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Surgical Technologist Salary Factsheet
Schools & Colleges
Education & Training
Associate’s Degree in Surgical Technology
A surgical technologist is a profession that should not be left unconsidered if one is attracted to the marvelous field of medicine and wishes to have a job which is not only in-demand but also highly lucrative. This is a rewarding profession, suitable for all calm and thorough individuals, who want to make a real difference in someone else's life.
Why would one obtain a Surgical Technologist Associate’s Degree?
If you are considering building a successful career in the field of surgical technology,you should be aware that an Associate’s degree is the preferred choice by employers today, so it is a recommended investment if you want to enter this profession. Also, the salary for surgical techs with this type of degree is approximately 30% higher than that of the ones with only a high school diploma. Plus these training programs will better prepare you for the job and providing you with the necessary skills. Today, almost one third of the employed surgical technicians have an Associate’s degree.
Entry Requirements for a Surgical Tech Associate’s Degree
Most of the surgical technology associate’s degree programs require that the candidates have a high school diploma, GED or the equivalent. Fluent English is necessary, of course. Basic knowledge of math and science is recommended and some schools demand that the applicant has completed at least minimal courses in these subjects before enrolling. Also, some schools demand certain ACT scores or a satisfactory result on a pre-admission health exam. Having some knowledge of anatomy and physiology is advisable, but it is rarely obligatory.
How to Get a Surgical Technician Associate’s Degree?
Usually, the programs leading to a surgical technologist Associate’s degree take about two years to complete and are offered by community colleges, technical schools and other various institutions under the following names: Associate In Science Degree, Associate of Science in Medical Assisting or Associate Of Occupational Science in Surgical Technology.
There are many online programs, too, that one may find more suitable that attending classes on campus. Fortunately, there are many surgical tech Associate’s degree programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), so you should focus his/her attention on them, since the diploma obtained from such a program is much more appreciated. You should also note that enrollment in an accredited program enables students to apply for financial aid offered by the Foundation for Surgical Technology, the professional organisation for surgical technologists. Also, completing an accredited Associate’s degree program makes students eligible for the national certification, which is recommended for every surgical technician, planning a growing and satisfying career.
General curriculum information
The aim of these programs is to prepare the candidates for the highly stressful and responsible duties that await them on the job and make them familiar with the working environment in a medical institution. One will learn his/her role within the medical team in a hospital and will study about the healthcare protocols. An accent is put on patients care, including vital signs, CPR, transportation, preparations for a surgery etc. Sterilization and aseptic techniques are always emphasized, too, since they are among the fundamental duties of a surgical technologist. Of course, students attend classes of human anatomy, as well as human diseases, illnesses and wounds. Surgical technologists must properly assist surgeons during surgeries, which is why they must also be familiar with the surgical procedures and the medical terminology. Generally, the curriculum consists of the following subjects:
- Medical terminology
- Instruments care and handling
- Operative procedures
- Diseases and illnesses and
- Patient's care
It is crucial for these programs to offer laboratory work and possibly supervised work in a hospital or other type of medical institution, since gaining this kind of experience is the best way one to get familiar to the every-day situations and problems on this job.
Obtaining an Associate’s degree in surgical technology is the key step for a successful career in this field. Afterwards, you should expect to get more employment opportunities, alternatively you could also decide to continue your education and earn a Bachelor’s degree or obtain certification.