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Surgical Technologist Program Resources

It's critical to be critical!

You can find many sources on the internet, but sometimes it can be difficult to decide if a site has quality information, or junk information. One way to critically review a website is to use the CRAP Test:

C: Currency: How recently was the website updated or published? Does the site even list any dates?

R: Reliability: Is the content factually-based or based on opinion? Does the site list references and quote sources?

A: Authority: Is an author listed for the site? Is the author credentialed (e.g. RN, MD, etc.)? Are there advertisements on the page? If so, are the ads related to the content of the information on the site (e.g. a critical review of over the counter pain medication with ads for Advil next to it might be suspicious).

P: Purpose or Point of View: Does the site appear to be biased? Is the site trying to sell you something?

If you are unable to answer these questions for a web site, then you should reconsider using it as a source for course assignments and research papers.

Below you will also find a useful guide (in PDF format) to finding quality health information on the internet. The guide discusses search strategies, the best types of websites to utlize, and includes a list of recommended websites.

Recommended Website Links

It can be difficult to find websites that have reliable information. Your instructors may restrict the types of websites used for a project because it can be difficult to find the author, if the site has been reviewed, or even when it was published. Anyone can add anything to the internet, so it is best to proceed with caution, especially when researching a nursing or health-related topic. Here is a list of sites that contain authoritative information:

Surgical Tech Information:

Surgical Technology Web

This site, created by Spartanburg Community College, has pictures of surgical instruments, OR equipment, and a walk through of a typical abdominal surgery procedure.

Atlas of Pelvic Surgery

This site, created by Dr. Wheeless and Dr. Roenneberg, provides detailed illustrations and explanations of a variety of pelvic surgeries.

Surgical Instrument Pictures

This resources has pictures of many surgical instruments and has a quiz for identifying instruments. There is a link to purchase a book, but this is still a good resource to use if you need a quick refresher on surgical instruments.

Surgical Assistant Resource

This site was created specifically for Surgical Assistants and features several videos of surgical procedures essential to surgical assistants!

General Health Information:

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

This is an important site to investigate if your are interested in quality improvement and tracking--a chief component of evidence-based practice. Published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it contains articles and research summaries.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

This site has information about diseases, conditions, and other public health matters.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

This site has general information about health conditions, clinical trials, and updates on the latest medical research

Practical Clinical Skills

This website, designed by and for healthcare professionals, has several useful tools and tutorials. On this site you can listen to lung and heart sounds, practice taking blood pressure measurements (using an interactive tool), and review reading EKG/ECG tracings.  

Health Statistics Sites:

Peoria County Health Department: Community Health Planning

This website has information on public health surveys in Peoria county.

Illinois Department of Public Health Statistics

This site has links to resources on vital statistics (births, deaths, etc.) along with statistics on specific conditions and diseases on the state level.

National Center of Health Statistics

This site has health statistic information on the national level. As with the other sites listed, you can find information about vital statistics (births, deaths, etc.) and about specific conditions and diseases.


MedlinePlus Video Tutorial

Click on the image below to watch a video tutorial created by the National Library of Medicine to help you better understand how to evaluate health-related information found on the internet