Most schools offer an Associates degree program where you can receive your degree in surgical technology, but there is an alternate route that you can take where you receive a diploma in less time, but you can still be certified as a surgical technician. There are pros and cons for taking this route. A pro is that you can achieve your goal in a shorter period of time, and hence you would save money on your education. A con would be that someone else who has gone on to earn an associates degree would be more qualified for a position and you may, in fact, lose out on job opportunities.
In any event, to qualify for any enrollment you must have a High School diploma. Each school has different steps you must take prior to enrollment. Some may include assessment tests, background checks and/or physical exams.
Once you are enrolled, you must begin with General Education courses. Having a strong background in Math, Science and Writing either on a high school level or introductory college level is beneficial. While most of your training will be hands-on, you must be strong in these areas in order to succeed. Some classes you can expect to take are Intro To Microbiology, Anatomy and Physiology and Basic Psychology. Some of the instruments and tools you will be expected to use are sponges and needles. Your job is to make sure everything is sterile and counted for, before and after surgery. You may be required to prep patients, hand tools to doctors during an operation, and clean areas of operation and apply bandages. You will be expected to scrub in and possibly scrub the hands and arms of doctors and assistants. You must be able to use such equipment as electro-surgical tools, staplers, surgical lasers, and surgical suction machines. During your program, you will probably be offered an internship, where you will work hands-on to gain experience.
Although this is generally unpaid, it does count as college credits. Once you complete your program, either for your surgical technology diploma or degree, you are ready to take the National Certification Exam.
The total cost for schooling to earn your diploma is generally under $6,000. although some schools may be significantly more. Your best bet is to shop around for the school that is right for you. This course of study is usually not offered online, so you need to find a school in your area. Good Luck!