Surgical Technology

CST Examination Prep

CST Exam Prep, Association of Surgical Technologists

The Certified Surgical Technologist (CST®) examination covers the knowledge and skills common to competent entry-level Surgical Technologists in varied settings and geographical locations. 

Off Campus Access

Current students, faculty, and staff can access electronic library resources off campus, it’s easy!  When prompted, just enter your MCC username and password and you’re all set to explore your selected resource. 

Surgical Technology

Strategies for Database Searching

There are two important steps to take when searching for research articles in an academic database. 

  1. Make a list of keywords.
  2. Use Boolean operators between your search terms when using the database. 

Step 1: Keywords are the main ideas represented in your research topic or question and/or the main words you would use to describe the topic to another person. 

  • Determine which words or phrases represent the main concepts of your research question. Example: What is the relationship between children drinking diet soda and weight gain? (keywords are underlined)
  • Determine synonyms or related words for those concepts. If you are having trouble, try looking the term up in a thesaurus to help you generate a list.



Diet Soda

Weight Gain


low calorie soda



diet beverage



diet pop

increased body mass


Step 2: Once you've determined the keywords, combine them in the database using the Boolean operator AND to narrow your search results. Essentially you're "telling" the database to retrieve only those documents or records containing both words or phrases; for example "online programs" AND "student success;" or the keywords "endangered" AND "birds". The more terms added to the search, the narrower the results will be. 

Boolean image obtained from The Boolean Machine courtesy Rockwell Shrock 

For example successful keyword search phrases relating to surgical technology may include:

  • diagnostic tools AND (surgery OR surgical procedure)
  • operating room AND current events
  • operating room AND hazards
  • operating room AND safety
  • pathology AND [type a specific surgical procedure]
  • protective mechanisms AND pathogenic organisms
  • surgical technologist AND code of ethics
  • surgical technology AND roles
  • surgical technology AND responsibilities

Example search using MEDLINE

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

Lakeland Community College. (2014). Anatomy of a Scholarly Article [Video]. YouTube.

What is PubMed?

PubMed is a free web-based interface for searching MEDLINE.

  • PubMed is created by the National Library of Medicine, and contains the MEDLINE database.
  • It covers journal articles in medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and the health care system.
  • PubMed has information about journal articles (currently over 24 million) published in 5,600 journals in 30 languages dating back to 1946.
  • It does not include information about meeting abstracts, conference proceedings, dissertations, patents, or websites.
  • NLM indexers add words called Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) to the information about each article. Searching with MeSH words helps you find more relevant articles.

PubMed Homepage

  • You can learn more about PubMed by exploring the links provided on the PubMed homepage.
  • Go to PubMed


Sample PubMed Article Article 

Below is an image of a PubMed article record. Labels were added to explain the information that PubMed provides about the article:

  • Journal Name Abbreviation
  • Publication Date
  • Volume/Issue#, pages 
  • Article title
  • Author last name with first and middle initials
  • Author affiliation
  • Abstract
  • Links to comments 
  • Links to assigned index terms

Remember: PubMed does NOT include the full-text of articles in its database--it links out to them. PubMed only searches the information about the article(including title and abstract), not the full-text of the article.  



How to Create a PubMed Account

Advantages include:

  • Save searches & automatic e-mail alerts
  • Display format preferences
  • Filter options
  • Highlighting search terms
  • Recent activity searches & records for 6 months

Click on the Log In button as it as appears below, in the top right of the page

You may Log in using a variety of different methods, including your Google login (I used my personal Google account). Or you can also select "New here? Sign up" at the bottom of the login page. 




PubMed - Need the Full Text Article?

PubMed is a service of the National Library of Medicine that includes citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles. The service may include links to full text articles (when available) and other related resources. 
The below two-minute video tutorial shows how to get full text articles for PubMed citations, both free and for a fee by the NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine. 

Use MeSH to Build a Better PubMed Query

This tutorial shows how to build a targeted PubMed search starting in the MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) database. It includes very brief background on MeSH terms and indexing by NIH U. S. National Library of Medicine

MEDLINE - Basic Searching Tutorial (3:18)

MEDLINE provides comprehensive indexing for publications in the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, pre-clinical sciences, and much more. MEDLINE uses MeSH, a controlled vocabulary or medical subject heading list created by the National Library of Medicine.

This three minute tutorial demonstrates the features of the MEDLINE database on the EBSCOhost interface, including basic searching and narrowing results on the results list.  

CINAHL Databases - Basic Search Tutorial

The Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) indexes and abstracts articles from nearly 800 nursing, biomedical, and consumer health journals, as well as publications of the American Nurses Association and the National League for Nursing. This tutorial demonstrates the basic searching features of the suite of CINAHL databases on EBSCO.