Surgical Technician

How to Become a Surgical Technician in North Carolina

htba_Surgical Technician_in_North Carolina

Want personalized recommendations?

Let's match you to the right program

Talk to Skipper

A Surgical Technician, also known as a surgical technologist, is an important member of the surgical team. They assist surgeons, nurses, and other medical professionals in the operating room. Here are some key points to know about becoming a Surgical Technician in North Carolina:

Article continues after recommendations

Recommended for you

What is a Surgical Technician?

A Surgical Technician is responsible for preparing the operating room and surgical instruments before a procedure. During surgery, they assist the surgical team by handing them instruments, holding organs or tissues in place, and ensuring the operating room remains sterile. They also help with patient positioning, wound closure, and post-operative clean-up.

Where does a Surgical Technician work?

Surgical Technicians can work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, outpatient surgical centers, and physician's offices. They may also find employment in specialty areas such as cardiovascular or orthopedic surgery.

How to Become a Surgical Technician in North Carolina?

To become a Surgical Technician in North Carolina, one must first complete an accredited education program, typically an associate's degree. Next, individuals must obtain certification by passing the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam. Once certified, they can search for job opportunities in hospitals, surgical centers, or other healthcare facilities, earning a competitive salary commensurate with their skills and experience.

What are the requirements to become a Surgical Technician in North Carolina?

To become a Surgical Technician in North Carolina, you will need to complete an accredited Surgical Technology program. These programs typically result in a diploma, certificate, or associate degree. It is important to ensure that the program you choose is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

In addition to education, North Carolina requires Surgical Technicians to be certified. Certification can be obtained through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) by passing the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam.

Exploring a Career in Surgical Technician Outside North Carolina

If you're aiming to pursue a career as a Surgical Technician but find yourself in a different state, remember, your goal is still within reach. You can explore opportunities to start your career as a Surgical Technician in places like California, Illinois, Nevada, Utah, or West Virginia. If these locations don't work for you, Dreambound simplifies the journey to becoming a Surgical Technician no matter where you live. By enabling you to find and compare Surgical Technician classes with a quick zip code search, Dreambound empowers you to move forward confidently towards a rewarding career in healthcare, regardless of your current location.

Get courses selected just for you

Try our powerful search engine

Try it now

Article continues after recommendations

More recommendations for you

How do I get my Surgical Technician certification?

If you're interested in pursuing a career as a surgical technician, you'll need to complete a certification program. This certification is necessary to gain the necessary knowledge and skills required to work in this field. Here are the steps you need to take to get your surgical technician certification:

  1. Research Certification Programs: Start by researching different certification programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). These organizations ensure that the program meets the necessary standards and provides quality education.

  2. Choose a Program: Once you have a list of accredited programs, choose the one that best fits your needs. Consider factors such as location, cost, program length, and curriculum. Look for programs that offer hands-on training and clinical experience, as this will be crucial for your future career.

  3. Complete Prerequisites: Before enrolling in a surgical technician program, you may need to complete certain prerequisites. Requirements vary by program, but common prerequisites include a high school diploma or GED, courses in biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology, and a criminal background check.

  4. Enroll in a Program: Once you have met the prerequisites, enroll in the surgical technician program of your choice. The program typically takes 9-24 months to complete, depending on whether you choose a certificate, diploma, or associate degree program. During this time, you will learn about surgical procedures, medical terminology, anatomy, infection control, and surgical technology.

  5. Complete Clinical Training: In addition to classroom instruction, you will also need to complete hands-on clinical training. This training provides you with real-world experience in a healthcare setting, such as a hospital or surgical center. It allows you to apply the knowledge and skills you have learned in a supervised environment.

  6. Pass the Certification Exam: After completing your program, you will be eligible to take the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam. This exam is administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). It tests your knowledge and skills in areas such as pre-operative preparation, intra-operative procedures, and post-operative care. Passing this exam is necessary to become a certified surgical technician.

  7. Maintain Certification: Once you have obtained your certification, you will need to maintain it by fulfilling continuing education requirements. This ensures that you stay updated on the latest advancements and best practices in surgical technology. Continuing education can be in the form of workshops, seminars, online courses, or conferences.

How do I get a job as a Surgical Technician?

After obtaining your surgical technician certification, you can start looking for a job in this field. Here are the steps you can take to increase your chances of landing a job as a surgical technician:

  1. Create a Resume: Start by creating a professional resume that highlights your education, certification, clinical experience, and any relevant skills or accomplishments. Tailor your resume to the specific job you are applying for, emphasizing your strengths and qualifications that align with the job requirements.

  2. Network: Networking is a valuable tool for finding job opportunities, especially in the healthcare industry. Attend professional conferences, join industry associations, and connect with other surgical technicians and healthcare professionals. Building relationships and making connections can lead to job leads and referrals.

  3. Apply for Jobs: Search for surgical technician job openings in hospitals, surgical centers, outpatient clinics, and other healthcare facilities. Check job boards, company websites, and professional associations for job listings. Submit your resume and a customized cover letter that highlights your qualifications and interest in the position.

  4. Prepare for Interviews: Once you start receiving interview invitations, take the time to prepare for them. Research the organization, familiarize yourself with common interview questions, and practice your responses. Be prepared to discuss your education, clinical experience, and how you handle challenging situations in the operating room.

  5. Ace the Interview: During the interview, make a positive impression by dressing professionally, arriving on time, and demonstrating good communication skills. Be confident, enthusiastic, and show a genuine interest in the position. Highlight your relevant experience, teamwork abilities, attention to detail, and commitment to patient care.

  6. Follow Up: After the interview, send a thank-you note or email to the interviewer(s) to express your appreciation for their time and consideration. This simple gesture can leave a lasting impression and set you apart from other candidates.

  7. Consider Additional Certifications: While not required, obtaining additional certifications can enhance your job prospects and open up more career opportunities. For example, you can pursue certifications in surgical first assisting or sterile processing. These certifications demonstrate your commitment to professional growth and can make you a more competitive candidate.

Career Paths and Opportunities after Becoming a Surgical Technician

As a surgical technician, you have various career paths and opportunities for growth. Here are some potential career paths you can consider:

  1. Surgical Technologist: The most common career path for surgical technicians is to work as a surgical technologist in a hospital, surgical center, or outpatient clinic. Surgical technologists assist surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare professionals during surgical procedures. They prepare the operating room, sterilize and set up surgical instruments, and ensure that all necessary equipment is in place. They also assist in patient positioning and perform other tasks as directed by the surgical team.

  2. Surgical First Assistant: With additional education and experience, you can become a surgical first assistant. In this role, you work alongside the surgeon, providing direct assistance during surgical procedures. You may be responsible for tasks such as suturing, clamping blood vessels, and holding retractors. Becoming a surgical first assistant typically requires additional certification and training.

  3. Sterile Processing Technician: Another career path you can pursue is becoming a sterile processing technician. Sterile processing technicians are responsible for cleaning, sterilizing, and maintaining surgical instruments and equipment. They ensure that all instruments are properly processed and ready for use in surgical procedures. This role is critical in preventing infections and ensuring patient safety.

  4. Sales Representative: Some surgical technicians choose to transition into sales roles for medical device companies. As a sales representative, you would educate healthcare professionals about new surgical instruments, equipment, or technologies. This role requires a deep understanding of surgical procedures and the ability to effectively communicate with healthcare professionals.

  5. Educator or Instructor: If you have a passion for teaching, you can pursue a career as an educator or instructor in a surgical technology program. This role involves teaching students the necessary knowledge and skills to become surgical technicians. It may require additional education or certification in education or instructional design.

  6. Perioperative Nurse: With additional education and training, you can become a perioperative nurse. Perioperative nurses work in the operating room and assist with surgical procedures. They provide direct patient care, monitor vital signs, administer medications, and collaborate with the surgical team. This career path requires additional education and licensure as a registered nurse (RN).

Final Thoughts

Becoming a certified surgical technician opens up a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. By completing a certification program, gaining hands-on experience, and passing the certification exam, you can enter the field and start working alongside surgeons and other healthcare professionals.

Once you have obtained your certification, you can use various strategies such as networking, tailoring your resume, and preparing for interviews to secure a job as a surgical technician. Consider additional certifications and explore different career paths to further enhance your skills and advance your career.

Remember that the field of surgical technology is constantly evolving, and it's essential to stay updated on the latest advancements and best practices. Continuing education and professional growth are key to maintaining your certification and staying competitive in the field.

By following these steps and being dedicated to your professional development, you can embark on a successful and fulfilling career as a surgical technician.

Dreambound offers a window into various career paths, so if you're considering a shift in your career, browse through these articles:

Athena Kan
Written by
Athena Kan

Athena is Co-founder and CEO of Dreambound.

Share this post: