A career as a Certified Surgical Tech has one of the brightest employment opportunities of any certified employee. Estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to increase by 25 percent by the year 2018, the position of Certified Surgical Technologist is one that will provide uncanny job security to those who are qualified for the position. Becoming a qualified candidate takes some time, hard work, and a bit of investment, but the promise of success makes those things well worth the energy.
Training as a Surgical Tech
The path to becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist begins with education and training. The process begins by enrolling in an accredited surgical technology course. The least expensive and sometimes simplest route is by signing up for classes at a local college. Surgical Tech Certification training can take as little as 9 months for the minimum requirements to sit for the national exam.
Technical institutes and career training centers are also educational avenues that one could consider, provided that they have been accredited by the appropriate authorities. These authorities are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology. If an educational facility does not possess approval from one or both of these agencies, the coursework completed will not be considered adequate in order to sign up for the exam.
Getting Surgical Tech Certification
Once a student has found several schools from which to choose, they must then decide if they prefer to pursue a certificate, diploma, or degree. While the certificate takes the shortest amount of time, an Associate’s Degree in Surgical Technology can help to make the Certified Surgical Technologist more employable, or at the very least, more competitive. When the student has decided on the level of study to be completed, all that remains is completing the course and passing the national exam.
Certified Surgical Technologist exams are offered exclusively through The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. Surgical Tech Certification applicants must prove their eligibility to take the exam by providing evidence that they have graduated from an accredited training course. Without this evidence, students will not be considered for an exam date.
There is also an exam and processing fee that the student must pay prior to completing the exam. These fees may total $190 or $290, depending on whether or not the student is a member of the Association of Surgical Technologists. After these requirements are met, a date will be scheduled for an exam. Surgical Tech Certification applicants must keep this date to avoid forfeiture of fees.
Keeping Surgical Tech Certification Current
Once a student has passed the exam, they become a Certified Surgical Technologist. Surgical Tech Certification must be renewed every 5 years to remain current. Renewal can be made either by submitting proof of continuing education from an accredited facility or by retaking the exam. Most employers will require their Certified Surgical Technologists to remain current. Some may absorb the fee for recertification while others will not. Either way, recertification is just as important as becoming certified in the first place.