How To Find Surgical Technician Schools?

Choosing among the various Surgical Technician Schools can be tricky considering how many options for Certified Surgical Technician training are out there. Defining ones goals and looking into options that will allow those goals to be met is usually the best place to start. Once a student knows what they wish to accomplish and how much time they can devote to study, they will then be able to decide among technical schools, colleges, and online Surgical Technician Schools.

Surgical Technician Schools: Technical Schools

Technical schools provide training to students who wish to specialize in a career and wish to get started sooner rather than later. Many of these facilities offer Certified Surgical Technician training to those who meet their enrollment requirements and can juggle the schedule. Technical Surgical Technician Schools include:

Colorado Technical University

  • Offers AS in surgical technology
  • Locations in 4 Midwestern states

Lincoln Technical Institute

  • Offers non-degree Surgical Technology certificate
  • Locations in 6 northeastern states and 1 in Florida

Surgical Technician Schools: Colleges

Colleges offer the highest level of Certified Surgical Technician training. At these Surgical Technician Schools, students may choose to pursue various degrees surrounding Surgical Technology. Some offer online training and others do not. Generally, a degree is the only level of education offered, although a few may offer a diploma or certificate only programs. Some Surgical Technician colleges are:

Sanford-Brown

  • Offers Surgical Technician certificates and diplomas, as well as an AAS in Surgical Technology
  • 16 locations nationwide

Everest Colleges, Institutes, & Universities

  • Offers AS degree in Surgical Technology and a non-degree Surgical Technologist diploma
  • 24 locations nationwide

Surgical Technician Schools: Online Programs

Many prospective students searching for Surgical Technician Schools are concerned that online schools may not be legitimate. However, there are many online schools that provide excellent Certified Surgical Technician training. The main thing students should investigate here is whether or not the schools are accredited or not. In order to sit for the national exam, training must be obtained through an accredited facility. Examples of accredited online Surgical Technician Schools include:

Virginia College

  • Offers AS degree in Surgical Technology and non-degree Surgical Technologist diploma
  • Online training courses are available as well as on-campus training in 13 states

Keiser University

  • Offers BS degree in Health Science
  • Online training exclusively

Choosing the Right Surgical Technician Schools

The different types of Surgical Technician Schools will offer different learning experiences for students. One might expect a great deal of hands-on training from a technical school or college while online Certified Surgical Technician programs may not offer any at all. On the other hand, online Surgical Technician Schools offer students greater flexibility with regard to study schedules. Students may be able to study at their own pace, allowing them the freedom to schedule school around their lives and jobs.

There are definitely advantages and disadvantages to each type of Certified Surgical Technician training experience, but with a little planning, students will be able to choose the type that is best suited for their situation.

Finding Surgical Tech Jobs

As one of the fastest growing employment fields out there, a Certified Surgical Tech job will enjoy many opportunities for obtaining their dream job. Surgical Tech Jobs are high and on the rise, with the majority of them being in hospital settings. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of Surgical Tech Jobs will increase by 25 percent by the year 2018.

Why Are Surgical Tech Jobs on the Rise ?

Advances in technology such as fiber optics and laparoscopic surgery have made many once invasive procedures much less so. As a result, with the proper training, Certified Surgical Technologists are now able to assist and perform some tasks that only a surgeon would have been able to perform with older technology.

The main reason for this impressive surge of Surgical Tech Jobs, however, is the growing population of retirement-aged baby boomers.  This generation is massive, significantly higher than ever before. As older people tend to require more surgical procedures, the need for Certified Surgical Technologists becomes increasingly dire every day.

Where are Surgical Tech Jobs?

Approximately 71 percent of all Surgical Tech Jobs are found in hospital operating and delivery rooms. The other 29 percent are divided among specialty practices, doctors offices, outpatient surgical centers, and in dental offices. Surgical Tech Jobs in specialty offices tend to be the best paying positions, but they are also the most competitive. A Certified Surgical Technologist must be at the top of their game in order to compete in this branch of employment opportunities.

Applying for Surgical Tech Jobs

Every prospective Certified Surgical Technologist employer will have varying application processes, but there are a few things that are fairly universal. To begin, it is important that the candidate possesses the highest level of Certified Surgical Technologist training they can feasibly obtain. Surgical techs with an Associate’s Degree will be more employable than those holding only a certificate.

Second, the Certified Surgical Technologist must be current with their certification. After obtaining certification, it must be renewed every five years. This can be done either by completing continuing education programs and providing the proof to the certification board or by retaking the certification exam. Many Certified Surgical Technologist choose the continued education option because it makes them more marketable for higher paying positions.

Finally, anyone applying for Surgical Tech Jobs must demonstrate why they are the best candidate for the position. It is a good idea to highlight any diplomas, degrees, or awards. A Certified Surgical Technologist may also wish to obtain a letter of recommendation either from their professor or from their previous employer.

Becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist

Before one can even think about applying for Surgical Tech Jobs, the must become a Certified Surgical Technologist. The minimum requirements to do this are to complete a 9-month certification program followed by passing the national exam. Most accredited programs are found at local colleges and technical institutes, but there are a handful of online programs as well. With the online option, an internship will be necessary to get the required hands-on training.

Earning Your Surgical Tech Certification

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.

Obtaining A Surgical Technician License

If you are a high school graduate and have some background in medicine, you may be interested in starting a career as a surgical technician. The medical field is continually growing, and surgical technicians play an important role in this growth.

As a surgical technician, you will be required to work right in the operating room with all the other medical personnel. In fact, you are responsible for how well a surgery goes. Right from the beginning from prepping the patient for surgery, to making sure everything in the operating room is clean and sterile, all the way to suturing and applying bandages. A surgical technician must be ready at all times. They must be prepared to answer questions about the patient and they must possess knowledge of the operating room equipment. Therefore, a solid medical background is needed in order to succeed in your job.

There are many schools and universities that offer Surgical Technology programs. The requirements for admittance is generally a high school diploma and some knowledge of general subjects such as Biology, Math, and Writing. Having taken these courses in high school is a plus. You may be required to take an entrance exam so the school can better assess your abilities.

The type of coursework that you can expect to take during your time in school will be made up of lectures, lab work, and hands-on experience. You will be taught how to sterilize instruments, how to handle special drugs and solutions and also how to prevent and stop infections.

Your schooling will probably take up to 2 years to complete, but you will emerge fully prepared for your job ahead. Once you graduate with your degree in Surgical Technology, you will be ready to test for your Surgical Technician License or Certification. Once you pass the exam you must renew your license every 4 years.

As you enter the field of Surgical Technology you will gain knowledge and experience. You can advance by choosing a specialty area of surgery to work in, such as orthopedics or neurosurgery. You can also go back to school and become what’s known as a First Assistant. With more schooling, you are looking at more responsibility and more pay.

The average surgical technician can earn anywhere from $27,000 on the low end to $50,000 on the higher end. It is a very rewarding job that is worth looking into.

Are You Ready To Take Your Surgical Technician Exam?

There are many things you need to do before taking your Surgical Technicians Exam. This is not a test you can simply sign up for and take. Most places require that you do enroll in some sort of study, whether it’s a degree program offered by a university or a community college. There may also be a vocational school in your area.

EDUCATION

Most programs generally take from 9 months to 2 years. One thing you should make sure of is that the program you enroll in is accredited. This means that the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) has approved the program. The only way to get certified is to have attended an accredited program. Having an accredited degree will give you more leverage in the work field. You will be highly qualified to find a job. Most employers will be looking to hire certified technicians.

CERTIFICATION

Once you have graduated from an accredited program, you need to take a surgical technician exam. The exam is administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). The exam is a multiple choice exam. Once you pass the exam you are considered a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).

Another center that offers an exam is the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). Those who pass this exam are certified as a Tech in Surgery (TS-C). The difference in certification is just which center the test was taken. They are both national centers for certification. Your certification needs to be updated every 4 years.

EXAM TIPS

As with every test you take, the key is being prepared. If you have studied hard and take your studies seriously, you should do fine on the exam. Make sure you take good notes during your course of study. Remember to check back frequently to your notes to keep ideas fresh. There is a lot to learn, so staying on top of it is necessary. Always have a quiet place to study. Stay organized and be prepared. Sometimes it helps to work with a group. Others may have ideas or questions that you have been wondering about also. The most important thing is to have confidence in yourself and know that you can do this!

ADVANCEMENT

Once you are a certified CST, you can further your career and become a First Assistant or Surgical Assistant. There are so many possibilities as this field is expected to grow.