Surgical Technician License

When an individual decides to look into becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist, they are likely to encounter terms such as certification and licensure/licensing. To be clear, Surgical Technician License is not correct terminology. Certified Surgical Technologists are unlicensed medical personnel that must operate under the supervision of licensed nurses and physicians. Surgical Technicians receive certification that allows them to work in the field.

Obtaining Surgical Technician Certification

Having established that there is no such thing as a Surgical Technician License, prospective students are likely to be curious as to the process of obtaining Surgical Technician Certification. Simply speaking, one must pass the national exam to become a Certified Surgical Technologist. However, qualify to even take the exam will require a good bit of specialized training from an accredited learning institution.

The amount of time a student will spend training to become a Certified Surgical Technologist will depend on the level of education they wish to complete. Certificate only surgical technician training may be as short as 9 months. Obtaining an Associate’s Degree in surgical technology, on the other hand, generally requires about 24 months for completion.

Surgical Technician Training

Any student wishing to sit for the national exam, whether they desire a certificate, diploma, or degree, must attend classes at a school that is accredited by an acceptable accrediting association. In most cases, this will mean that Certified Surgical Technologist students must enroll in on-campus courses at a local technical school or college. There are a small handful of online courses available. However, students will still have to obtain a certain number of hours of hands-on training, usually by internship, in order to complete the course. The number of hours will depend on which training option was chosen.

Surgical Technician Certificate

Obtaining a training certificate from a school does not automatically make the student a Certified Surgical Technologist; only the exam can provide certification. A certificate from a Surgical Technician school is simply proof that the student has completed the necessary training required to sign up for the exam. This is the minimum level of training one may obtain to work as a Certified Surgical Technologist. It is the least expensive and the fastest, but it may not provide the best leverage when interviewing for Certified Surgical Technologist positions.

Surgical Technician Diploma

A surgical technician diploma is a median option between a certificate and a degree. It takes a bit longer to obtain—about 12 to 15 months—but it gives the recipient additional training that will help them to compete in the Certified Surgical Technologist job market.

Surgical Technician Associate’s Degree

This is the highest level of training a Certified Surgical Technologist can obtain before moving up to Surgical Assistant. Possessing a degree in surgical technology will tell potential employers that the candidate is highly trained, and therefore extremely desirable.

Even though it is impossible to obtain a Surgical Technician License, there are options for higher education available to Certified Surgical Technologist students who wish to utilize it.

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.