The programs available for a surgical tech can be found at universities, colleges, and technical schools. These programs enable students to work as part of a surgical team.
The Length of the Required Schooling
The average program for a surgical tech takes approximately nine to fifteen months to complete. These programs offer either a diploma or a certificate. Some schools offer programs including an associates degree. This will place the individual ahead in terms of available jobs and expected salary. This program required two years for completion.
The Requirements of a Surgical Tech
The school chosen by the student is critical because certain techniques and theories must be learned. The student must understand surgical technology, surgical laboratories, and the surgical environment.
A good school will have clinical practicums to provide the student with necessary experience for a surgical tech. This takes place under the supervision of professionals at off school healthcare facilities.
Students are also required to take courses in science and liberal arts at the school. This provides the knowledge and foundation necessary for a surgical tech to communicate effectively and reason clearly.
The Accredited Schools for a Surgical Tech
The school chosen by the potential surgical tech must be accredited. The CAAHEP, or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs provides the accreditation based on the recommendation of the ARC/STSA.
If the school’s program is not accredited as a CAAHEP Surgical Technology program, the student will be able to take the CST, or Certified Surgical Technologist examination.
This exam is administered by the NBSTSA, or the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. Only students who passed an accredited program at their schools are eligible, and a pass is required to work as a surgical tech.
According to the National Board of Surgical Technology, the average national pass rate for this exam is 69.8 percent.
The School Courses for a Surgical Tech
The student must earn their A.A.S. or Associate in Applied Science Degree. The mandatory major core courses include:
- Medical Terminology
- Ethical and Legal Aspects of Health Services
- Fundamentals of Surgical Technology
- Surgical Techniques
- Pharmacology and Anesthesiology
- Operating Room Clinical Practicum I
- Operating Room Clinical Practicum II
- Surgical Specialty Intervention Procedures
- Surgical Technology Capstone
The mandatory courses for Science and Liberal Arts include:
- Writing and Research
- Writing Through Literature
- Anatomy and Physiology I
- Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory I
- Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory II
- Introduction to Psychology
- Humanities Elective
The Government Regulations of a Surgical Tech
To become a surgical tech, the student must attend the school for 60 semester credit hours. Individuals may be disqualified by the government for acquiring certification due to criminal or health records.
When a student applies to one of the surgical tech schools, they are required to provide authorization via their signature for a criminal background check.
Prior to being allowed to participate in the clinical rotations of the schools, the student must have a complete physical assessment by a medical professional licensed in the student’s state. The students must purchase malpractice insurance for themselves.
The school may require an additional and extensive criminal background check once the student has been admitted. If the findings are positive, the student may be prevented from finishing the program’s clinical portion.
This action will prevent the student from graduating and taking the national certification exam.
The schools require surgical tech students to pay the cost of the health requirements necessary for the clinical courses. This can be for several hundred dollars.
There are different requirements for a surgical tech depending on the state. This generally involves completing an accredited, regional or national program for Surgical Technology. Specific criteria must be met by the schools.
The school must be accredited by the CAAHEP to enable their students to take the CST examination required for a surgical tech.
The Graduation Requirements for a Surgical Tech
To be able to graduate, the student must achieve a passing grade in all SUR, or surgical courses. Anatomy I and II, Physiology I and II, Laboratory I and II, and Microbiology must also be passed with a C+ set as the minimum grade.
If these conditions are not met, the student will not qualify to take the examination for a CST, or Certified Surgical Technologist. The exam is given by the NBSTSA, and a passing grade is necessary for the student to work as a surgical tech in almost all states.
The students are required by the schools to obtain certain supplies. This comes to an approximate cost of $835. The supplies are highly detailed, and the student must conform to the exact requirements.
Once the above requirements have been met, the student may seek employment as a surgical tech.