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Schools & Colleges
Education & Training
Surgical tech school
Surgical Technologist Training Programs
Proper training is essential for one to become a surgical technologist. Since this a rapidly growing profession, there are many surgical tech programs that provide the applicants with the necessary skills and prepare them for the job. One must seriously consider all possible educational paths and make a research about the available programs before he/she makes the final decision about his/her education.
Types of Surgical Tech Degrees and Certification
There are various types of surgical technologists training programs, but every one of them requires that the candidate has a high school diploma. There are programs that take less than a year to complete and they usually provide the applicant a diploma or a certificate. These programs offer the necessary training and highly satisfactory knowledge, but one must know that employers prefer surgical technologists with an Associate’s degree in Science . So, in order to be competitive on the job market, the best educational choice is completing a surgical technologist program that provides an Associate’s degree of Science.
These programs usually take up to two years to complete and are being offered by many colleges, as well as online. Before enrolling, it is advisable to consult with the school administrator in order to get a better picture about the program, but above all, it is recommended to make sure that the program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Obtaining an Associate’s degree form an accredited program makes one eligible for the national certification. This certification is not obligatory in all states, but it certainly is recommendable, since it is the highest credential in this field. There are two types of national certification, one can choose among:
- The Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology, and
- The Tech in Surgery – Certified (TS-C) exam provided by the National Centre for Competency Testing.
The testing fee for first time CST test takers is $130 for members of the Association of surgical technologists and $290 for all other applicants. The CST exam must be retaken every four years or 60 hours of approved continuing education must be obtained in order to renew this certification. The application form, as well as the general guidelines for this test can be found online. When it comes to the TS-C exam, except by earning an accredited Associate’s degree, one can also qualify for it by completing a 2 years on-the-job training program or gaining seven years experience. This certification must be renewed every five years by retaking the test or by continuing education. The list of materials needed for preparing this exam can be found online.
Online surgical techs programs
Enrolling in an online surgical technology program gives you the opportunity to complete the necessary education from the comfort of your home. There are many accredited online programs that will provide you the same skills and knowledge like the programs on campus. Students enrolled in such programs follow classes, give in assignments and take exams via the Internet, but they also study from e-books, tutorials and videos. Most of these programs enable their students to communicate through chat rooms or forums, so that isolation would be avoided. Some of the online programs require that their candidates also complete an internship, in order to ensure that they would gain some practical experience, too.
The usual curriculum
The surgical tech training programs usually include the following subjects:
- Human anatomy
- Aseptic techniques
- Surgical instruments and procedures
- Care of patients, and
Also, many surgical technician training programs offer the possibility of specialization in a certain field, like heart surgery or neurosurgery.
No matter which educational path one chooses, he/she should be dedicated and complete the studies successfully, so that he/she would become a qualified surgical technologist, who will stand out from the competition and have many employment and promotion opportunities.