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Training programs leading to an associate degree, certificate or diploma can last between nine and twenty-four months. Colleges, hospitals, the military, vocational schools as well as universities offer training for surgical technologists. Classroom study and clinical experience are part of the training program.
Certified surgical tech’s have a competitive advantage over others as most employers choose to hire certified professionals. The title of Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) is used once you are certified. There are three ways you can qualify to take the certification test; graduate from an approved program, have two years hands on training in a hospital program or seven years of work experience in radiology. Once you have been certified tech’s must retake the exam every five years to re-certify or have accumulating continuing educational credits.
Surgical technologists assist surgeon’s and the surgical team during operations and procedures. This includes preparing the patient for surgery, setting up the operating room, preparing surgical equipment and handing tools or supplies to surgeon’s… the list goes on. A surgical tech, also known as a “scrub”, must be able to work under pressure, working with speed and accuracy. Concentration is a must in order to respond appropriately to all situations that may arise in the operating room.
Most surgical tech’s work a 40 hour week in a hospital setting. More recently this has expanded to different work environment’s. Now there are surgical clinics and private medical offices that offer areas of expertise you may find interesting such as pediatrics, cardiology or orthopedics to name a few. Hospitals however, still remain the biggest employer for surgical tech’s. The average salary for Hawaiian surgical techs is approximately $53,440 per year. The job rate growth for surgical technologists is increasing as the population increases and ages. (Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.)
You may qualify for federal aid which you can find out by filling out an online application at the FAFSA website. It is also important to contact your schools financial aid office to get access to relevant information and applications for financial assistance that may be available to you.