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How to Become a Surgical Technician in Tennessee

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Are you interested in pursuing a career as a surgical technician in Tennessee? In this blog post, we will discuss what surgical technicians do, where they work, the requirements to become a surgical technician in Tennessee, and where you can find surgical technician classes in the state.

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What is a Surgical Technician?

A surgical technician, also known as a surgical technologist, is a vital member of the surgical team. They work alongside surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to ensure that surgical procedures run smoothly. Some of the responsibilities of a surgical technician include:

  • Preparing the operating room by sterilizing equipment and ensuring all necessary supplies are available.

  • Assisting surgeons during surgeries by passing instruments and supplies.

  • Handling specimens for laboratory analysis.

  • Taking care of patients before, during, and after surgery, including monitoring vital signs.

Where Does a Surgical Technician Work?

Surgical technicians can find employment in a variety of healthcare settings, including:

  • Hospitals: Surgical technicians are most commonly employed in hospital surgical departments, where they assist in various surgical procedures.

  • Outpatient Surgical Centers: These centers specialize in performing surgeries that do not require overnight stays. Surgical technicians play an important role in these facilities as well.

  • Physician's Offices: Some surgical technicians work in physician's offices that perform minor surgical procedures.

Requirements to Become a Surgical Technician in Tennessee

To become a surgical technician in Tennessee, you will need to meet certain educational and legal requirements. These include:

  • Education: You must complete a surgical technician training program from an accredited institution. These programs typically take 9-24 months to complete and result in a certificate, diploma, or associate degree. The program should cover both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experience.

  • Legal Requirements: After completing your training program, you must pass the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Obtaining this certification is mandatory for surgical technicians in Tennessee.

Where Can I Find Surgical Technician Classes in Tennessee?

If you're interested in pursuing a career as a surgical technician in Tennessee, Dreambound is the largest platform for students to find and compare vocational training programs. Dreambound offers a comprehensive list of surgical technician training programs in Tennessee. Here are a couple of examples:

By using Dreambound, you can easily find classes near you and compare different programs to make an informed decision about your education and career path.

Remember, becoming a surgical technician requires dedication, hard work, and the right education. By following the requirements and finding the right training program, you can start your journey towards a rewarding career in healthcare. Good luck!

How do I get my Surgical Technician certification?

Becoming a certified Surgical Technician is an essential step towards starting a successful career in the field of surgical technology. Certification not only validates your skills and knowledge but also enhances your job prospects and earning potential. Here are the steps you need to follow to get your Surgical Technician certification:

  1. Education: The first step is to complete an accredited surgical technology program. These programs are usually offered at community colleges, technical schools, or hospitals. The duration of these programs can vary but typically range from 9 months to 2 years. During the program, you will learn the necessary theoretical knowledge and gain hands-on experience through clinical rotations.

  2. Clinical Experience: In addition to completing the educational requirements, you will also need to accumulate a certain number of clinical hours. These clinical hours are obtained through supervised internships or externships, where you will work alongside experienced Surgical Technicians in a real surgical setting. The number of required clinical hours may vary depending on the certification program you choose.

  3. Certification Exam: After completing your education and clinical experience, you will be eligible to take the certification exam. The most widely 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). The exam consists of multiple-choice questions that assess your knowledge and understanding of surgical technology principles and practices.

  4. Continuing Education: Once you have obtained your Surgical Technician certification, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in the field. This can be done by participating in continuing education programs, attending workshops and conferences, and staying engaged with professional organizations such as the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST).

By following these steps, you can obtain your Surgical Technician certification and embark on a rewarding career in the healthcare industry.

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How do I get a job as a Surgical Technician?

Once you have obtained your Surgical Technician certification, you will be qualified to work as a Surgical Technician in various healthcare settings such as hospitals, outpatient surgical centers, and physician offices. Here are the steps you can take to increase your chances of getting a job as a Surgical Technician:

  1. Resume and Cover Letter: Prepare a well-written resume and cover letter that highlight your education, clinical experience, and any relevant skills or certifications. Tailor your resume to each specific job application to showcase your qualifications and match the requirements of the position.

  2. Networking: Networking is a crucial aspect of finding job opportunities in any field. Reach out to your instructors, classmates, and anyone you know who is already working in the healthcare industry. Attend career fairs, professional conferences, and join online forums or social media groups related to surgical technology. Networking can help you learn about job openings and connect with potential employers.

  3. Job Search Websites: Utilize online job search websites that specialize in healthcare careers. Some popular websites include Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn. These websites allow you to search for Surgical Technician jobs in your area and submit your resume and application directly to potential employers.

  4. Professional Organizations: Joining professional organizations such as the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) can provide you with access to job boards, career resources, and networking opportunities. These organizations often have local chapters that organize meetings and events where you can meet other professionals in the field.

  5. Interview Preparation: Once you start receiving interview invitations, it is important to prepare for the interviews. Research common interview questions for Surgical Technicians and practice your responses. Dress professionally, arrive on time, and bring copies of your resume and any relevant certifications. During the interview, showcase your knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for the role.

By following these steps and actively seeking out job opportunities, you can increase your chances of securing a job as a Surgical Technician.

Career Paths and Opportunities after Becoming a Surgical Technician

Becoming a Surgical Technician opens up a range of 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: As an Operating Room (OR) Technician, you will work directly in the operating room, assisting surgeons and other healthcare professionals during surgical procedures. Your responsibilities may include preparing the operating room, sterilizing equipment, passing instruments to the surgeon, and maintaining a sterile environment.

  2. Surgical First Assistant: With additional training and experience, you can become a Surgical First Assistant. In this role, you will work alongside the surgeon, providing direct assistance during surgical procedures. You may be responsible for suturing wounds, holding retractors, and controlling bleeding.

  3. Surgical Technology Instructor: If you have a passion for teaching, you can pursue a career as a Surgical Technology instructor. By sharing your knowledge and expertise with aspiring Surgical Technicians, you can help shape the future of the profession.

  4. Sales Representative: Many medical device and surgical supply companies hire Surgical Technicians as sales representatives. In this role, you will use your technical knowledge and expertise to educate healthcare professionals about products and assist with product demonstrations.

  5. Surgical Services Manager: With experience and additional education, you can advance to a managerial role in the surgical services department. As a Surgical Services Manager, you will oversee the daily operations of the department, manage staff, and ensure high-quality patient care.

These are just a few examples of the career paths and opportunities available to Surgical Technicians. The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, creating new roles and specialties that you can explore throughout your career.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a Surgical Technician is an excellent choice for individuals who are interested in a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. By completing an accredited surgical technology program, obtaining your certification, and gaining clinical experience, you can establish a solid foundation for your career. Additionally, networking, preparing a strong resume, and actively searching for job opportunities can help you secure your first job as a Surgical Technician.

Once you have entered the field, there are numerous career paths and opportunities available to you. Whether you choose to specialize in a specific surgical specialty, pursue additional education, or take on a managerial role, the possibilities for professional growth and development are vast.

Remember, the healthcare industry is constantly evolving, so it is important to stay updated with the latest advancements in surgical technology and continue learning throughout your career. By staying engaged with professional organizations and participating in continuing education programs, you can ensure that you remain a valuable asset in the field of surgical technology.

If you're exploring options in this field in various locations, Dreambound's extensive guides are a great resource. We've got detailed insights for numerous cities. check out some additional guides below:

Are you exploring diverse professional opportunities? Take a closer look at these resources that Dreambound has written to help in your search.

Athena Kan
Written by
Athena Kan

Athena is Co-founder and CEO of Dreambound.

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