For those interested in becoming a surgical technician or technologist, choosing the right surgical tech schools for training and certification in the field is vital. As the surgical tech field continues to see steady and consistent expansion, there are many programs to choose from, and more schools continue to add programs to their course offerings. To find the best program it is important to know what the prerequisites are, how long the program lasts, what the program courses cover, where each school is located, and which site would be the best on a personal level. Another important factor in choosing a school for training is the cost of attendance. With this information, the student will have an easier time determining which program is best for him.
What are the prerequisites for surgical tech schools?
It is suggested that the student have previous education and has completed course work in the subjects of health, biology, chemistry and mathematics. These will give the student a solid foundation to work with once they begin their surgical technician studies. Students who have focused on these subjects before have a better chance of understanding the material in the higher educational setting. Since most surgical technician programs require that the student have a high school diploma, general equivalency diploma or associate’s degree in the field of surgical technology, there is no requirement to complete a four-year undergraduate program. Certificate programs may be completed in several months to a year while associate’s degree programs will generally take two years.
It is important to understand that the nature of a surgical tech’s job requires that they be on their feet in an operating room for hours at a time. This means that they must have good physical stamina. Given the manner of their work, it is inevitable that they will be under a great deal of stress on a daily basis; therefore, it is important that the skill of stress management is well understood so that it can be used quickly when needed. The tech should also be detail-oriented. In this type of career, there is no room for mistakes. Last, the ability to deal with a crisis and stay calm is essential. Not every surgery will go perfectly and the surgical technician will need to maintain a level head while paying attention to instructions and acting quickly to mitigate any unnecessary complications.
How long is the training and what is covered?
It is common to complete the program within two years, but each school is different, and it is important to understand the requirements before making the decision to attend a specific program. With the multitude of surgical tech schools that can train a student in this field in a two-year or twenty-month program, there are options available for just about anyone interested in this field of study. Completing the course will provide the student with a degree in Human Services or Medical Assisting depending on the school attended. The length of the program should fit the student’s chosen time frame and this should be a factor in choosing the best school out of so many. Upon completion at an accredited school, the student earns a certificate level qualification.
During training coursework may include surgical procedures, pharmacology, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology. Additionally, in associate’s programs, the student must also complete general education and science requirements. As surgical technicians, this training teaches areas such as the care of safety of patients, important sterilization techniques as well as preventing and controlling infections. The training requires the student to gain clinical experience. They will first observe other certified surgical technicians during real procedures. As they continue to learn and their skills increase, they will begin operating equipment in certain settings such as emergency room situations. The program may also include a chance to practice specialized services such as dental, orthopedic and vascular.
Where to find the best programs and schools?
A key element of finding the ideal program is that it fits the student’s budget and schedule. Be prepared to know the time commitment that needs to be made and understand the exact type of desired training that will be given. Financial obligation is also an important factor and must be considered seriously before committing to a specific program or school. The best school does not always have the highest price tag. Some programs give access to remote learning solutions for class work and later is supplemented with clinical work. This not only helps those unable to attend a physical location for training, but lowers the cost to the student. The best school will be the one that combines these things in such a way as to ensure the student’s success.
Look for a school that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. This kind of accreditation is required for the graduate to take the national certification exam. It is this exam, which is equal to the Bar Exam and will allow the student to find paid work as a surgical technician.
Some of the best schools in the country are Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport; Montana Tech of the University of Montana in Butte; and University of Arkansas in Fort Smith. This is regards to the programs ratings, overall success and ability to provide specific training necessary to enter the job market.
What is the cost of surgical tech schools?
The variety of programs creates a wide range of costs for the training of a surgical tech. At a public university, the cost is less expensive with a range of $1,800 to $2,500, which includes the tuition, supplies, uniforms, books, and test fees. Other programs like adult education courses and trade schools range from $5,000 to $10,000 while private school prices at $22,000 and up. When looking into the price and the student’s financial situation, it is important that all the aspects discussed are covered. If they are, the chances of successfully transitioning from the classroom into the job market is high.