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Surgical Technician Schools and College Training Programs

Do you marvel at how far the medical profession has come over the years? Are you amazed at how surgeons can save lives on the operating table? Would you like to be a part of the team that assists a surgeon?  If so, you might want to look at becoming a surgical technologist.

Surgical Technologist Careers

Surgical technologists, also called surgical or operating room technicians, or scrubs, are part of an operating team that consists of doctors and nurses. The number of people in this team varies by the type of operation being performed. Sometimes, a number of technicians are used for different tasks. Some surgical technicians help doctors sterilize themselves before entering the operating room. Operating room technicians prepare the site of an operation, making sure all the necessary equipment is in place.

If you want to become a surgical technologist, you’ll need to spend some time in school. Many vocational schools and/or technical colleges offer surgical technologist associate degrees or certification programs. Most of these types of programs last no longer than two years. The benefit to earning this type of degree is that you’ll be able to enter the professional world immediately after graduation instead of spending more time earning advanced degrees.

As a surgical technologist, you may have to work some long hours. In addition, the operating room is definitely not for the faint of heart or stomach. The upside, of course, is that you’ll be able to help save lives. Surgical technologists are a vital part of a medical team, and so the pay can be very attractive compared to other medical technologists.

Educational and Training Requirements for Surgical Technologists

With the right training and proper certification, operating room technologists will have a definite advantage over other applicants.

In 2011 the Commission on Accreditation of Allied health education programs (CAAHEP) recognized 459 accredited programs throughout the country that offer training for surgical technologists. Programs are typically offered by community and junior colleges as well as Universities and Hospitals. Applicants usually need to have a high school diploma or its equivalent, with classes in math, biology and chemistry.

Typical courses include anatomy, physiology, microbiology, pharmacology and professional ethics. You’ll also take specialized course that deal with proper patient care and safety, sterile techniques and surgical procedures.

Certification for Surgical Technologists

Although certification may not be mandatory in all states, employers prefer to hire those with surgical technologist certification. Certification can be obtained from the Liaison Council on Certification after graduating from a CAAHEP accredited programs. After passing the exam you will receive the title of Certified Surgical Technologist (CST), which then must be updated every four years.

Certification is also available from the National Center for Competency Testing. After passing the exam, the title Tech in Surgery-Certified (TS-C) will be bestowed and thereafter must be renewed every five years by completing programs or reexamination.

Surgical Technologist Employment and Advancement Opportunities

With proper training and certification you’ll be ready to join and take advantage of the growing job opportunities in the operating room technologist field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of surgical technologists to grow much faster than average, at 25 percent between 2008 and 2018. As with other sectors in the health care industry, growth is driven by an increasing elderly population, particularly the aging baby boomers, who will need more medical care and procedures.

Career and Salary Prospects

The average salary for surgical technologists was $41,310 in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages vary with experience and education, the responsibilities of the position, the working hours, and the economy in the region where you work.

Additional Resources for Professionals Seeking Surgical Technology Schools:
Association of Surgical Technologists
Bureau of Labor Statistics profile, Surgical Technologists

Campus and Online Surgical Technology Schools

 
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San Joaquin Valley College

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Bakersfield
Programs:
  • Degree - Surgical Technology
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San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.


North-West College

[Campus]
Programs:
  • Surgical Technology
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Advanced College

[Campus]
Programs:
  • Associate of Science in Surgical Technology
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Platt College

[Campus]
Programs:
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Quick Summary: Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

Brightwood College

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Vista
Programs:
  • X-Ray Technician/Back Office Medical Assistant
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About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.


Jacksonville University

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Programs:
  • MS Health Informatics
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With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.


Capella University

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Programs:
  • MHA - Health Care Informatics
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Adelphi University

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Garden City
Programs:
  • Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics
Quick Summary: Adelphi University’s roots reach back to 1863 and the founding of the Adelphi Academy, a private preparatory school in Brooklyn, New York. The Academy was incorporated in 1869 and its Board of Trustees was charged with establishing a first class institution for the broadest and most thorough training, and to make its advantages as accessible as possible to the largest numbers of our population. The school quickly gained a reputation for its innovative curriculum, particularly in physical culture and early childhood education.

Logan University

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  • Master of Science - Health Informatics
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Logan is a non-profit university founded in 1935. Logan University has remained grounded in chiropractic education, while continuously enriching academic options with degree offerings in health sciences since 2012.


The University of Scranton

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Since 1888, The University of Scranton has grounded its education in Catholic and Jesuit principles based on intellectual growth and integrity, all of which shape the online master’s and certificate programs.


South University, Online Programs

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George Mason University

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  • Master of Science in Health Informatics
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Mason is committed to creating a more just, free and prosperous world. Located in one of the most important political, economic and intellectual hubs in the world, we accept our responsibility to serve others: to help our students succeed, enrich the life of our community, and contribute to solving some of the most complex global problems of our time.


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