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How to Become a Surgical Technician in Illinois

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What is a Surgical Technician?

A surgical technician, also known as a surgical technologist, is a healthcare professional who assists surgeons during surgical procedures. They are responsible for preparing the operating room, sterilizing equipment, and ensuring that all necessary instruments are available. During surgeries, they assist the surgeon by passing instruments and supplies, handling specimens, and maintaining a sterile environment.

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Where Does a Surgical Technician Work?

Surgical technicians can work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, outpatient surgical centers, and physicians' offices. They may also find employment in dental offices, ambulatory surgical centers, and other healthcare facilities that perform surgical procedures.

Requirements to Become a Surgical Technician in Illinois

To become a surgical technician in Illinois, you must meet certain education and legal requirements. These include:

  1. Education: You must complete a surgical technology program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). These programs typically last 9-24 months and include classroom instruction as well as hands-on clinical experience.

  2. Certification: While certification is not legally required in Illinois, most employers prefer to hire certified surgical technicians. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) offers the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) credential, which can be obtained by passing an exam.

  3. Legal Requirements: In Illinois, surgical technicians are not required to obtain a state license. However, they must work under the supervision of a licensed physician or surgeon.

Where Can I Find Surgical Technician Classes in Illinois?

If you're interested in pursuing a career as a surgical technician in Illinois, Dreambound is the largest platform for students to find and compare vocational training programs. They offer a comprehensive list of surgical technician classes in Illinois, including options in Chicago. You can find more information and search for programs near you on their website: Dreambound.

Dreambound can help you find classes near you by providing a user-friendly search feature that allows you to filter programs based on location, accreditation, and other criteria. They also provide detailed program profiles, reviews, and ratings to help you make an informed decision about your education and training. To find surgical technician classes in Chicago, Illinois, you can visit their page specifically for Surgical Technician Training in Chicago, IL.

Remember, pursuing a career as a surgical technician requires dedication, commitment, and the right education. By utilizing resources like Dreambound, you can find the best training programs in Illinois to help you achieve your goals.

How do I get my Surgical Technician certification?

Becoming a certified surgical technician is an important step in starting your career in the medical field. It demonstrates your competence and knowledge in assisting surgeons during surgical procedures. In order to obtain your surgical technician certification, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Research and Choose an Accredited Program: The first step is to research and choose an accredited surgical technician program. Accreditation ensures that the program meets the necessary standards and will provide you with the knowledge and skills required for the certification. Look for programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

  2. Complete the Required Education: Once you have chosen a program, you need to complete the required education. Most surgical technician programs can be completed in 9 to 24 months, depending on whether you choose a certificate, diploma, or associate degree program. The program will include both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experience.

  3. Apply for and Pass the Certification Exam: After completing your education, you will need to apply for the certification exam. The Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam is administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions and covers various topics, including anatomy and physiology, surgical procedures, and patient care. To pass the exam, you need to score at least 70%.

  4. Maintain Your Certification: Once you have passed the certification exam, you will need to maintain your certification by meeting certain requirements. You will need to renew your certification every four years and complete continuing education credits. This ensures that you stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and practices in surgical technology.

By following these steps, you can obtain your surgical technician certification and start your career in this rewarding field.

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How do I get a job as a Surgical Technician?

Once you have obtained your surgical technician certification, the next step is to find a job in the field. Here are some steps you can take to increase your chances of getting hired as a surgical technician:

  1. Update Your Resume: Start by updating your resume to highlight your education, certification, and any relevant experience. Include any clinical rotations or internships you completed during your surgical technician program. Also, mention any additional certifications or specialized training you have completed.

  2. Network: Networking is an important part of finding a job in any field. Reach out to your instructors, classmates, and other professionals in the healthcare industry to let them know you are looking for a job. Attend job fairs and industry events to meet potential employers and make connections.

  3. Apply for Jobs: Look for job openings at hospitals, surgical centers, and other healthcare facilities. Check job boards, company websites, and professional organizations for job listings. Tailor your resume and cover letter to each job you apply for, highlighting your relevant skills and experience.

  4. Prepare for Interviews: Once you start getting interview requests, take the time to prepare. Research the company and the specific role you are applying for. Practice answering common interview questions and prepare examples of how you have demonstrated the required skills in the past. Dress professionally and arrive on time for the interview.

  5. Continuing Education: To stand out from other candidates and increase your chances of getting hired, consider continuing your education. Take additional courses or workshops to expand your knowledge and skills in specific areas. This will demonstrate your commitment to your profession and make you a more attractive candidate to potential employers.

By following these steps and putting in the effort, you can increase your chances of getting a job as a surgical technician.

Career Paths and Opportunities after Becoming a Surgical Technician

Becoming a surgical technician opens up various career paths and opportunities within the healthcare industry. Here are some potential career paths you can explore after obtaining your surgical technician certification:

  1. Operating Room Technician: Many surgical technicians work directly in the operating room, assisting surgeons during surgical procedures. As an operating room technician, you will prepare the operating room, sterilize surgical instruments, and assist with patient care. You will also be responsible for maintaining a sterile environment and ensuring the safety of the patient.

  2. Surgical Technologist Educator: If you enjoy teaching and sharing your knowledge with others, you can pursue a career as a surgical technologist educator. In this role, you will teach and train aspiring surgical technicians. You will develop curriculum, create lesson plans, and provide hands-on training in the classroom and clinical settings.

  3. Surgical Sales Representative: Another career path you can consider is becoming a surgical sales representative. In this role, you will work for medical device companies, selling surgical instruments and equipment to hospitals and surgical centers. You will need a deep understanding of surgical procedures and the ability to effectively communicate the benefits of the products you are selling.

  4. Surgical First Assistant: With additional training and experience, you can become a surgical first assistant. In this role, you will work directly alongside the surgeon, providing assistance during surgical procedures. You will have more responsibilities, such as suturing wounds, controlling bleeding, and ensuring the patient's safety.

  5. Travel Surgical Technician: If you enjoy traveling and experiencing new environments, you can become a travel surgical technician. Travel surgical technicians work on short-term assignments at different healthcare facilities across the country. This allows you to gain experience in different settings and work with a variety of surgical teams.

These are just a few examples of the career paths and opportunities available to surgical technicians. The field of surgical technology is constantly evolving, and there are always new opportunities emerging. By continuing your education and staying up-to-date with the latest advancements, you can open up even more career possibilities.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a certified surgical technician is an excellent career choice for those interested in the medical field. It offers a rewarding and challenging work environment, with plenty of opportunities for growth and advancement. By following the steps to obtain your certification, networking, and staying up-to-date with the latest advancements, you can increase your chances of finding a job and building a successful career as a surgical technician.

Whether you choose to work directly in the operating room, become an educator, or explore other career paths, the skills and knowledge you gain as a surgical technician will be valuable throughout your career. So, take the first step today and start your journey towards becoming a certified surgical technician.

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

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Athena Kan
Written by
Athena Kan

Athena is Co-founder and CEO of Dreambound.

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