Is becoming a surgical technologist right for me?

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What do surgical technologists do?
Career Satisfaction
Are surgical technologists happy with their careers?
What are surgical technologists like?

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How to become a Surgical Technologist

To become a surgical technologist, you typically need to complete a formal education program and obtain certification. Here are the general steps to become a surgical technologist:

  • Meet the Education Requirements: Most surgical technologists complete a post-secondary education program that results in a diploma, certificate, or associate degree. These surgical technology programs typically take one to two years to complete and include coursework in anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, surgical procedures, and sterile techniques.
  • Gain Clinical Experience: Many surgical technology programs include a clinical component that provides students with hands-on experience in an operating room or other healthcare setting. This experience is essential to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to work as a surgical technologist.
  • Obtain Certification: Certification is not always required, but it is recommended and may be required by some employers. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) offers the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) credential, which requires graduation from an accredited program and passing a certification exam.
  • Maintain Certification: To maintain certification, surgical technologists must complete continuing education requirements and renew their certification every four years.

Certification for surgical technologists is voluntary but is highly recommended by many employers and professional organizations. The most widely recognized certification for surgical technologists is the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) credential, which is offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).

To be eligible for the CST credential, individuals must graduate from an accredited surgical technology program and pass the certification exam. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions and covers a range of topics related to surgical technology, including anatomy and physiology, surgical procedures, and patient care. The exam takes four hours to complete, and a passing score is required to obtain certification.

In addition to the CST credential, there are other certifications available for surgical technologists, such as the Tech in Surgery-Certified (TS-C) credential offered by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). However, the CST credential is the most widely recognized and respected certification in the field.

Certification must be renewed every four years, and continuing education is required to maintain certification. This helps to ensure that surgical technologists stay up-to-date on the latest developments and techniques in the field and provide high-quality care to patients.