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Advantages of Online Surgical Tech Programs

If you find yourself asking what the advantages of online surgical tech programs are, then you have come to the right place. In this article we will be going over some the major benefits aspiring surgical tech students can find by going to a virtual classroom environment. Hopefully we will be able to help see the advantages of completing your surgical tech training online and make the right choice for you.

Saving Money with Online Surgical Tech Schools

advantages of online surgical training

Believe it or not, you will be able to save some money when studying in an online surgical tech school. Some of these savings include:

  • Lower tuition cost 
  • Reduction or elimination of activity fees
  • Using e-textbooks instead of traditional textbooks
  • Saving money on gas or public transportation
  • Possible lower housing and food costs

Scheduling Online Classes

Scheduling might be one of the most important advantages to online classes, especially to those that work full-time or have families. The ability to work in your studying and classes within your already busy life is a big bonus for a lot of people. No longer will you have to put all of your life on hold, miss important family commitments or leave your current job to go to school. All you have to do is set time aside to study.

Unlike a traditional school that you receive a rigid schedule, you will be able to attend your classes any time of the day. Think about it this way, you could take a class at lunch, after dinner or even after the family goes to bed at night. It is recommended that you set up you set up a schedule and follow it; you will find the flexibility to be a tremendous asset towards your education.

The Importance of Pacing Yourself

Another major advantage for taking online surgical tech programs is being able to study at your own pace. No longer are you required to follow the flow of the class no matter how difficult or easy the subject matter seems to be. You can spend some extra time on the parts that are giving your some issues and speed up a bit through the parts that you find simple.  With some dedication, you may be able to finish the program faster than a traditional school cutting your class time down by as much as a couple of months or so.

Your Location and Distance Learning Programs

For some, another big positive distance learning programs is that you will not have to relocate or commute to college. Instead, you can take your classes from almost anywhere in the world as long as you have a computer and an internet connection. This is particularly handy for those who live in remote areas or not close enough to an accredited surgical tech school or parents with small children. Even if you don’t live in a rural area or have children, you might just feel more comfortable studying at home or even poolside while on vacation.

Learning in an Online Surgical Tech Program

Online Surgical Tech Programs

Online surgical tech programs that have received the proper credentials from both the Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accreditation Review Committee on Education in Surgical Technology (ARC-ST) guarantee you will use the same curriculum as a traditional school. Part of your training will be an externship and you will find some online school will help you find a position the clinical practicum necessary to qualify to take your certification exam. It is important to find out if your selected program offers this placement opportunity.

As you can see, there are a lot of advantages to earning your surgical tech certification online. Saving time, money and being able to study from home are some pretty solid reasons.  It is something really for you to consider but the choice to take a distance learning class is really up to you and your lifestyle.

What Is A Surgical Tech?

What is a surgical tech?” you ask? They’re one of the most important people in the operating room!

Most patients are under the rather mistaken notion that it’s all up their surgeon to determine their fate. If things go very well, the patients shower the doctor with many praises high fives, thanks, and even gifts. Yes – the surgeons are the key players in any surgery. However, this is no one-man team.

Every surgery needs a team: the surgeon, residents, anesthesiologist, scrub nurses and of course, the surgical tech. If you don’t know much about them, you’re not alone. Even though they work in the operating room with the same, ultimate purpose of saving lives, rarely they are noticed.

what is a surgical techAlright, So What Is A Surgical Tech?

Technically speaking, a surgical tech (known also as a scrub tech or surgical technician) is an allied health professional that is also a member of the team in any surgery, at least in some countries. Although not recognized by some states, a surgical technician is actually just as important as the surgeon. His/her job is to try to anticipate the surgeon’s next move so the procedure goes by smoothly and according to plan.

Where Do They Work?

Aside from private and public hospitals, surgical techs are also hired by dentists, private clinics, insurance companies and other health-related institutions.

What Jobs Are They Expected To Do?

Usually, they start out with simple cases and progress to more complex ones. The tasks given to surgical technicians usually vary by country. For instance, in the United States, they can work as unlicensed personnel but only under supervision of a medical doctor or registered nurse. Again, their job is to make sure that the equipment is working properly and that the operating room is conducive for the patient’s safety. However, they can also handle tasks such as closing incisions and checking the patient’s charts.

Generally, surgical technicians are some of the busiest members of a surgical team. They have to be present before, during and after the surgery. Before any surgery, surgical techs have to check on the equipment, sterilize the tools to be used, and do additional checking of the operating room. Surgical techs are also the ones who fetch the patient from his/her room, position him/her on the operating table, and check the vital signs and chart. The surgical tech also helps the other team members put on their masks, gowns and gloves.

During the operation, the surgical tech has to remain focused since it is his job to pass instruments. After the procedure, the surgical tech makes sure everything is back to its rightful place in the operating room, ready for the next procedure.

How Do I Become A Surgical Technician?

Those who want to be a surgeon but never liked the long wait can opt to become a surgical tech instead. Surgical tech schools and even the military can offer you a diploma, certificate or even an Associate’s Degree within a span of 9-24 months. Among these, a certification is most important in the eyes of most employers.

The next time you undergo a procedure, remember to thank the surgical technician too! Just like surgeons, these surgical techs helped save your life.

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Surgical Tech Certification

surgical tech certificationEarning a surgical tech certification is an important first step for anyone who wishes to pursue a career in surgical technology. Surgical technicians and technologists are important members of the medical field, and receiving the proper education and training is critical to their success in the operating room.

Why Becoming Certified is Important

Surgical techs are responsible for preparing the operating room, sterilizing tools and keeping the surgical instruments ready for use at all times. The technician must know the correct instrument to hand the nurse or surgeon during each procedure, prepare the surgical incision site on the patient, and perform other tasks such as cutting sutures, cleaning the operating room, giving the correct sponge count, holding the retractors, and transferring specimens to the lab.

Because a technician is responsible for performing so many different duties, and is expected to be highly-proficient in each of them, holding a surgical tech certification is considered mandatory by many employers in the field. It is not, however, a compulsory requirement of the medical industry as a whole, so it is possible to work without being certified in some areas.

The official certifying agency for surgical techs is the NBSTSA, and recognition by this important body is required for any school that offers certification courses.

Earning a Surgical Tech Certification

In order for you to become a surgical tech, you must first complete a training course at a vocational school or technical college. The average surgical tech program lasts anywhere from 24 months for those wishing to earn an associate’s degree, to 9 months for those interested in acquiring a certificate. Many programs have prerequisites of a high school diploma and at least 450 hours of training at an accredited training institution.

The majority of surgical tech programs will include hands-on training in a clinical environment. This segment of the curriculum is generally considered to be the most important as it enables students to hone the actual skills needed in their jobs, and provides ample opportunity for networking with prospective future employers. It is important to note that online surgical tech programs generally do not include this element – meaning that the student is responsible for completing the required hours on his or her own time.

Of course, the final step in becoming a certified surgical technician is passing the certification exam. The exam is designed to screen students’ knowledge in three distinct areas of surgical technology: Perioperative Care, basic sciences and additional duties that will be required by most employers. The following graphic illustrates this test content.

Material Covered on the Certification Exam

surgical tech exam

Getting a Job After Graduation

Employers want to hire an individual with a formal education from an accredited school who has also passed the certification exam for surgical technologists. After you pass the certification exam, you will be well on your way to having a great career in the medical field. Some people will also obtain a TS-C, Tech in Surgery Certification, in order to increase their appeal to employers and provide themselves with higher salary potential as a surgical tech.

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