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How Long Does It Take To Become a Surgical Technician?

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Are you curious about the fascinating world of surgery and the people who make it all happen? Meet surgical technicians, the skilled individuals who play a crucial role in keeping patients safe during surgical procedures. If you want to learn more about what surgical technicians do, what it takes to become one, and gain some information about surgical technician salary, this guide is a great place to start. You can also explore classes near you to begin your journey into this exciting field. Whether you're thinking about a career in this field or just want to know more, let's take that first step together!

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What is a Surgical Technician?

Surgical Technicians (STs), also known as operating room technicians, are essential surgical team members. Their main job is to keep everything running during surgeries. They work with surgeons and other experts, providing crucial help throughout the procedure. Before surgery, STs set up the operating room (OR) and ensure the equipment is ready.

If you want to dig deeper into this exciting career, check out our informative article on what a surgical technician does. It'll give you the inside scoop on this fascinating profession! And, if you're keen on discovering the earning potential in this profession, we've got you covered. Explore our informative article about the surgical technician salary to get the lowdown on the compensation aspects of this rewarding field!

What does a Surgical Technician do?

Since STs work as part of the surgical team. You contribute to successful surgeries and ensure the well-being of patients. Your role involves various tasks before, during, and after surgeries. Your tasks include:

  • Preparing the operating room: Ensure the operating room is set up and ready for the procedure.

  • Patient preparation: Preparing patients for surgery by positioning and draping them.

  • Assisting Surgeons: Assist in donning surgical attire for the attending surgeon. During surgeries, STs provide support to the team and maintain a smooth flow of the operation.

  • Managing Specimen: Collect specimens in a sterile cup during the surgery.

  • Post-operative duties: Clean the operating room. STs also assist in restocking supplies and preparing the room for the following procedure. 

  • Communication and Documentation: Keeping clear and accurate records of the surgery. This will ensure everyone involved in the patient's care is on the same page and can provide the best possible treatment.

How long does it take to become a Surgical Technician?

The timeframe to become an ST depends on the path you choose. The duration of the training program can vary depending on the program structure. There are two main routes to becoming an ST. Here's a breakdown of the time it takes to complete each program:

  1. Certificate Programs: Usually lasts around 9 to 12 months. They focus on surgical technology coursework and practical training to get certified.
  2. Associate Degree programs: It takes about two years to finish. These offer a broader education, including general education courses besides surgical technology-specific coursework.

After completing the training, you can take the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) is the most common certifying body providing this. The certification requirements vary by state, so it's best to check your state's specific regulations.

Where can I find Surgical Technician certification classes?

If you're all set to kickstart your career as an ST, the first step is to find a good training program. The best part is that many of these training providers are flexible. You can find programs with schedules that fit your life. Plus, they offer different learning formats, like in-person classes or hybrid, so you can pick what suits you best.

At Dreambound, we've got you covered with many healthcare certification classes. It's simple to pick a training program that works for your availability and location. No need to stress about recognition and payments — our partner schools are all state-recognized and offer flexible payment options to make things easy. So, why wait? Start your journey with us now!

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Is a surgical technologist the same as a surgical technician?

A surgical technologist and a surgical technician have the same job.  People use both terms to describe professionals who help in the operating room. Some places call them "surgical technologists," while others prefer "surgical technicians." However, the job responsibilities and requirements are usually the same for both roles. The specific title can vary depending on the hospital or area.

Though surgical technicians and surgical technologists are alike, it's crucial to understand the difference between them and surgical assistants.  A surgical assistant, also known as a first assistant, has a more advanced position and needs extra training. They usually work with surgeons in hospitals and clinics. They are often nurses, nurse practitioners, or skilled surgical technicians. This job requires specific training and approved certifications beyond regular surgical technician duties.‍

Surgical Technician Salary

The average salary for surgical technicians was $55,960 per year as of May 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, it's important to understand that this figure can vary based on several factors such as location, experience, and employer. While this median wage provides a useful benchmark, individual circumstances and additional qualifications may influence earning potential within this profession. Gainful experience and pursuing opportunities for career advancement can further enhance salary prospects in the field of surgical technology.

Final Thoughts

Throughout this blog post, you've learned that becoming an ST takes real dedication, time, and effort.  While the timeline may vary depending on your path, the rewards are worth the investment. Embrace the learning process, seek hands-on experiences, and stay committed to your goal. It's time to take that first step with confidence and determination. Go on, take the plunge! Your dream of becoming an ST is waiting for you.

Explore Dreambound's in-depth guides, each shedding light on the unique requirements and challenges in cities across the US. For more insights about this career, be sure to check out our other guides.

Thinking about making a big change in your career path? It's important to be well-informed before starting off on your journey. Dreambound has written hundreds of in-depth guides to help. Explore some of these resources below.

Joanna Paragas
Written by
Joanna Paragas

Joanna Paragas is part of the Growth team at Dreambound. Her primary role involves creating various automation to streamline workflows and make tasks more efficient for the entire team. Beyond her professional endeavors, Joanna enjoys spending her free time playing with her dogs and enhancing her knowledge by enrolling in online courses.

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