How to Become a Surgical Tech

Those choosing to become a surgical tech are potentially looking at a very rewarding career, especially for those with the acumen for science and medicine. You will find yourself in the thick of things when it comes to helping surgeons perform their duties properly and will be part of a very important team when it comes to saving lives.

What Does a Surgical Tech Do?How to Become A Surgical Tech

A surgical tech, also known as a surgical technologist, is a trained professional with either a certification or associate’s degree from an accredited program. As a member of the surgical team, he or she is a valued member whose job starts before the surgery and ends well after it has been completed.

The technician helps set up the operating room and all of the equipment and instruments before the operation begins, and also makes sure all of the equipment is working properly and the room is disinfected and sterile. They are also responsible for preparing the patient for surgery by cleaning and positioning the sterile drapes.

During the surgery, surgical techs will hand the instruments and any supplies to the surgeon and first assistants. An experienced individual will anticipate what is needed at certain times and will be ready for anything that may pop-up during the operation. The technician will also be in charge of helping monitor vital signs and keeping a record of the operation and treatment.

After the surgery, you will find surgical techs restocking the operating room and cleaning and sterilizing the room and equipment for another day. They are also tasked with helping transport the patient to the recovery room. It is safe to say that they are probably some of the busiest members of the surgical team.

How to Choose the Right Program

Choosing the right school is largely a personal process that requires the student to have a firm understanding of his or her needs. Knowing how much time you can devote to schooling and how much can you afford for tuition. Finally, you have to decide whether or not you would like to attend one of the many fine and accredited online classes or attend a traditional on-campus program. If you find a surgical technology program can satisfy all of your personal needs in these areas, then it is certainly worthy of your consideration.

Becoming a Surgical Technician or Technologist

One of the first steps to becoming a surgical tech is finding an accredited surgical tech program for you to attend. You will find these programs in a number of different types of schools such as vo-tech, community colleges, traditional colleges and online schools. Just make sure that it has been accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Different types of accredited surgical tech programs may offer certificates or you may go for your associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree.

In order to enroll in an accredited surgical tech program, you will need to have at least a high school diploma or an equivalent degree. Some programs may have requirements such as an entrance exam or an interview. It is best to talk to the admissions department of any school or program you are interested in to find out what exactly they require for entrance.

Your education will be split up between classroom lessons and lab or clinical practicum. In the classroom you will going over an array of medically relevant topics such as physiology, medical terminology, medical ethics, chemistry, math, anatomy and patient care to name a few. This part of the program is teaching you the theories of medical practice that will be necessary not only for your exam but also for your practical experience working as a surgical tech.

A crucial component of any surgical tech training is the clinical work experience. Tech trainees enter clinics or hospitals as externs in order to gain hands-on work experience. Most programs have relationships with hospitals to make externships easier to acquire. They observe surgeons during operations and perform tech duties under the supervision of the surgeon.

This hand on work will help set the long term career future for surgical techs. A tech trainee will learn about tools and instruments used during an operation procedure as well as the proper sterilization techniques that help prevent infections. Students will learn the value of medications and drugs needed in the course of the surgery.

Taking the Certification Exam

After you graduate from the surgical tech program, you will need to take the certification exam that is administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) in order to work and hold the profession title of “certified surgical technologist”.

The exam consists of three areas; Perioperative Care, Additional Duties and Basic Science. Each of these topic areas are composed of questions based on recall, application and analysis. If you paid attention in class and in your externship, you should not run in too much trouble during this exam. However, it is advised that you try some practice tests and study so that you will be able to pass the exam without much worry. It is better to know the information rather than worry if you do know it.

After you have passed your exam and gained your new professional title of Certified Surgical Technologist. You will soon be making a difference in other people’s lives as a successful surgical tech. When you came to this page, you were wondering how you could become a surgical tech and now you have a greater understanding. Hopefully you will fully consider this profession as it is an important one with lots of opportunity.