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How to Become a Surgical Technician in Nebraska

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What is a Surgical Technician?

A surgical technician, also known as a surgical technologist, is a vital member of the operating room team. They assist surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare professionals during surgical procedures. Their responsibilities include preparing the operating room, sterilizing equipment, and assisting with surgical instruments and supplies.

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Where does a Surgical Technician work?

Surgical technicians can work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, outpatient surgical centers, and physician's offices. They are an integral part of the operating room team and work closely with surgeons and other healthcare professionals.

How to Become a Surgical Technician in Nebraska?

To become a Surgical Technician in Nebraska, one must first complete an accredited education program, typically a 1-year certificate or 2-year associate's degree. After graduation, individuals must obtain certification by passing the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam. With certification, they can then search for job opportunities to start their career and earn a competitive salary.

What are the requirements to become a Surgical Technician in Nebraska?

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

  • Education: Completion of 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 result in a diploma, certificate, or associate degree.

  • Legal Requirements: After completing an accredited surgical technology program, you must pass the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) to become a certified surgical technologist. Certification is not legally required in Nebraska, but many employers prefer certified individuals.

Exploring a Career in Surgical Technician Outside Nebraska

If you've been reading this article and aspire to become a Surgical Technician, but you reside in a different state, rest assured that achieving your goal is still within reach. You might consider exploring opportunities to become a Surgical Technician in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, South Carolina, or Wisconsin. Don't worry if you haven't found your location among these, because Dreambound makes it easier than ever to pursue your dreams regardless of your location by simplifying the process of finding and comparing Surgical Technician classes through a convenient search by zip code. With dedication and access to the right resources, you can confidently pursue a successful career in healthcare, no matter where you live.

How do I get my Surgical Technician certification?

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a surgical technician, one of the first steps you need to take is to obtain your certification. Certification is a crucial requirement for this occupation, as it ensures that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform the job effectively and safely.

To get your surgical technician certification, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Complete an Accredited Surgical Technology Program: The first step in obtaining your certification is to enroll in and complete an accredited surgical technology program. These programs can be found at community colleges, technical schools, and some hospitals. The program typically takes about 9-24 months to complete, depending on the level of education you choose (certificate, diploma, or associate's degree). During the program, you will learn about anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, surgical procedures, and sterile techniques.

  2. Gain Practical Experience: After completing your surgical technology program, most certification programs require you to gain practical experience in a clinical setting. This can be done through an externship or clinical rotation. During this time, you will work under the supervision of experienced surgical technicians, observing and assisting in surgical procedures.

  3. Apply for Certification: Once you have completed your education and gained practical experience, you can apply for certification. The most recognized certification for surgical technicians is the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) credential, which is offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). To apply for the CST exam, you need to submit an application, pay the exam fee, and provide proof of completion of an accredited program and practical experience.

  4. Pass the Certification Exam: After your application is approved, you will be eligible to take the CST exam. The exam is computer-based and consists of 175 multiple-choice questions. It covers various areas, including preoperative patient care, intraoperative procedures, and postoperative patient care. To pass the exam, you need to score at least 70%.

  5. Maintain Your Certification: Once you have obtained your surgical technician certification, you need to maintain it by meeting certain requirements. This typically includes completing continuing education credits and renewing your certification every few years. By doing so, you ensure that your knowledge and skills are up to date with the latest advancements in the field.

By following these steps, you can obtain your surgical technician certification and embark on a rewarding career in healthcare.

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How do I get a job as a Surgical Technician?

After obtaining your surgical technician certification, the next step is to find a job in the field. Surgical technicians play a vital role in the operating room, assisting surgeons and other healthcare professionals during surgical procedures. Here are some steps you can take to increase your chances of getting a job as a surgical technician:

  1. Update Your Resume: Start by updating your resume to highlight your education, certification, and any relevant experience you have gained during your clinical rotations or externships. Include any additional certifications, such as CPR or first aid, as well as any specialized skills or knowledge you have acquired.

  2. Network: Networking is an essential part of the job search process. Reach out to your instructors, classmates, and anyone else you know in the healthcare field to let them know you are looking for a job as a surgical technician. Attend career fairs and professional events to meet potential employers and make connections.

  3. Apply for Jobs: Search for surgical technician job openings in your area. Check online job boards, hospital websites, and healthcare staffing agencies for opportunities. Tailor your resume and cover letter to each job application, highlighting the skills and experience that make you a strong candidate.

  4. Prepare for Interviews: If you are invited for an interview, take the time to prepare. Research the hospital or healthcare facility where you are interviewing, familiarize yourself with their surgical department, and be ready to answer questions about your knowledge and experience. Practice common interview questions and prepare examples of how you have demonstrated important skills, such as teamwork and attention to detail.

  5. Consider Additional Certifications: While the CST certification is the most recognized credential for surgical technicians, there are other certifications that can help boost your resume and increase your job prospects. For example, the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offers the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) certification, which is an alternative to the CST credential. Additionally, some states may have their own certification requirements, so it is important to research what certifications are valued in your area.

  6. Gain Experience: If you are finding it challenging to secure a job as a surgical technician, consider gaining additional experience through volunteer work or part-time positions. This can help you build your resume and make valuable connections in the field. Additionally, continuing your education and obtaining additional certifications can also make you a more competitive candidate.

By following these steps and staying persistent in your job search, you can increase your chances of finding a job as a surgical technician.

Career Paths and Opportunities after Becoming a Surgical Technician

Once you have become a certified surgical technician, there are various career paths and opportunities available to you in the healthcare field. While many surgical technicians work in hospitals, there are also opportunities in outpatient surgical centers, physician offices, and specialty clinics. Here are some career paths you can consider:

  1. Specialize in a Surgical Specialty: As a surgical technician, you have the opportunity to specialize in a specific surgical specialty, such as orthopedics, neurosurgery, or cardiovascular surgery. Specializing in a specific area allows you to develop expertise in that field and may lead to more advanced job opportunities.

  2. Advance to a Lead or Senior Surgical Technician: With experience, you can advance to a lead or senior surgical technician position. In these roles, you may be responsible for supervising and training other surgical technicians, coordinating surgical procedures, and assisting in more complex surgeries.

  3. Pursue a Surgical First Assistant (SFA) Certification: If you are interested in taking on a more advanced role in the operating room, you can pursue a Surgical First Assistant (SFA) certification. SFAs work closely with surgeons, providing direct assistance during surgical procedures. This role requires additional education and training beyond the surgical technician certification.

  4. Become a Surgical Technology Educator: If you enjoy teaching and mentoring others, you can pursue a career as a surgical technology educator. This role involves teaching and training aspiring surgical technicians in educational institutions or clinical settings. To become an educator, you may need to obtain a higher level of education, such as a bachelor's or master's degree.

  5. Transition to Surgical Sales or Equipment Rep: Another career path you can consider is transitioning to surgical sales or working as a surgical equipment representative. In this role, you would use your knowledge and expertise to sell surgical instruments, equipment, or supplies to hospitals and surgical centers.

  6. Further Your Education: If you are interested in pursuing higher education, becoming a surgical technician can serve as a stepping stone to other healthcare careers. You can consider pursuing a degree in nursing, physician assistant studies, or surgical assisting, which would allow you to take on more advanced roles in patient care.

It is important to note that the career paths and opportunities available to you may vary depending on your location, education, and experience. It is always beneficial to stay updated with industry trends, network with professionals in the field, and continue your professional development to maximize your career opportunities.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a surgical technician is a rewarding career choice for individuals interested in working in the healthcare field. By obtaining your certification and gaining practical experience, you can enter a profession that plays a vital role in surgical procedures. Remember to update your resume, network with professionals, and apply for jobs to increase your chances of securing a position as a surgical technician. Once you have gained experience, there are various career paths and opportunities available to you, including specializing in a surgical specialty, advancing to a lead or senior position, pursuing a Surgical First Assistant certification, becoming a surgical technology educator, or transitioning to surgical sales. Regardless of the path you choose, continuous learning and professional development will help you excel in your career as a surgical technician.

Are you thinking about a job change or wanting to learn more about different career paths? Feel free to check out these additional articles:

Athena Kan
Written by
Athena Kan

Athena is Co-founder and CEO of Dreambound.

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