Introduction to Surgical Technician Courses

Surgical technicians, also referred to as operating room technicians or “scrubs”, work under the supervision of nurses, surgeons, and other surgical team members. Their role is to assist the surgical team by prepping the O.R.; this includes setting up the necessary equipment and making sure they are sterile and functioning properly. Other duties include getting patients ready for surgery by washing, disinfecting, and shaving any site where an incision is to be made.

Top Online Surgical Technician Degree Programs

Like many other technician and assistant fields, few schools offer distance learning programs specifically for becoming a Surgical Technician. In many cases though, students start with an undergraduate degree in healthcare and receive on-the-job training later. Click through the following links to request more information on the programs from each school.

Kaplan University Kaplan University — Apply for this school's associate degree in Health Sciences: Surgical Technologist to achieve a strong foundation in surgical technology. This course is ideal for a fast and flexible solution to your online degree as you earn an entry-level education that concentrates on helping students acquire knowledge and develop skills in performing laboratory, clinical, and medical office procedures. Kaplan also offers degrees in Medical Assisting and Health Information Technology. Click Here
DeVry University DeVry University — For aspiring surgical technicians who want a bigger role in patient data management, DeVry University's associate's degree in health information technology prepares students to learn application systems and work with managing electronic health information databases. (A bachelor's degree in this subject is also available.) HIT professsionals work with nurse, doctors, and other health care providers. Click Here
Herzing University Herzing University — The AS degree in medical assisting offered online by Herzing University is suited for individuals preparing to become healthcare or surgical technicians. Students of this program will learn the appropriate healthcare terminology as well as how to work with cutting edge medical technology Click Here

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Frequently Asked Questions About Surgical Tech Careers

Surgical technicianWhat exactly is a surgical technologist?

Surgical technologists, who can also be known as scrubs or operating room technicians, function to aid surgical operations under the direction of registered nurses, surgeons, or other medical personnel. The responsibilities of a surgical tech vary significantly depending on the healthcare setting, and the needs of supervisors (surgeons, nurses, etc.). However, in general, surgical technicians can help prepare operating rooms, including setting up and cleaning instruments. Other pre-op responsibilities include washing and sterilizing incision sites on patients. During a surgical operation, techs pass instruments and sterilized supplies to both surgeons and surgical assistants. Some surgical techs may be required to manage any specimens obtained during the operation. Post-op responsibilities include helping wheel patients back to their hospital rooms, and cleaning the operating room for the next surgery.

What are the different types of surgical technician degrees available?

It is extremely important to understand that there is no specific online surgical technologist degree. Online universities generally offer medical degree programs that can be used by students to obtain surgical technologist training, and then to obtain surgical tech certification upon graduating. Most health care facilities require a degree in order to enter into specialized surgical technologist programs designed to prepare persons for the unique challenges of that organization. Generally, medical degrees needed to take surgical tech certification exams take around two years to complete.

What is the average salary of a surgical tech?

Naturally, in a tough economy, knowing how much one stands to make in a profession is essential. Surgical technicians have a variety of unique skills, and are an integral part of many successful operations. As such, surgical techs can often command a competitive salary. Depending on the size and location of the hospital, as well years of experience, a surgical tech can make anywhere from $39,000 annually to $54,000. Some surgical technologists will have hourly wages that can range from $7.00 to $13.00 hourly. Again, there is significant variation in salaries, so click here to learn more.

Surgical technicians can find work in a variety of health care settings. Private practices, non-profit medical organizations, hospitals, dental offices, and many others employ surgical technicians to assist physicians and nurses. Salaries vary based on where a surgical tech works.

What schools offer online surgical technician programs?

While there are no schools that offer specific degrees for a surgical technologist, there are still many schools that offer different degrees and surgical tech training. Graduating from an online institution with an undergraduate degree in health can go a long way towards jump-starting a surgical technician career:

  • Kaplan University: Kaplan University is one of the premier online universities offering medical degrees. Students interested in becoming surgical techs can pursue an AAS in Medical Assisting.
  • Virginia College Online: Anyone interested in becoming a surgical technologist through online study would do well to consider this institution. The BS in Health Services Management degree program is well regarded and can help give students the education needed to pursue surgical tech certification.
  • Keiser University: Keiser University students benefit from an institution offering accredited degrees with a flexible schedule. For someone interested in attending online surgical tech courses, getting an AS in Medical Assisting is an excellent choice.
  • New England Institute of Technology: New England Tech offers an Associate’s Degree in Surgical Technology. This degree program prepares practitioners for taking an essential operating room scrub role in a variety of health care organizations.
  • New York University: The NYU Langone Medical Center has a competitive and rewarding Surgical Technology program. This well regarded school aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to be a successful surgical tech.
  • Rasmussen College: Rasmussen College offers students the chance to become an important member of an operating room team by getting a surgical technology degree. This accredited university program provides an avenue for students to learn about all the responsibilities of a surgical tech, including important medical information that will aid them in their career.
  • Lansing Community College: Lansing, Michigan is home to a well respected community college offering a surgical technology program that is accredited by the CAAHEP. Graduates will be prepared to take the certification exam offered by the NBSTSA (National Board for Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting).
  • Renton Technical College: The surgical technologist program offered by RTD is accredited and well-respected within the career field. This program trains students primarily as scrub persons, and secondarily as circulators in a surgery setting.
  • Lancaster General College: The College of Nursing and Health Sciences has a challenging surgical tech education program. Graduates are given all the knowledge and tools needed in order to become Certified Surgical Technologists (CST) after passing the required exam.

What kinds of financial aid are available for schools offering surgical technology courses?

Getting an education is an excellent way to increase earning potential and to have a better life. However, education is also a significant financial investment. Unfortunately, this can make it quite challenging for some students to afford schooling. Luckily, though, there are many scholarships and grants available to students, as well as a plethora of financial aid options. The first thing any hopeful student should do after admission to a university is fill out a FAFSA form. This will help the student learn if he or she is eligible for any government aid. After that, searching for surgical technologist scholarships is an excellent idea. There are many different scholarships one can apply for. Some of these scholarships include: the Delmar Cengage Earning Student Scholarship, the Foundation Student Scholarship, the Foundation for Surgical Technology New Educator Scholarship, and more.


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