It takes anywhere from nine months to two years to complete a surgical tech program. The length of time is dependent on the type of program you choose as well as if you attend school full or part-time.
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Surgical Tech Programs
There are various types of technical programs for surgical tech that offer certificates, diplomas as well as associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. The length of the program depends on the type of certificate or degree you want to achieve.
Length of Programs
Most surgical tech programs can be completed in about nine months, although some may take up to two years to complete. It is important to choose a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). These accreditations are necessary in order to take the Certification Examination for Surgical Technologists (CST).
Types of Programs
There are several types of surgical tech programs available to students. The most common type of program is the certificate or diploma program, which can be completed in as little as nine months. These programs typically include both classroom and clinical instruction. Alternatively, students can choose to complete an Associate’s Degree in surgical technology, which takes two years to complete. Some schools also offer four-year Bachelor’s degree programs in the field.
For those who want to become a surgical technologist, there are a few options available in terms of schooling. The most common route is to attend an accredited surgical technologist program, which typically takes about two years to complete.
Length of Training
The length of training for surgical techs varies depending on the program. Some programs may be as short as nine months, while others may take up to two years to complete. There is also on-the-job training that may be required before you can start working as a surgical tech.
What is Trained
Surgical technologists, also called operating room technicians or scrub techs, are allied health professionals who work alongside surgeons, anesthesiologists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, circulating nurses and other surgical personnel. They prepare patients for surgery by washing and sterilizing them, prepping the operating room and setting out surgical instruments. During surgery, they pass instruments to the surgeon and may hold retractors or provide other support. They also apply dressings and clean up the operating room after surgery.
Surgical tech certification can be completed in as little as nine months, but most programs last between twelve and eighteen months. There are also two-year associate’s degree programs available if you want to further your education.
Length of Certification
There are accredited surgical technologist programs that offer certificates, diplomas, and degrees. The length of time it takes to earn a certification depends on the type of program you choose.
Accredited certificate programs usually take about nine months to one year to complete. These programs are often offered at community colleges and technical schools.
Diploma programs typically take two years to complete and are offered at some community colleges and technical schools.
Degree programs usually take two to four years to complete depending on whether you pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. These programs are typically offered at community colleges and universities.
Types of Certification
There are several types of certification available for surgical technologists. The most common type of certification is the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) credential, which is offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). CST certification is available to surgical technologists who have completed an accredited surgical technology program and have passed the NBSTSA national exam.
Other types of certification that are available include the Registered Surgical Technologist (RST) credential, which is offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), and the Licensed Practical Nurse – Surgical Technology (LPN-ST) credential, which is offered by state licensing boards. To be eligible for RST certification, surgical technologists must have completed an accredited surgical technology program and have passed the ARRT national exam. To be eligible for LPN-ST certification, surgical technologists must be licensed as a practical nurse in their state of practice and have completed an accredited surgical technology program.