Can You or Can You Not?
A surgical technologist degree might be a good choice if you are looking to enter a medical field that has a job forecast of “fast as average” These professionals are also known as operating room assistants and surgical technicians. They are part of the surgical team, along with nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists and other OR staff, to carry out important tasks before, during and after surgery.
Many people wonder if it is possible to learn how to be a surgeon tech online. These professionals must complete in-person training. Students who are just starting out in the field will need to attend classes and participate in supervised clinic experience. You might find online courses that are available in the evenings or weekends if flexibility is your preference.
Online surgical tech programs are possible, but only in certain circumstances. Online associate degrees are possible for those who have already earned a diploma or accredited certificate and are currently certified as a surgical technician (CST). You can earn your associate’s degree online if your previous program wasn’t accredited or you have received training on-the-job.
Why isn’t there an online Surgical Tech Training?
The duties of a surgical tech include sterilizing equipment and preparing patients for surgery. Online courses will not prepare you for the daily responsibilities of a surgical tech.
Is it possible to train on-the-job?
Although surgical techs usually need an associate or certificate, some employers offer on-the job training for those who have high school diplomas. The most common route is to earn your Certified Surgery Technologist credential. This will require you to graduate from an accredited program.
Why Accreditation is Important
Accreditation is essential . Accreditation confirms that your program meets all the educational standards required by the field. Either the Commission of Allied Health Education Programs, or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools should approve the school you choose.
Anyone wishing to become a Certified Surgery Technologist must also complete an accredited program. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting regulates the CST. It demonstrates your commitment to quality care and knowledge. American College of Surgeons strongly supports certification of all surgical technologists.
Certification is not required in all states, but it is required in certain states. These include Idaho, Indiana and Massachusetts. Others states like Pennsylvania are considering legislation to make certification mandatory and also make accreditation mandatory.
What do Surgical Techs Do?
The services provided by surgical techs are important in hospitals. Some of these services include:
- Organising, testing, and sterilizing instruments
- Set up the operating room
- Preparing patients to have surgery
- Transporting patients to and from the OR
- Transmitting instruments to nurses and surgeons
- Handling patient specimens
- After surgery, cleaning and restocking of the OR
Surgical Technologist vs.
The terms surgical technologist and surgical technician can be interchanged in most cases. It often comes down to your preference for the hospital where you work. Both titles are common in educational programs, and both should prepare you for the same types of jobs.
Another term that you might hear is surgical assistant . This is slightly more common than a technologist . Although assistants may perform the same tasks as technologists, they also have additional responsibilities in treating patients. They may assist the medical team with more hands on duties, such as suturing, suctioning or stopping a patient from bleeding.
Requirements for Surgical Tech Program
All surgical tech programs can be classified into one of three categories: associate, diploma, or certificate. You will need a high school diploma, or GED to be eligible for a program. A background check may be required. You will also need to provide documentation regarding all immunizations, as you are working in healthcare. CPR certification is required for many programs.
The CST Exam
After you have received your certificate, diploma or associate’s degree, the next step is to apply for the Certified Surgical Technologist exam. Although not mandatory, this certification can greatly increase your chances of finding employment.
There are 175 questions in the exam, of which 150 can be scored. All other questions are for statistical analysis purposes only. 70% is the passing score. This score is based on knowledge in three key areas.
- Perioperative care (preoperative preparation, intraoperative procedures, postoperative procedures)
- Ancillary duties (administrative, personnel, equipment sterilization/maintenance)
- Basic science (anatomy, physiology, microbiology and surgical pharmacology).
After you receive your certification, it will be necessary to renew it every few year. CSTs will need to renew their certification every four years starting in 2019. They must show proof of 60 credits of continuing education, or retake the exam. Starting in 2020 renewals will take place every two years, with a reduced continuing education requirement of 30 credits.
Find a job as a Surgical Technologist
Many settings are possible for surgical technologists. While most surgical technologists work in hospitals, around 70% of them also work in outpatient surgery centers and doctor’s offices.