This article examines surgical tech schools and job profile. Surgical technologists, are also referred to as surgical technicians, surgery techs or surgical techs. Surgical technicians are part of the allied health profession. They prepare operating rooms, arrange surgical equipment, and help during surgeries with specific tasks. They work under the direction of registered nurse, surgeons, and other surgical professionals. The role of a surgical technologist is to assist surgeons in the operating room (OR) during surgery and operations.
Surgical Technician Training and Education
There are now a variety of surgical technologist training programs available. At the outset you would require a high school diploma. Depending upon the course chosen, you may need to have excelled in subjects relating to math and biology.
In surgical tech schools, the course itself would involve topics such as anatomy, medical terminology, pharmacology, microbiology, psychology, physiology, professional ethics and surgical procedures. It is usually necessary for enrollees to complete a physical exam, a drug test, and to have gained their CPR certification. Other courses include:
- Surgical Technology Theory
- Medical Terminology
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Operating Room Procedures
- Clinical Rotations (Practicum)
To successfully graduate you must show competence in a variety of tasks that are essential in medical theatres. This can include the sterilization of equipment, understanding a surgeon’s requests for instruments, setting up and cleaning the operating room, as well as preparing patients ready for surgery.
Surgical tech schools training would usually involve hands on experience in a medical establishment so that theoretical knowledge can be put into practice. When considering which schools to apply to, it is of the utmost importance to identify programs that are accredited in full.
Accredited courses can be offered by junior and community colleges, technical and vocational schools, as well as certain universities. The duration of an accredited program can vary from nine months up to two years. Upon completion of training, graduates are eligible to sit an official certification test conducted by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.
Surgical technician certification is also offered through The National Healthcare Association (NHA) which offers the Certified Operating Room and Surgical Technician (CORST) certification as noted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Surgical Technician Careers
To find employment as a surgical technologist, it is essential to choose between the surgical technician schools now in existence. The role of a surgical technician, or technologist, involves working with a team of medical practitioners to offer specialized care to patients in an array of different settings. They are expected to work under professional supervision to bring about an affective and safe conduct of specific invasive procedures. Patient safety is at the forefront of the job profile.
There are in fact three distinct categories or roles that relate to surgical technicians, these are: scrub surgical technologists, circulating surgical technologists, and secondary assisting technologists. A scrub technologist would be in charge of equipment, supplies, and instruments that are required during surgical procedures. They need to be aware of and anticipate the needs of particular surgeons prior to an operation commencing.
A circulating technician would ensure the right equipment is available during the procedures that are taking place. They need to constantly assess the needs of the surgical team and the patient. A second assistant technician would be called upon to carry out various technical tasks as dictated by the surgeons performing the procedures.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Outlook
Data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggest that opportunities for surgical technicians are expected to grow by at least 19% between 2010 and 2020. The median annual wage of surgical technologists was $39,920 in 2010 with a range of $28,100 to $57,330 for the lowest and highest 10%. This is because it is believed that the number of medical procedures carried out in the country will rise as the population ages. Surgical tech schools are therefore an important part of the allied health profession.