PENDLETON -- For the second consecutive year, Tri-County Technical College's Surgical Technology graduates report a perfect pass rate on the National Certification Exam. 

The six August 2017 graduates who took the National Board Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting Certification Exam received passing scores and now are designated as Certified Surgical Technologists (C.S.T.).

The national pass rate for the exam is 79 percent.

Graduates who obtain national certification as a C.S.T. demonstrate an understanding of the basic competencies for safe patient care in the operating room.

The Surgical Technology program prepares students to serve as members of the surgical team through classroom and clinical experiences. Graduates work in hospital operating rooms, in labor and delivery, endoscopy, ambulatory centers and doctor's offices, said Tri-County's Surgical Technology Program Director Denelle White.

Recent graduate Christa Brown is Tri-County's first Surgical Technology student to scrub in on open heart surgeries during clinicals and now is working on the AnMed cardiac team.

Katie McConnell, another 2017 graduate, is working on the cardiac team at Greenville Memorial Hospital, another first for a Tri-County Surgical Technology grad.

"This success is a true testament that hard work and perseverance pay off," said White.

In October of 2010, the Surgical Technology department received a 10-year continuing accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.  Accreditation evaluators complimented the department on its clinical procedures and state-of-the-art equipment.