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Surgical Technology: Professional Organizations

The Surgical Technology LibGuide

Professional Organizations and Associations

Professional Organizations


There are many benefits of joining a professional organization and association.  Professional associations consist of groups of people within the same profession who get together to network, to promote and to enhance the standards of the profession.  Benefits to a member can include conferences, access to continuing education opportunities and certifications and updates on policies that impact the profession.  Often, these professional associations and societies encourage students to join. Below are some of the professional organizations that are available.

Association of Surgical Technologist (AST)

Association of Surgical Technologist (AST)

With its roots in WWII, Association of Surgical Technologist (AST) was created 1969 through a collaborative effort by members of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the American Hospital Association (AHA), and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). 

Today, AST is proud to acknowledge more than 40,000 members and represents the interests of more than 80,000 practitioners nationwide. AST actively promotes education for the profession; legislatively advocates for practitioner recognition; supports state-level constituent organizations; and has committed to students as the future of the profession.

As the oldest and most widely recognized professional organizations for surgical technologists, AST's primary purpose is to ensure that surgical technologists possess the knowledge and skill sets to administer the highest quality of care for every patient. (

AST welcomes student members.  Over 7,000 students are currently members of AST.  Students enjoy a discounted membership and are eligible to save substantially on the certification examination.  Please visit the student member page on the AST website at   Some student benefits for joining AST include:

  • Student Scholarship opportunities
  • AST National Honor Society
  • Automatic membership in AST Student Association (ASTSA)
  • Professional Resources for Students
  • AST Career Center

Surgical Technologist Student Association

Surgical Technologist Student Association (STSA)

Surgical Technologist Student Association (STSA) is open to all Surgical Technology students.  STSA was developed to foster interest in the field of surgical technology. The purpose of this organization is to promote the profession by encouraging participation at the State and National level.  Meetings often feature guest speakers, equipment demonstrations and programs showcasing new advances in surgical technology.  Members are invited to attend AST state and National Converences.  STSA also participates in community service activities, such as providing Christmas for local underprivileged children and Walk From Obesity.