how to become surgical tech

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how to become surgical tech

Complete Guide: How to Become a Surgical Technologist

Surgeons can’t do it alone.

That’s where surgical technologists come in. These health professionals prepare the operating room and surgical equipment for surgeons, anesthesiologists, doctors, and nurses. Not only do they provide assistance before the operation takes place, but they help the surgical care team during and after surgeries as well.

Plus, demand for this exciting career is expected to grow 9% by 2028!

What Does a Surgical Technologist Do?
Surgical technologists work closely with surgeons to assist with invasive and noninvasive procedures. Daily duties and tasks they may encounter include:

Preparing the operating room for upcoming surgeries
Sterilizing equipment and stocking up on any supplies needed
Preparing patients for their procedure and any aftercare necessary
Assisting doctors during surgical procedures
Taking inventory of supplies and maintaining records of procedures
Steps to Become a Surgical Technologist
Step 1: Apply to an Accredited Program
Educational programs prepare you with the knowledge and skills necessary to become a successful surgical technician. You must graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). At Baker College, we are accredited by the CAAHEP for our surgical technology degree.

Step 2: Get Your Degree
Before you can get certified, you’ll need to complete an associate degree, diploma, or certificate in surgical technology. This educational program is designed to apply the knowledge students learn in school and use that in clinical externships.

The classwork includes general courses in the broad field of surgical technology. This designed curriculum provides classroom theory and hands-on experience, including courses on microbiology, surgical procedures, patient safety, aseptic procedures, and more.

Students also participate in clinical internships to gain hands-on patient experience with surgical professionals, as well as documenting procedural records. Having an internship gives the opportunity for students to get real experience in the operating room and in the healthcare setting.

Step 3: Pass the Certification Exam
As you apply for these certification exams, remember that each state has different requirements to achieve your surgical technologist certificate.

In Michigan, the two main exams are the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) and the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). The CST exam offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting offers students the opportunity for exam prep and other resources to prepare for and pass the test.

Step 4: Start Working in the Field
Once you pass your exam, you can start working in the field. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 70% of surgical technologists find jobs in hospitals. You can also look for employment in physician and dental offices too.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Surgical Tech?
It typically takes 24 months to become a surgical technologist. It’s one of the fastest courses to complete with an average salary of $49,710.

Surgical Technologist Programs in Michigan
Offered at our Cadillac, Muskegon, and Owosso campuses, the Surgical Technology program at Baker College prepares you to play a vital role in the healthcare industry. Our AAS degree in surgical technology prepares entry-level techs with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve their goals. The experience-driven curriculum provides classroom theory and hands-on experience to prepare you for a rewarding career as a surgical technologist.

Average Salary for Surgical Techs:
How Much Can I Make?

Known as the “unsung heroes of the operating room,” surgical techs play a critical role in many life-saving surgeries every day. If you’re interested in working in the OR, but not sure that the life of a surgeon is right for you, then becoming a surgical technologist (ST) might be the perfect career match.

Requirements to Become a Surgical Nurse

What is the average salary for a surgical technologist?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for surgical technologists in 2020 was $51,510 per year ($24.77 per hour), with the top 10 percent earning more than $73,100.

State Per hour Per year
Alabama $18.58 $38,660
Alaska $32.27 $67,120
Arizona $25.32 $52,670
Arkansas $20.38 $42,390
California $31.04 $64,570
Colorado $27.44 $57,070
Connecticut $29.96 $62,310
Delaware $25.00 $52,000
District of Columbia $29.63 $61,620
Florida $22.46 $46,710
Georgia $23.07 $47,980
Hawaii $26.96 $56,080
Idaho $23.37 $48,600
Illinois $24.41 $50,770
Indiana $23.74 $49,380
Iowa $21.05 $43,780
Kansas $22.09 $45,950
Kentucky $21.24 $44,180
Louisiana $20.26 $42,140
Maine $24.04 $50,010
Maryland $26.68 $55,500
Massachusetts $28.52 $59,330
Michigan $22.07 $45,910
Minnesota $29.47 $61,300
Mississippi $19.96 $41,520
Missouri $21.63 $44,990
State Per hour Per year
Montana $24.48 $50,920
Nebraska $23.66 $49,200
Nevada $32.21 $67,000
New Hampshire $24.90 $51,800
New Jersey $26.60 $55,320
New Mexico $21.94 $45,630
New York $28.55 $59,380
North Carolina $21.87 $45,490
North Dakota $24.41 $50,760
Ohio $23.69 $49,280
Oklahoma $21.59 $44,900
Oregon $28.60 $59,480
Pennsylvania $23.02 $47,890
Rhode Island $28.56 $59,410
South Carolina $21.10 $43,880
South Dakota $21.49 $44,700
Tennessee $21.41 $44,540
Texas $23.97 $49,860
Utah $23.23 $48,320
Vermont $22.96 $47,750
Virginia $25.08 $52,160
Washington $29.06 $60,450
West Virginia $19.18 $39,890
Wisconsin $27.36 $56,910
Wyoming $22.32 $46,420
All salary data courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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