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How to Become a Surgical Technician in Oklahoma

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What is a Surgical Technician?

A surgical technician, also known as a surgical technologist, plays a crucial role in the operating room. They assist surgeons, nurses, and other medical professionals during surgical procedures. Their responsibilities include preparing the operating room, sterilizing equipment, and ensuring that all necessary supplies are available. During surgery, they assist with passing instruments and maintaining a sterile environment.

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Where does a Surgical Technician work?

Surgical technicians can find employment opportunities in various healthcare settings. These include hospitals, outpatient surgical centers, and physicians' offices. They may also work in specialized areas such as cardiac surgery, orthopedics, or neurosurgery.

How to Become a Surgical Technician in Oklahoma?

To become a Surgical Technician in Oklahoma, one must first complete an accredited education program, typically an associate's degree. After, 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 Oklahoma?

To become a surgical technician in Oklahoma, you need to meet certain education and legal requirements. The first step is to 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 take 9 to 24 months to complete and result in a diploma, certificate, or associate degree.

After completing the program, you must pass the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) certification exam to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST). This certification is not mandatory in Oklahoma, but it is highly recommended as it improves job prospects and earning potential.

Additionally, surgical technicians must adhere to legal requirements, such as registering with the Oklahoma Board of Surgical Technologists and paying the required fees. It is important to check the specific regulations and requirements set by the state.

Exploring a Career in Surgical Technician Outside Oklahoma

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 Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Vermont, or West Virginia. 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 becoming a Surgical Technician, the first step is to obtain the necessary certification. This certification ensures that you have the knowledge and skills required to assist surgeons during medical procedures. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get your Surgical Technician certification:

  1. Research and choose an accredited program: Look for accredited Surgical Technician programs in your area. Accreditation ensures that the program meets certain quality standards and is recognized by employers. You can check with the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) for a list of accredited programs.

  2. Complete the educational requirements: Most Surgical Technician programs require a high school diploma or equivalent as a prerequisite. The program itself typically takes 9-24 months to complete, depending on whether you choose a certificate, diploma, or associate degree program. During your coursework, you will learn about anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, surgical procedures, and sterile techniques.

  3. Gain hands-on experience: Many programs include a clinical internship component where you will have the opportunity to work in a hospital or surgical center under the supervision of experienced Surgical Technicians. This hands-on experience is invaluable in preparing you for the real-life challenges of the job.

  4. Pass the certification exam: Once you have completed your education, you will need to pass a certification exam to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST). The exam is administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) and covers topics such as patient care, surgical procedures, and sterile techniques. Passing this exam demonstrates your competency as a Surgical Technician.

  5. Maintain your certification: To maintain your certification, you will need to fulfill certain continuing education requirements. This ensures that you stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in surgical technology and techniques. Continuing education can be obtained through workshops, conferences, online courses, or by completing additional certifications or degrees.

By following these steps, you can obtain your Surgical Technician certification and start your career in the operating room.

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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. Here are some steps you can take to increase your chances of getting hired as a Surgical Technician:

  1. Polish your resume: Your resume should highlight your education, certification, and any relevant work experience or internships. Include any specialized skills or certifications that may set you apart from other applicants. Tailor your resume to each job application, emphasizing the skills and qualifications that match the job requirements.

  2. Network: Networking can be a valuable tool in finding job opportunities. Attend local job fairs, join professional organizations such as the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST), and reach out to professionals in the field for advice and potential job leads. Building connections and relationships with others in the industry can open doors to job opportunities that may not be advertised.

  3. Apply for jobs: Search online job boards, hospital websites, and surgical centers for job openings. Submit your resume and cover letter, highlighting your qualifications and expressing your interest in the position. Follow up with a phone call or email to ensure that your application has been received and to express your enthusiasm for the opportunity.

  4. Prepare for interviews: Practice common interview questions and be prepared to discuss your education, certification, and relevant experience. Highlight your ability to work well under pressure, attention to detail, and teamwork skills. Dress professionally and bring copies of your resume and any supporting documents, such as reference letters or certificates.

  5. Consider an externship or residency program: Some hospitals or surgical facilities offer externship or residency programs for newly certified Surgical Technicians. These programs provide additional hands-on training and can help you gain valuable experience and make connections in the field. Look for opportunities to gain practical experience through these programs.

  6. Stay current and expand your skills: Continuing education is essential in the healthcare field, as technology and procedures are constantly evolving. Stay informed about the latest advancements in surgical technology and techniques, and consider pursuing additional certifications or specialized training to enhance your skills and marketability.

By following these steps and being proactive 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

Becoming a Surgical Technician opens up various career paths and opportunities within the healthcare industry. While many Surgical Technicians work in hospitals, there are other settings where you can apply your skills and knowledge. Here are some possible career paths and opportunities:

  1. Operating Room Technician: As an Operating Room Technician, you will work directly in the operating room, assisting surgeons during procedures. You will be responsible for setting up the surgical instruments, ensuring a sterile environment, and passing instruments to the surgeon as needed. This is the most common career path for Surgical Technicians.

  2. Cardiovascular Surgical Technician: Cardiovascular Surgical Technicians specialize in assisting cardiac surgeons during heart surgeries. They are responsible for setting up and operating the equipment used during these procedures, as well as monitoring the patient's vital signs.

  3. Obstetric and Gynecologic Surgical Technician: Obstetric and Gynecologic Surgical Technicians specialize in assisting surgeons during childbirth and gynecological procedures. They may also assist with procedures such as hysterectomies, tubal ligations, and cesarean sections.

  4. Neurosurgical Technician: Neurosurgical Technicians work alongside neurosurgeons, assisting with procedures involving the brain and nervous system. They are responsible for setting up and operating specialized equipment, as well as monitoring the patient's neurological status during surgery.

  5. Ophthalmic Surgical Technician: Ophthalmic Surgical Technicians assist ophthalmologists during eye surgeries, such as cataract removal or corneal transplants. They are responsible for ensuring that the surgical instruments and equipment are properly sterilized and functioning correctly.

  6. Ambulatory Surgical Technician: Ambulatory Surgical Technicians work in outpatient surgery centers, where patients undergo minor surgical procedures that do not require an overnight stay. They are responsible for preparing the operating room, assisting with procedures, and ensuring the safety and comfort of the patient.

  7. Surgical Assistant: With additional education and experience, Surgical Technicians can become Surgical Assistants. Surgical Assistants work directly alongside surgeons, providing advanced assistance during procedures. They may be responsible for suturing wounds, controlling bleeding, or performing other specialized tasks.

  8. Educator or Supervisor: Some Surgical Technicians choose to pursue careers in education or management. They may work as instructors in Surgical Technician programs, sharing their knowledge and experience with aspiring students. Others may take on supervisory or management roles, overseeing a team of Surgical Technicians in a hospital or surgical center.

These are just a few examples of the career paths and opportunities available to Surgical Technicians. With experience and further education, you can specialize in a particular area or advance into leadership roles.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a Surgical Technician is an excellent career choice for those interested in the medical field and who enjoy working in a fast-paced environment. It requires dedication, attention to detail, and the ability to work well under pressure. By following the steps to obtain your certification, networking, and actively pursuing job opportunities, you can start a rewarding career as a Surgical Technician. With the variety of career paths and opportunities available, you can continue to grow and advance in your field. So, if you are passionate about surgical procedures and making a difference in patients' lives, consider becoming a Surgical Technician and embark on a fulfilling career in healthcare.

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Athena Kan
Written by
Athena Kan

Athena is Co-founder and CEO of Dreambound.

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