Are you an individual who aspires to work in an operating room assisting surgeons as they do their medical procedures? Are you considering becoming a surgical technician but unsure where to start? The first step towards become a surgical tech is finding an accredited surgical tech program. Get all the important steps below.
What is the Path Towards a Surgical Tech Career?Pursuing surgical tech careers involves completing a formal training program at an accredited school and obtaining certification. Students in surgical technology programs may complete certificate programs or may earn associate degrees in surgical technology. Offered at community colleges and technical colleges, these programs provide you with a curriculum that includes medical classes, lab courses and clinical rotations.
During the clinical portion, you’ll spend time in an actual surgical setting to obtain supervised hands-on training. You’ll also become familiar with operating room supplies and surgical instruments. The training may take from one to two years to complete.
What is the Importance of Attending an Accredited School?When looking for surgical technology programs, it’s important they be accredited programs because that’s a requirement when you wish to become certified once you complete the training. There are two accrediting agencies that are typically used for surgical tech training. When searching for approved schools, look for schools that are ABHES-accredited or CAAHEP-accredited.
There were about 500 accredited surgical tech programs or schools in the United States as of 2012. Both the CAAHEP and the ABHES offer a listing of surgical tech programs on their websites. Surgical technology programs can also be found through the National Center for Education Statistics, which lists schools and colleges based on both location and training.
Where Do I Become Certified?Certification is not a legal requirement but can be helpful for being hired as a surgical technologist or technician. Before you can pursue certification, you must show proof that you have completed an accredited surgical technology training program, and you must pass a certification exam. There are a few different organizations that offer certification. Below are the organizations as well as the credentials you can earn.
• National Center for Competency Testing – Tech in Surgery-Certified (NCCT)
• National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting – Certified Surgical Technician (CST)
After you’re certified, you’ll need to earn continuing education credits to maintain certification. The requirements may vary by the certifying organization and the state.