Online Surgical Technician Schools
Although an occasional surgical technician, also known as a scrub and surgical or operating room technician, can get by with on-the-job training, most employers prefer to hire surgical technicians who have completed anywhere from 9 to 24 months of formal training and additional certification. To obtain a degree and certification, you might start your career with high school coursework that includes anatomy, microbiology, physiology, chemistry and other related life sciences if possible. This foundation will enable you to begin your college education with confidence.
In 2005, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied health education programs (CAAHEP) recognized more than 400 accredited programs throughout the country that offer training for surgical technicians. Programs are typically offered by community and junior colleges as well as Universities and Hospitals. Your training in college may include courses in working with patients, sterilizing equipment and other hospital-related duties as well as training in medical terms and equipment as well as advanced studies in life sciences.
Accredited programs in surgical technology typically last from nine to twenty-four months and lead to associate degrees, diplomas or certificates. This minimal education is required in most cases for certification. Technologists may obtain voluntary professional certification from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) by graduating from a CAAHEP-accredited program (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs) and passing a national certification examination. You may then use the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) designation. Continuing education or reexamination is required to maintain certification, which must be renewed every 4 years.
An Overview of Certificate Programs
Certification also may be obtained from the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). To qualify to take the exam, candidates follow one of three paths: complete an accredited training program; undergo a 2-year hospital on-the-job training program; or acquire 7 years of experience working in the field. After passing the exam, individuals may use the designation Tech in Surgery-Certified, TS-C (NCCT). This certification must be renewed every 5 years through either continuing education or reexamination.
While a minimal college degree may help you to achieve certification and begin work, you may want more education later to help advance your career. Technologists advance by specializing in a particular area of surgery, such as neurosurgery or open heart surgery. You also may work as a circulating technologist. With additional training, some technologists advance to first assistant. Some surgical technologists manage central supply departments in hospitals, or take positions with insurance companies, sterile supply services, and operating equipment firms.
However, some hospitals now are seeking to keep their surgical technicians happy by developing a clinical ladder as an incentive for surgical technologists to continually improve skills, knowledge and competency. You can ask about this incentive when you interview for jobs, as the program begins at entry level. Level I is a practitioner who has recently graduated from a CAAHEP-accredited program and has been employed for one year or less. Certification, however, can provide more impetus for this program…Level II is a certified surgical technologist who has been employed for one year or more and takes on greater responsibility in providing patient care.
Online Surgical Technician Degree Programs
|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 Science.|