Conemaugh Memorial Surgical Technology Program Celebrates 50 Years and Graduation

July 26, 2016

Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center’s School of Surgical Technology celebrates 50 years of educating students. The ten students in the 2015-16 class will graduate on August 5, 2016. Brittany Stout, class valedictorian, and Etta Foor, Clinical Award Certificate recipient, will be honored at this year’s graduation.

Conemaugh Memorial’s School of Surgical Technology began as the Program for Operating Room Technicians in February of 1966. The six-month program developed into a nine-month and one year program. Since 1997, the Program has been offered in conjunction with an Associate Degree from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. To earn a Surgical Technologist Certificate from Conemaugh, four prerequisites followed by three semesters of classes at the hospital are required. Five additional courses are required for the Associate Degree. Most recent graduates earn an Associate Degree in two years, or a total of five semesters. In its 50 years of existence, 53 classes have been enrolled in Conemaugh’s School of Surgical Technology.

Conemaugh Surg Tech students excel on the Certification Exam for Surgical Technologists offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). The eight most recent graduating classes have a 100% pass rate on the first attempt. Conemaugh’s program has been awarded “Merit” status each year since 2011. In 2015, the Program was one of a few to achieve “Excellence” status. Both are based on the Program’s results on the certifying exam.

“This career is exciting, demanding, and rewarding,” says Patricia Pavlikowski, RN, CST, MA, Program Director for Conemaugh School of Surgical Technology. “Surgical technologists are needed for supportive services which assist in providing an Ideal Patient Experience for patients.” Three of this year’s graduates have accepted positions at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center. A few plan to pursue at Bachelor’s Degree in Health at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

The field of Surgical Technology was created during World War II when there was a large need for perioperative personnel. The position has evolved and serves as an integral component of the surgical team. Surgical technology graduates can pursue careers as hospital operating rooms technicians, material management and sterile processing staff, surgical assistants, medical salesperson, organ and tissue procurement technician, research and product development assistant, veterinary assistant, labor and delivery technician, surgery scheduler, anesthesia technologist, and military service.

About Conemaugh Health System
Conemaugh Health System, a member of Duke LifePoint Healthcare, is the largest healthcare provider in west central Pennsylvania, serving over a half-million patients each year through the Conemaugh Physician Group and Medical Staff, a network of hospitals, specialty clinics and patient focused programs. Conemaugh’s 4,500+ employees and 350+ physicians are committed to excellence and repeatedly earn state and national recognition for exceptional clinical outcomes.  Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, the system’s flagship hospital, provides sophisticated technology, the highest levels of trauma and neonatal intensive care and a committed history of training tomorrow’s physician, nurses and allied health providers. For more information on Conemaugh, visit us at or follow us on Facebook.