If you’re considering a career in surgical technology, you might be wondering what you need to get started. In this blog post, we’ll go over the basics of what you’ll need to begin your training and start working in the operating room.
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Surgical Tech Basics
A Surgical Tech, also called a scrub tech, works alongside surgeons and registered nurses to ensure patients receive the best possible care during surgery. Surgical Techs are responsible for sterilizing the operating room, preparing the operating room for surgery, and helping to care for the patient before, during, and after surgery.
A surgical technologist, also called a scrub tech, is an allied health professional who works under the supervision of a licensed surgeon or registered nurse. Surgical techs are an integral part of the surgical team, and their primary responsibilities are to prepare the operating room for surgery and to sterilely outfit the surgeons and other members of the OR team.
In addition to their pre-operative duties, surgical technologists may also be responsible for maintaining sterile conditions in the operating room, passing instruments and other supplies to surgeons during procedures, and caring for patients before and after surgery. Some surgical techs may also be responsible for handling specimen specimens for laboratory analysis.
Education & Certification
To practice as a surgical technologist, also called a scrubs, scrub tech, surgical technician or operating room technician, you must complete a surgical technology program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Certification is voluntary but strongly encouraged and may be required by some employers.
There are more than 300 accredited surgical technologist programs in the United States, which typically last about nine months. These programs include classroom and laboratory instruction in sterile techniques, wound care and suturing, anesthesia and electrosurgical safety. Students also gain practical experience in operating rooms and other medical facilities.
Most surgical technologists are certified by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). To be eligible for certification, candidates must graduate from an accredited program and pass a national exam.
There are a few things you’ll need before you can begin your journey to becoming a surgical tech. Firstly, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Secondly, you’ll need to have completed a surgical technologist program that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
Health & Physical Prerequisites
To be a surgical technologist, you must first complete high school or earn a GED. After that, you must complete an accredited surgical technology program. These programs typically last about nine months to two years and award a certificate or associate’s degree upon completion.
There are also a few health and physical prerequisites you’ll need to meet in order to become a surgical tech. Most importantly, you must be physically healthy enough to stand for long periods of time, lift heavy objects, and maintain a high level of concentration. You should also have good vision, manual dexterity, and good hand-eye coordination.
Most surgical tech programs will require that you have a high school diploma or equivalent, although some may accept a GED. You will also need to have completed certain courses, typically including biology, chemistry and math.
You may be able to complete some of your prerequisite coursework at a community college or online, but not all programs will accept transfer credits. Check with your chosen program to find out their specific requirements.
The Surgical Tech Program
Surgical techs are an important part of the surgical team. They are responsible for ensuring that the operating room is ready for surgery and that the surgical instruments are sterile. They also assist the surgeon during the surgery. If you are interested in becoming a surgical tech, there are a few things you need to know.
Length of Program
Surgical technologists typically complete a 1-year accredited surgical technology program resulting in a certificate, diploma, or an associate’s degree. There are both formal and informal on-the-job training programs that last from several months to 1 year. Most community colleges, technical institutes, hospitals, and the military offer accredited surgical technology programs.
You’ll need to have a high school diploma or GED to enroll in a surgical technology program, which typically takes about nine months to a year to complete. During your studies, you’ll take classes such as human anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, infection control and pharmacology. You’ll also get plenty of hands-on experience in the laboratory and clinical rotations.
The Certification Exam
In order to become a surgical tech, you must first pass the certification exam. This exam will test your knowledge of the surgical field and will allow you to become a certified surgical tech.
Preparation for the exam begins with completing an accredited surgical technology program. ASCP-certified surgical technologists must have graduated from an accredited surgical technologist program or possess an equivalent combination of formal education and documented full-time work experience as a surgical technologist within the past 5 years.
After completing a surgical tech program, you can prepare for the certification exam by studying on your own or by attending a review course. Review courses are offered by several organizations, including the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) and the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST).
The Certification Exam
The NBSTSA offers the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) credential, which is recognized by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). To earn the CST credential, candidates must pass a written exam that covers infection control, patient care and safety, medical ethics, surgical procedures and equipment, and more.
The AST offers the Tech in Surgery-Certified (TS-C) credential. To earn the TS-C credential, candidates must pass a written exam that covers medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, patient care and safety, infection control, ethical concerns specific to surgical technology, Different types of surgery are covered in detail so that you will be familiar with each step of every type of surgery you may assist with. The written examination is followed by a skills demonstration in which you will be asked to perform specific tasks related to prepping a patient for surgery, handling instruments and setting up equipment.
The certification exam is a computer-based test consisting of 200 questions. The questions cover medical knowledge in the following content areas:
-Basic patient care
-Communication and documentation
You will have 3 hours to complete the exam.
A surgical tech, also known as a surgical technician or surgical technologist, is a medical professional who works closely with surgeons, nurses and other medical staff during surgical procedures. Surgical techs are an important part of the surgical team and play a vital role in ensuring that surgeries are performed safely and effectively. If you’re thinking about becoming a surgical tech, there are a few things you’ll need to do to get started.
Salary & Job Outlook
Surgical technologists, also called operating room technicians or scrub techs, prepare operating rooms for surgery. They arrange surgical equipment, make sure that it functions properly, and coordinate the entry of other medical personnel. They may help transport patients to the operating room and transfer them onto the operating table. During the surgery, they pass instruments and other supplies to the surgeon and surgical assistants.