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Surgical Technology: Research Guide

Information for researching surgical techniques

Where to Start

Information Sources
for Surgical Technology

This Research Guide will help you find information on surgical procedures in books, library databases, and websites

Where to start?  Look for the resources on this guide with the four stars ****.  They provide concise and basic information on many different surgical procedures.

Photo of medical team doing surgery

Open Heart Surgery

Source: NIH Image Bank


American College of Surgeons - Patient Education
provides patient and professional resources on surgery

Association of Surgical Technologists (AST)
not a good source for information on surgical procedures, but the site does include access to articles from professional newletters as well as articles from the current issue of the journal The Surgical Technologist

Google Image Search
you may find this useful for finding illustrations and photographs; be sure that the information is from a credible source and appropriately up-to-date

MedlinePlus ****
reliable, up-to-date health information from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world's largest medical library, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); includes surgery videos

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' premier patient education resource that contains more than 400 articles on a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, treatments and healthy living topics

index to medical literature worldwide
Note: This is a huge database. It includes citations to journal articles from around the globe and in many different languages. You may want to limit to articles in English and those that are available "free full text."
This site includes a medical textbook called Surgical Treatment: Evidence-based and Problem Oriented which provides information on specific procedures.

Can't Find It at SCC?

SFCC materials

When you use the Search Box on the Library website you may find books and videos on your topic that are available at the SFCC Library. You can have the item sent to SCC for you to pick up.  If it's convenient, go directly to the SFCC Library and use your student ID card to check out the books.

Partner Libraries

The SCC Library participates in a cooperative of partner Libraries in the Inland Northwest. Partner Libraries include Gonzaga University, and others. Find books in partner Libraries by going to the Search Box on the Library website, entering your search terms and clicking on the Search button. When the results appear, click on the down arrow next to CCS Libraries and select Partner Libraries from the dropdown list. You may request the books be sent to the SCC Library for pick up, or if convenient, go directly to the partner Library and use your student ID card to check out the books.

Materials at other libraries

If you find a reference to a book or journal article that does not seem to be available at SCC, we can get it for you.  We'll locate the library that owns it and request an interlibrary loan.  Keep in mind that it could take ten days to two weeks for the item to arrive if it's in a library outside the Spokane area.

Library Databases

Library databases contain reliable information that is generally not available elsewhere on the Web. They can be found in the library databases section of the SCC Library homepage. Access from off-campus will require entering your student ID number.

Academic Search Complete
magaziines, journals and newspapers

CINAHL Complete
articles in nursing and allied health journals

Cochrane Library
evidence-based health care information, including reports on the effectiveness of different medical treatments and interventions

Gale eBooks ****
collection of online encyclopedias, including Gale Encyclopedia of Surgery and Medical Tests

primarily a source of drug and disease information for healthcare professionals, also includes a database of easy-to-understand information for patients called CareNotes System

magazines, journals and newspapers


Use the Search Box on the Library webpage to look for books on specific subjects. 

Note: It is unlikely that you will find entire books in the SCC Library that deal with a particular surgical procedure.  However, you may find books on topics such as heart disease or medical-surgical nursing that include descriptions of specific procedures.

Books that check out are on the 2nd floor of the library.

You'll find health and medical books in this Dewey Decimal area:

610 - 619

Reference books are on the 1st floor of the library. These include medical dictionaries, drug books, handbooks and statistical compilations. Here are some examples:

Help with Research

The SCC Library has several ways to help you with research and citations:

Come in to the SCC Library Reference Desk during business hours

Call the SCC Library Reference Desk at (509) 533-8821

Send an email to the SCC Reference Desk at

Open the SCC Library Start Your Research web page, find the online chat widget (available 24/7).