Surgical technologists study sterile techniques, human anatomy, and therapeutic and diagnostic surgical procedures, as well as their theory and application.
Before surgery, operating rooms must be thoroughly prepared. This involves sanitizing surfaces and ensuring that all necessary devices are available. A surgical tech is in charge of this crucial duty. Surgical technologists serve as a surgeon’s right hand as well as an extra pair of hands when necessary.
A surgical technologist’s duty is distinct from that of a similar-sounding occupation, surgical technician.
What Does a Surgical Technologist Program Cost?
The cost of the program varies depending on the school. According to EducationData.org, associate degree students who attend in-state public schools pay an average of $3,370 a year in tuition. Students at private institutions spend significantly more.
Additional costs, such as lab fees, should be factored into prospective registrants’ budgets. Drug screenings and criminal background checks are among the additional expenditures. Some programs require students to purchase professional organization memberships.
Scholarships and grants can help students lower their out-of-pocket expenses. The eligibility requirements and deadlines for each award are different. They should also fill out the FAFSA to see whether they qualify for any federal grants or loans.
What Do Surgical Technologists Get Paid?
According to the BLS, surgical technologists earn a median yearly pay of $49,710. This is nearly $8,000 more than the US median wage for all occupations. According to BLS data, Alaskans, Nevadans, and Californians earn significantly more than their counterparts in other states. Professionals in these states, on the other hand, have a higher cost of living.
Surgical technicians with an associate’s degree earn more than those with merely a high school education or certificate. Professional certificates can help professionals boost their earning potential. Candidates who meet the requirements are certified by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).
List of Surgical Technology Programs
Surgical tech schools teach students how to operate equipment, sterilize tools, and collaborate with other healthcare professionals. A comprehensive core curriculum prepares students for a variety of jobs. Laser technologists and private surgical technologists are two options for graduates. Students take general education classes to enhance communication and analytical skills that can be transferred.
The three courses that follow provide foundational knowledge to students. Students apply what they learn in these classes on clinical rotations and throughout their careers. It’s important to remember that not all schools use the same curriculum. Students may inquire about program offerings at their preferred schools.
Hospital operations, healthcare careers, and patient rights are all covered in this introductory course. Surgical technicians’ tasks in operating rooms are also covered in assignments. Students learn about optimal practices in sanitation, patient engagement, and cooperation. Students also learn how to work with special needs patients. At least two theory courses are required by top surgical technology institutions.
Students develop their surgical theory knowledge. Sanitation techniques, such as recognizing contamination hazards, are covered in the curriculum. Students get hands-on experience with various surgical instruments and learn their names. Pre- and post-operative procedures and routines are emphasized in the coursework. During their clinical rotations, students master these skills.
Practicum in Surgical Technology
Surgical technology programs call for two to three surgical technology practicums. These experiences are completed in hospitals by the students. Sterilization of operating rooms and equipment is done by students under the supervision of experienced surgical techs. Supervisors provide feedback to employees. In the second or third practicum, students take on more responsibilities. Mastering standard job responsibilities and networking with potential employers are two of the many advantages.
List of Surgical Technology Programs
Pennsylvania College of Technology
Penn Institution, a Williamsport-based applied technology college, offering associate and bachelor’s degrees in technical education. The associate of applied science in surgical technology program prepares students to work in an operating room as part of a team, providing care before, during, and after surgeries. The program delves into surgical methods, protocols, and speciality instrumentation, preparing graduates for positions in hospitals, surgery centers, and physician’s offices.
Foundations, perspectives, and specialization are all covered in the surgical tech program. Basic abilities in communication, speaking, and information technology are developed in foundation courses, whereas perspectives courses cover general health science topics such as human anatomy and microbiology. Courses on pathology and disease, pharmacology, and surgical technology practice are included in the specialization section, which creates comprehensive surgical tech expertise.
Penn College places a strong emphasis on hands-on learning. Surgical technology students must complete at least 700 hours of hands-on training, including 200 hours in the lab and 500 hours in the clinic.
University of Alvernia
Alvernia University, a Catholic liberal arts institution in Reading, Pennsylvania, has partnered with Reading Hospital’s School of Health Sciences to offer a dual-enrollment surgical tech program. Candidates can acquire an associate of science in surgical technology by taking classes at Alvernia University and completing clinical practice hours at Reading Hospital. The majority of candidates finish the program in 20 months.
A 44-credit surgical technology portion plus a 30-credit liberal arts core make up the 74-credit curriculum. Human anatomy and physiology, surgical technology foundations, patient care introduction, and medical moral theology are all common courses. Graduates of the program receive an associate of science in addition to a surgical technology diploma.
The surgical technology program at Alvernia has tiny class numbers, with a faculty-to-student ratio of just one to five. Candidates complete a variety of clinical experiences in professional healthcare settings, honing surgical practice abilities. Graduates can continue their education at Alvernia University with a bachelor’s degree in healthcare science or administration.
Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
PA College, based in Lancaster, offers one of Pennsylvania’s best surgical technology programs. The associate of science in surgical technology program at the institution provides students with a broad range of abilities through hands-on learning experiences such as sophisticated simulations and clinical labs. Students will be prepared for surgical assistant employment in general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, and neurosurgery, among other acute care settings.
The 65-credit curriculum takes two years to finish on average. Medical terminology, perioperative services, intraoperative patient care, and surgical methods and pathophysiology are all common courses. Candidates must enroll in courses during the autumn, spring, and summer semesters in order to graduate in two years. The academic load is less during the summer semester.
The surgical technology program prepares students for the surgical technology certification exam, and graduates have a 90% pass rate. In addition, recent graduates report a 100% job placement rate within six months of graduation.
Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health
NMC serves both undergraduate and graduate students from its Omaha campus, which is a center for healthcare education in Nebraska. The institution has one of the best surgical technology programs in the state, preparing students to work alongside surgeons and play key roles in the operating room. During the final semester, candidates are prepared to take the certified surgical technology national exam.
All candidates must earn a total of 66 credits, which are split evenly between core and mandatory surgical tech courses. Microbiology, language and culture in healthcare, medical law and ethics, and medical terminology are only a few of the topics covered in the core. Surgical apparatus and equipment, surgical techniques, and surgical technologies are among the topics covered in the necessary portion.
In 22 months, candidates can finish the surgical tech program. For those interested in continuing their study, NMC offers a seamless transfer into its bachelor of science in health science program.
Washburn University is a public university in Washburn, Kansas
WU, which is located in Topeka, Kansas, is one of the best surgical technology schools in the state. The surgical technology certificate from WU teaches the fundamental skills required to maintain operating rooms and support doctors during a variety of surgical operations. Candidates will be prepared to take the certified surgical technologist national test after completing the program.
The surgical tech credential has a total of 47 credits spread out over 13 courses. Surgical medical terminology, surgical procedures, pharmacology, and surgical technology concepts and practices are among the topics covered in the program. The curriculum comes to a close with a surgical technology certification refresher course that provides a thorough understanding of important surgical principles and practices.
Each year, the program begins in August and lasts around one year. Applicants must have a high school diploma or a GED, as well as pass the WU admission assessment exam with adequate math and reading scores. Surgical techs must also submit three letters of recommendation, one of which should be from a healthcare practitioner.
The Great Plains Technology Center
Great Plains Technology Center, a vocational and technology education center with offices in Frederick and Lawton, operates campuses throughout Oklahoma. The surgical tech curriculum at the institution prepares students to handle instruments and assist surgeons during a wide range of medical operations. The curriculum trains graduates to be competent members of surgery teams by combining classroom education, clinical experience, and laboratory practice.
Candidates must complete a total of 1,185 hours of instruction, with 555 hours of theory and 630 hours of lab or clinical work. Core medical terminology, microbiology and wound healing, disaster and emergency planning, surgical case management, and surgical patient care are examples of typical courses.
All candidates must complete a three-part surgical tech practicum in a healthcare setting to gain hands-on experience. The practicum emphasizes core surgical procedures and includes both observation and practice.
Mount Aloysius College
MAC is a private Christian college in Cresson, Pennsylvania, that is affiliated with the Sisters of Mercy. The school has one of the best surgical technology programs in the state, educating students for the speed and complexity of today’s operating rooms. The associate of science in surgical technology program at MAC has a low student-to-faculty ratio and a job placement rate of 100 percent for recent graduates.
Candidates must finish 23 credits of surgical tech major courses, which cover important topics such basic patient care, aseptic technique, surgical techniques, instruments, and equipment. A total of 11 credits of foundation courses are included in the program, which cover anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and medical terminology.
It usually takes two years to complete the program. The first year is dedicated to theoretical principles and simulated lab exercises, while the second year is dedicated to clinical practice, allowing students to participate in real-life clinical surgical procedures.
What are the Benefits of Becoming a Surgical Technologist?
You may get started on your career right away. Before you can start working in your career, you may need to take years of classes and internships. Surgical technologists, on the other hand, can complete their training in 12 to 24 months.
Less time in education equals less debt.
You can avoid taking up large loans that eat away at your wages because you don’t have to commit to four to six years of education.
This position is in high demand. Surgical technologists are in high demand. 109,700 surgical technologist jobs were available in the United States in 2020. An additional 9,500 jobs are expected to become available by 2030.
There are numerous job openings.
The majority of surgical technologists work in hospitals, and almost every hospital has surgeons who use their assistance to execute surgeries. California, with 9,140 surgical technologists, had the second greatest number of jobs in May 2020.
Employers are on the lookout for you.
Good surgical technicians are in high demand. Some surgical technologists are hired before they complete their studies.
Utilize cutting-edge technology.
Robotic surgical procedure training, as well as fiber optics and laser technology, are available in some surgical technician programs. You can be on the cutting edge of new surgical methods as a surgical technologist.
You’ll be working as part of a group.
Build excellent professional relationships while working side by side with medical professionals. You’ll be expected to keep your operating room safe and efficient.
Every day, you’ll make a difference in people’s lives. You’ll be part of a team that improves the quality of patients’ lives, not only preventing infections and preparing patients.