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How to Become a Surgical Technician in Texas

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A surgical technician, also known as a surgical technologist, is an essential member of the surgical team. They work alongside surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to ensure that surgeries are conducted smoothly and safely. Here are the key points you need to know about becoming a surgical technician in Texas:

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What is a Surgical Technician?

Surgical technicians play a crucial role in the operating room. They are responsible for preparing the surgical environment, including sterilizing equipment and ensuring that all necessary supplies are available. During surgeries, they assist the surgical team by handing instruments and supplies to the surgeon, holding retractors, and controlling bleeding. They also help with patient care before and after the surgery.

Where Does a Surgical Technician Work?

Surgical technicians can work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, outpatient surgical centers, and physician's offices. They may also find employment in emergency rooms or labor and delivery departments. The demand for surgical technicians is high, making it a promising career choice.

How to Become a Surgical Technician in Texas?

To become a Surgical Technician in Texas, one must first complete an accredited education program, typically a 1-year certificate or 2-year associate's degree. After graduating, individuals must pass the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam to obtain certification. With certification, they can then search for and secure employment as a Surgical Technician, earning a competitive salary in the healthcare field.

Requirements to Become a Surgical Technician in Texas

To become a surgical technician in Texas, you need to fulfill certain educational and legal requirements:

  1. 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 diploma, certificate, or associate degree. The coursework includes anatomy, medical terminology, and surgical procedures.

  2. Legal Requirements: After completing your training, you must pass the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). This certification is not mandatory in Texas, but many employers prefer candidates who hold it.

Exploring a Career in Surgical Technician Outside Texas

If you've been inspired to follow the path of a Surgical Technician but geography isn't on your side, worry not. Your aspiration to become a Surgical Technician is within reach in District of Columbia, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, or Wisconsin. For those who don't find these options feasible, Dreambound enables you to effortlessly find and evaluate Surgical Technician classes by simply searching with a zip code. Armed with determination and Dreambound, anyone, anywhere, can achieve a career in healthcare.

How do I get my Surgical Technician Certification

If you are interested in a career as a surgical technician, you may be wondering how to get started and obtain your certification. Becoming a certified surgical technician is an important step towards a successful career in the healthcare industry. In this article, we will guide you through the process of obtaining your certification and provide you with some valuable tips along the way.

Step 1: Research and Understand the Requirements

The first step in obtaining your surgical technician certification is to research and understand the requirements set by the certifying organization. In the United States, the most widely recognized certifying organization for surgical technicians is the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). They offer the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) credential.

To be eligible for the CST exam, you must meet certain education and clinical requirements. Typically, this includes completing 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 usually take around 9 to 24 months to complete.

Step 2: Enroll in an Accredited Surgical Technology Program

Once you have a clear understanding of the requirements, the next step is to enroll in an accredited surgical technology program. These programs are offered by community colleges, vocational schools, and universities. It is important to choose a program that is accredited by either CAAHEP or ABHES, as this will ensure that you receive a quality education that meets the standards set by the certifying organization.

During your program, you will learn the necessary skills and knowledge required to work as a surgical technician. This includes topics such as anatomy, physiology, microbiology, surgical procedures, and sterile techniques. You will also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through clinical rotations in hospitals or surgical centers.

Step 3: Complete the Required Clinical Hours

In addition to completing the educational component of your surgical technology program, you will also be required to complete a certain number of clinical hours. These hours are designed to provide you with practical, real-world experience in a surgical setting under the supervision of experienced surgical technologists or surgeons.

The number of clinical hours required may vary depending on the program and certifying organization. It is important to keep track of your clinical hours and ensure that you meet the minimum requirements before applying for certification.

Step 4: Apply for Certification

Once you have successfully completed an accredited surgical technology program and met the clinical hour requirements, you can apply for certification through the NBSTSA. The application process usually involves submitting an application form, proof of education, and proof of clinical hours.

After your application is reviewed and approved, you will be eligible to take the CST exam. The exam is a computer-based test that assesses your knowledge and skills in various areas of surgical technology. It typically consists of multiple-choice questions and may also include practical skills assessments.

Step 5: Prepare and Pass the CST Exam

Preparing for the CST exam is crucial to your success. There are many resources available to help you study, including textbooks, online study guides, and practice exams. It is important to dedicate sufficient time to study and review the material covered in the exam.

On the day of the exam, make sure to arrive early and bring all the necessary documents and identification. The exam is usually timed, so it is important to manage your time effectively and answer all the questions to the best of your ability. Remember to stay calm and focused throughout the exam.

Step 6: Maintain Your Certification

Once you have successfully passed the CST exam, you will be awarded the CST credential. However, it is important to note that surgical technician certification is not a one-time achievement. To maintain your certification, you will need to complete continuing education requirements and renew your certification on a regular basis.

The NBSTSA requires certified surgical technologists to renew their certification every four years. This involves completing a certain number of continuing education credits and paying a renewal fee. By staying up-to-date with the latest advancements and best practices in the field, you can ensure that you maintain your knowledge and skills as a surgical technician.

How to 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 landing a job as a surgical technician:

Step 1: Update Your Resume and Cover Letter

Before you start applying for jobs, make sure to update your resume and cover letter. Highlight your education, certification, clinical experience, and any relevant skills or qualifications. Tailor your resume and cover letter to each job application to showcase your suitability for the position.

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Step 2: Network and Make Connections

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

Step 3: Use Online Job Boards and Websites

Online job boards and websites are a great resource for finding job openings in the healthcare industry. Some popular job boards for surgical technicians include Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn. Create a profile on these platforms and set up job alerts to receive notifications for relevant job opportunities.

Step 4: Apply to Hospitals and Surgical Centers

Hospitals and surgical centers are among the top employers of surgical technicians. Research hospitals and surgical centers in your area and check their websites for job postings. Some hospitals also have career pages where you can submit your resume and application online.

Step 5: Prepare for Interviews

Once you start receiving interview invitations, it is important to prepare thoroughly. Research the organization, review common interview questions, and practice your answers. Dress professionally and bring copies of your resume, certifications, and any other relevant documents. During the interview, demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and passion for the field.

Step 6: Follow Up After Interviews

After each interview, it is important to follow up with a thank-you email or letter. Express your gratitude for the opportunity to interview and reiterate your interest in the position. Following up shows your professionalism and can leave a positive impression on the hiring manager.

By following these steps and being proactive in your job search, you can increase your chances of securing 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 several career paths and opportunities that you can explore. Here are some of the options available:

1. Operating Room Technician

As an operating room 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, handing instruments to surgeons, and monitoring patients during surgery.

2. Surgical First Assistant

With additional training and experience, you can become a surgical first assistant. In this role, you will work closely with surgeons, providing direct assistance during surgery. Your responsibilities may include suturing, controlling bleeding, and helping with wound closure.

3. Surgical Technology Instructor

If you enjoy teaching and sharing your knowledge with others, you may consider a career as a surgical technology instructor. This role involves teaching aspiring surgical technicians in educational programs. It requires strong communication and organizational skills, as well as a passion for education.

4. Surgical Sales Representative

As a surgical sales representative, you will work for a medical device or pharmaceutical company, promoting and selling surgical products to healthcare facilities. This role requires excellent communication and sales skills, as well as a deep understanding of surgical procedures and products.

5. Surgical Services Manager

With experience and additional education, you can advance to a managerial position in the surgical services department of a hospital or surgical center. As a surgical services manager, you will oversee the day-to-day operations of the department, including staffing, budgeting, and quality control.

These are just a few examples of the career paths and opportunities available to certified surgical technicians. The healthcare industry offers a wide range of options for growth and advancement, allowing you to explore different areas of interest and expand your skill set.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a surgical technician is a rewarding and fulfilling career choice for those interested in the healthcare field. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can obtain your certification and start your journey towards a successful career as a surgical technician. Remember to stay committed to your education, continuously update your skills, and take advantage of networking opportunities to maximize your chances of finding a job in this field. Good luck on your path to becoming a certified 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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