Surgical Tech Certification – Learn Everything You Need to Know

Employers are more likely to hire a surgical tech who earned surgical tech certification after completing a national certification exam. The nationally certified surgical tech exam is taken by computer, but it’s not mandatory to be taken by graduates of the accredited school. However, once becoming a certified surgical technician, it’s mandatory that CST’s renew their certified surgical technician certificate by taking the national surgical tech certification exam four years from taking it the first time. Becoming a certified ST requires at least one year of schooling and clinical training at an accredited school before sitting down to take a nationally ST computer exam.

Across the US, there are many surgical tech accredited programs that take 1-2 years to earn a certificate or an associate’s degree. To gain admission into a surgical tech program, applicants will need a high school diploma, or GED. However, like practical nursing programs, surgical technology programs are considered limited access, which means that due to the limited number of available of expensive equipment used to train students, not every applicant will be accepted into a program.

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Certification isn’t mandatory to work as an ST but provides a competitive edge to graduates seeking entry-level employment in the job market, which includes a strong medical background, knowledge in surgical tech procedures, and technical skills essential to working as a surgical tech in the operating room. Surgical tech applicants accepted into a program will need to register for their courses and then submit documents for both background check and health screening.

Accredited surgical technology programs include the following courses: basic sciences such as anatomy, physiology, and microbiology; sterilization techniques; procedures performed in various types of surgeries; management of operating room equipment; and patient care. Surgical tech students’ coursework includes classroom both classroom instruction and hands-on practice in clinical settings prior to assisting surgeons and registered nurses in actual operating rooms. Each student is going to get the chance to experience not only how actual surgery is performed, but learn how operation staff of various experience and expertise perform successful teamwork.

ST’s with certification in surgical tech seeking a job and those with certification already working in operating rooms are trained to do all of the following: prepare the operating room before surgery begins; sterilize the operating room both before and after surgery and learn how to assist surgeons and registered nurses during surgery.
The tuition of surgical tech programs varies greatly across the country, but all out-of-state students are still going to be expected to spend more, and it’s less expensive for programs located at community colleges than those located at four-year colleges. Additional costs include books, school supplies, living on-campus, and transportation depending on distance.

The essential roles of a surgical tech with certification include preparing the operating room for operation and correctly organizing and recognizing surgical instruments. Prior to operation, every surgical tech with certification will most likely sterilize surgical supplies and monitors all surgical apparatus to make sure they’re all working properly. During operations, surgical techs with certification continue sterilization as well as control various machines with various functions such as sterilization, lighting, and diagnostics.

Earning certification is vital for surgical techs because they’re performing tasks in the operating room that make a difference between life and death. Surgical techs who’ve earned certification not only prepare the operating room but sterilize the same tools surgeons and nurses rely on to successfully do their job, in addition to making sure that every surgical instrument is ready for anytime use. The ST also needs to recognize surgical instruments they’re asked to give to the nurse or surgeon, provide necessary surgical incision sites, and perform other jobs like cutting sutures, cleaning the OR, counting sponges, and transporting patients to and from the to the operating room.

Earning certification following an accredited education and training background ensure safer surgeries than ST’s without certification. There is currently an increasingly large population of older Americans born during the post-WW2 baby boom, which has resulted in an increased demand for surgical techs who earned certification. Furthermore, an aging population will not only increase the number of needed operations but will prefer to medical care and advise from healthcare staff with certification to live healthier lives.

Since surgical technicians are responsible for performing a lot of various tasks that take place in the medical industry, employers find certified surgical techs with at least one year of training more desirable than ST’s without certification. Earning surgical tech certification isn’t required, but it makes a surgical tech searching for work more competitive and a lot easier to find a job.

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