Surgical tech certification is available through many different schools and organizations. The certification process generally includes passing an exam.
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In order to become a certified surgical technologist, also called a scrub tech, you will need to graduate from an accredited surgical technology program and pass the national certification exam. Although certification is not required in all states, most employers prefer to hire certified surgical technologists. Once you have completed your training and passed the certification exam, you will need to maintain your certification by completing continuing education requirements.
What is a Surgical Tech?
A surgical technologist, also called a scrub tech, is an allied health professional who works alongside surgeons, nurses and other members of the surgical team. Surgical technologists play a vital role in ensuring that the operating room is clean and sterile and that the patient is prepared for surgery. They also assist surgeons during procedures by passing instruments and other supplies.
Most surgical technologists have completed a postsecondary education program in surgical technology. Although certification is not required, most employers prefer to hire certified surgical technologists. Certification is available from several organizations, including the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) and the National Healthcare Association (NHA).
How to Become a Surgical Tech
Certification for surgical techs is available through several organizations, each with their own eligibility requirements. The most common credentialing organization is the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, which offers the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) credential.
Surgical Tech Programs
If you want to become a surgical tech, also called a scrub tech, operating room technician or scrub nurse, you will need to have completed an accredited surgical technologist program. You can find these programs at many community colleges and technical schools across the country. Some hospitals also offer training programs.
Most surgical tech programs last between nine and 15 months and result in a certificate or diploma. Some programs also offer an associate degree, which may take up to two years to complete.
During your training, you will learn about human anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, sterilization techniques and surgical equipment. You will also get clinical experience in a hospital or surgery center, where you will work with surgeons, nurses and other surgical technicians.
Surgical Tech Certification
Certification is not required in every state, but it is nationally recognized and may be required for employment in some facilities. There are two primary agencies that offer surgical tech certification: the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) and the National Healthcare Association (NHA).
NBSTSA offers the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) credential, while NHA provides the Certified surgical technologist (CSFA) credential. To be eligible for certification, you must graduate from an accredited surgical technology program and pass a national exam. Once you have passed the exam, you will need to maintain your certification by completing continuing education credits every four years.
Surgical Tech Job Description
A surgical technologist, is an allied health professional who works as part of a surgical team in the operating room (OR) of a hospital. Surgical technologists are breakout stars of the medical field—and for good reason. Job duties may include assembling and sterilizing equipment, monitoring patients’ vital signs, and counting sponges and instruments. Surgical technologists work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses, and other surgical personnel to ensure that operations are conducted safely.
Surgical Tech Salary
How much does a surgical tech make? It depends on their experience, education, and geographic location. The median annual salary for a surgical tech is $47,300, which means that half of all surgical techs earn less than this amount and half earn more. The lowest 10 percent earn less than $33,860, and the highest 10 percent earn more than $66,590.
The best-paid 10 percent of surgical techs earn more than $66,590 per year, while the lowest-paid 10 percent make less than $33,860 annually. Salaries for surgical techs are highest in the following states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.
There are a few different ways that you can get a surgical tech certification. You can either take a program at a community college or technical school, or you can get certified through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).
If you decide to take a program at a community college or technical school, you will need to complete an accredited program and then pass the Certification Examination for Surgical Technologists (CST). Once you pass the CST, you will be eligible to sit for the NBSTSA exam.
If you decide to get certified through the NBSTSA, you will need to complete an accredited surgical tech program and then pass the NBSTSA exam. Once you pass the NBSTSA exam, you will be eligible to sit for the CST.