A surgical technologist, also called a scrub tech, is an Allied Health professional who works as part of a team of medical practitioners to deliver surgical care. If you’re interested in becoming a surgical technologist, follow these five steps.
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Research the field
A surgical tech, also called a surgical technologist, is a member of the surgical team. Surgical techs work alongside surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses, and other surgical personnel to ensure that surgeries are performed smoothly and safely. If you’re interested in becoming a surgical tech, the first step is to research the field.
Understand the duties and responsibilities of a surgical tech
A surgical technologist, also called a scrub, scrubs in to assist the surgeon during surgery. He or she handed instruments and supplies to the surgeon and surgeon’s assistants, as well as helping to set up the operating room before surgery and clean it after surgery.
Surgical technologists work under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses or licensed practical nurses. They typically complete a postsecondary educational program and must pass a national certification exam to earn their credential.
Consider if you have the required skills
You may be wondering, “What does it take to become a surgical tech?” There are several things you should know about the surgical tech profession before you start your journey.
First and foremost, you should consider if you have the required skills. For example, are you detail-oriented? This is a critical skill for surgical techs because they need to be able to follow surgeon’s orders precisely and pay attention to small details. In addition, good hand-eye coordination is important since surgical techs often work in small areas and need to be able to utilize small tools. Surgical techs also need to have good stamina since they are on their feet for long periods of time and may have to lift heavy equipment. Finally, it is important that surgical techs be able to work well under pressure since they often need to make quick decisions in high-pressure situations.
If you think you have the required skills, the next step is to research the field. This includes learning about the different types of surgery, common procedures, and specialized equipment. It is also important to research different surgical tech programs as they can vary significantly in terms of length, cost, and curriculum. Once you have done your research and decided on a path forward, you are ready to take the next steps towards becoming a surgical tech!
Complete an accredited surgical tech program
Surgical tech programs are accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). There are currently over 300 accredited surgical tech programs in the United States, so there are plenty of options to choose from. Once you’ve completed an accredited surgical tech program, you’ll be eligible to take the national certification exam.
Research accredited programs in your area
Once you have decided that becoming a surgical tech is the right career path for you, it is time to do some research and find an accredited program in your area. There are many different types of surgical tech programs available, so it is important to find one that meets your needs and fits your schedule.
The first step in finding an accredited surgical tech program is to research the different types of programs available. There are many different ways to become a surgical tech, so it is important to find a program that best fits your needs.
One option is to attend a community college or technical school that offers a surgical tech program. These programs are typically two years in length and will give you the basic knowledge and skills you need to become a surgical tech.
Another option is to attend a four-year university that offers a bachelor’s degree in surgical technology. This type of program will give you a more comprehensive education and will prepare you for a career as a surgical technologist.
Once you have decided on the type of program you would like to attend, you need to research the accreditation of the programs in your area. There are several organizations that accredit surgical tech programs, so it is important to find a program that has been accredited by one of these organizations.
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is one of the organizations that accredit surgical tech programs. To be accredited by CAAHEP, a program must meet certain standards, such as having qualified instructors and providing students with the opportunity to gain clinical experience.
The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) is another organization that accredits surgical tech programs. ABHES-accredited programs must meet certain standards, such as having qualified instructors and providing students with the opportunity to gain clinical experience.
Once you have found an accredited program in your area, you are ready to take the next step toward becoming a surgical tech!
Enroll in a program
The first step to becoming a surgical technologist is to enroll in an accredited program. These programs are offered at the associate’s, bachelor’s and certificate levels, so you will need to decide which one is right for you.
If you choose to enroll in an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program, you can expect to complete coursework in subjects like human anatomy, medical terminology, microbiology and physiology. You will also have the opportunity to participate in clinical rotations, which will give you the chance to gain hands-on experience working with patients.
Certificate programs are generally shorter, taking about a year to complete. These programs tend to be more focused on the technical aspects of the job and may not include as much general education coursework. However, all programs will prepare you for the national certification exam, which is required for employment in most states.
Surgical techs are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 12% growth in the surgical technologist field from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than the average for all occupations. If you have a passion for helping others and working in a fast-paced environment, a career as a surgical tech may be a good fit for you. Becoming a surgical tech is a five-step process that includes completing a surgical technologist program, passing the certification exam, and applying for state licensure.
Choose a certification organization
There are several credentialing organizations that offer the surgical technologist certification exam. Most of these organizations require that you have completed an accredited surgical technology program and that you have met all other eligibility requirements before you can sit for the certification exam. Once you have met these requirements, you can register for the certification exam with the organization of your choice. The most common credentialing organizations are listed below.
-National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA)
– Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
-Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC-STSA)
Pass the certification exam
To earn your certification, you’ll need to pass an exam administered by either the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). The NBSTSA offers the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam, while the NHA offers the Certified Surgical Technologist (CSFA) exam.
You can find study guides and practice exams for both tests online. Once you feel confident that you’re ready to take the exam, you can register and pay for it through the NBSTSA or NHA website. The exams are multiple-choice and contain sections on general principles of surgical technology, asepsis and infection control, medical terminology, patient care, surgical procedures, and safety and emergency procedures.
Find a job
If you want to become a surgical tech, the first step is finding a job. You can look for job openings in hospitals, clinics, and medical offices. You can also search for job openings online. Once you find a job, you will need to submit an application and go through an interview process.
Use job search engines
One of the best ways to look for jobs, including surgical tech jobs, is by using a job search engine. A job search engine is a website that compiles job listings from various sources and puts them all in one place. This makes your job search much easier and more efficient, as you can quickly scan through many different job listings without having to visit multiple websites.
There are many different job search engines to choose from. Some of the most popular ones include Indeed, Monster, and Glassdoor. To use a job search engine, simply go to the website and enter in your desired position (e.g., “surgical tech”). You can then browse through the available listings and apply for any positions that interest you.
Network with professionals in the field
The best way to learn about any career is to talk to someone who is already working in that field. Surgical techs are no different. Talk to as many surgical techs as you can find and ask them about their experiences, both good and bad. Find out what they like and don’t like about their jobs. Ask them what they think are the most important skills for a surgical tech to have. And find out what they think you need to do to be successful in this career.
Surgical technicians, also called operating room technicians or scrub techs, are integral members of the surgical team. They prepare the operating room for surgery and sterilize instruments. They also transport patients to the operating room, assist surgeons during surgery and care for patients after surgery.
Complete continuing education requirements
To maintain certification, surgical techs must participate in continuing education (CE) activities related to their field. Most organizations require surgical techs to complete a certain number of CE hours every few years. Once you have completed the required number of hours, you will need to submit documentation to the organization to show that you have met the requirements.
Renew certification every few years
Surgical technologists must renew their certification every few years to maintain their credentials. The Certification Renewal Application is available on the website of the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST).
To renew certification, surgical technologists must:
Submit a completed Certification Renewal Application along with the required fee.
Provide documentation of completing at least 60 contact hours of continuing education within the past four years. The AST offers a wide variety of continuing education opportunities, both online and in person, to help surgical technologists meet this requirement.
Have their current employer complete the Employer Verification Form included in the application packet.
Submit official transcripts documenting completion of an accredited surgical technology program, if they are applying for certification for the first time or if their previous certification has lapsed.