The health care field is certainly one that offers a wide variety of career options, as well as longevity. Those that are interested in a career in the health care industry can choose from a variety of specialist areas. One such area is working as a surgical tech. In order to become a surgical technician, you must complete training requirements, as well as becoming certified and maintaining certification. The training typically takes place at trade schools or community colleges. It’s important to learn about to obtain surgical tech certification before you embark on this career.
Surgical techs are vital to the operation of the operating room. They help prepare the rooms for surgery, and also prepare patients for surgery. Surgical technologists set up the rooms with everything that the surgeon will need during surgery. As they put together and assemble the surgical equipment, surgical techs ensure that it’s sterilized and in perfect operating order. In addition, they might assist with diagnostic equipment. Surgical techs are under direct supervision by surgeons and nurses.
Surgical technologists may also help prepare the patients. This can mean everything from taking patients back to surgery, disinfecting the incision area, helping to put on hospital gowns, and take vital signs. Surgical techs may also maintain patient charts before, during, and after surgery.
During the surgery, surgical techs hold tools such as retractors and pass surgery instruments to the surgeon. They help manage the equipment needed during surgery, and process any items that will need to be analyzed in a laboratory later on. Once surgery is over, the surgery tech will help apply any dressings to incision sites, assist with anesthesia, transfer patients into the recovery area, and monitoring patients post-surgery. After surgery, techs are often responsible for restocking all equipment and items in the operating room. While exact duties will vary, all of these fall into the surgery tech arena.
Most surgical technicians work at hospitals. Other career options include employment in outpatient surgery or surgical centers. Some surgical technicians can specialize in one area, such as cardiology, and work in that particular area. Specialization required that the surgical tech is certified. Surgical technologists may also decide to work outside of the patient care realm. This can mean working with sterile supply services for hospitals or perhaps for insurance companies.
The Importance of Surgical Tech Certification
Obtaining certification, as well as training, is a crucial part of embarking on a career as a surgical technician. While it may be possible to become hired as a surgical tech without being certified, it’s far less likely. It also means that you are less likely to advance in your career. The AS, Association of Surgical Technologists, highly recommends that all surgical technicians become certified.
The reason that certification is recommended is that it shows commitment to the field. You meet the standards of the field and employers see that right away. Not to mention that is results in higher initial pay and also higher pay as you become promoted. When employers are evaluating potential employees side by side, the one that has taken the time to become certified is always going to be a more attractive option.
Because certification is voluntary, the choice to become certified exhibits pride in the profession, an interest in professional growth, the desire to be recognized for mastery of scientific principles, as well as an ongoing commitment to quality. Once you become certified, you are able to use the initials CST after your title. Being able to put that after your title instantly means a salary bump.
Another benefit of becoming certified is that it’s possible to become a first assistant. This also leads to to increased salary and also responsibilities. Some duties of the first assistant include suturing and cauterizing wounds.
Agencies that Certify Surgical Techs
In order to get surgical tech certification, you must receive training in an accredited program. The national agency that certifies surgical technologists is the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Another agency that certifies surgical techs is the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). After passing the exam you are officially a certified surgical tech. While you will have learned what you need during your training, studying for the exam is beneficial.
How Long is it Valid?
Once you obtain surgical tech certification, it is valid for four years’ time.There are two different ways to renew your of a surgical tech certification. The options are to completing continue education credits or take the examination again.
In order to keep a continual and active certification, you must complete 60 hours of continuing education in surgical technology. This must be an accredited continuing education program. If you are currently employed, this is the option that you should choose. To ensure that you don’t have to take the test again, complete these credits a year before it expires. Make sure that the credits are on file for at least 6 months before it expires so that they are on file and you don’t have to worry about issues at the last-minute.
If you are not currently employed as a surgical technician and have let the certification lapse, it is still possible to become certified. As long as you have already completed the accredited training, simply retake the certifying exam. Becoming certified will really help those that have been out of the field and want to jump back in. It will make you more valuable to employers.
The field of surgical technology is one that is advancing fairly rapidly. There will always be people that need surgery. An ever-growing population means that there is job security in the field. If you have an interest in the health sciences field, this might be an option for you. Learning how to become certified as a surgery technician will be useful for you if you want to become an expert in the field and an asset to an employer.