponging
  • Suctioning
  • Cutting suture
  • Holding retractors
  • Manipulating endoscopic camera and scope

Observation Role: (O)

The observation role is defined as the student who is in the operating room performing roles that do not meet the criteria for first or second scrub role. These observation cases are not to be included in the required case count, but must be documented by the program.

Surgical Specialty Total # of Cases Required Min. # of 1st Scrub Cases Required Max. # of 2nd Scrub Cases
General Surgery 30 20 10
Surgical Specialties:
  • Cardiothoracic
  • ENT
  • Eye
  • GU
  • Neurological
  • Ob-Gyn
  • Oral/Maxillofacial
  • Orthopedics
  • Peripheral vascular
  • Plastics
  • Procurement/Transplant
90 60 30
Diagnostic Endoscopy:
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Cystoscopy
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Panendoscopy
  • Sinoscopy
  • Ureteroscopy
    10 diagnostic endoscopy cases may be applied
Labor & Delivery
  • Vaginal delivery
    5 vaginal delivery cases may be applied
Totals 120 80 40