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Surgical tech schools are designed to provide career-oriented education for surgical technicians. A surgical tech school can be a junior college, career institute, university, or another type of school offering surgical technician training. There are a few types of credential offered by surgical technician schools, and the type of program somewhat determines a surgical tech’s career options after graduation.
The most common types of surgical tech training program are associate’s degree programs, certificate programs and diploma programs. Some schools offer bachelor’s degree programs, but they are less common. Most surgical tech schools offer either a two-year programs culminating in an associate’s degree, or a one-year program ending in a certificate or diploma.
Most surgical tech schools require a high school diploma or GED for enrollment. Certificate programs may also require an undergraduate degree, or at least some earned college credit, as they are designed to supplement an existing degree.
There are no particular high school courses that are required for enrollment in surgical technologist schools, but some classes are helpful in preparing for surgical tech course material. These are:
During the enrollment process, surgical tech schools generally ask for high school transcripts, and may also ask for a few other documents such as a resume, letter of recommendation, and sometimes a personal essay assigned by the school.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing among schools in your area:
Accreditation – Good surgical tech schools are accredited by an organization whose goal is to ensure the education meets basic industry standards. The two most respected organizations that accredit surgical technician schools are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Graduation from an accredited school is also required for surgical technicians who plan to pursue certification.
Tuition – Since many schools do not place their tuition information online, finding a school’s tuition costs may require more research. However, school representatives may be able to answer questions about cost, and most surgical tech schools include tuition information in their information packets for potential students.
Career Options – Many surgical technician schools offer career services such as job placement assistance, resume reviewing, interview coaching or recruitment connections. This is not a deal breaker, but it is helpful to have.
Location – Some surgical technologist schools do not accept students who live outside of reasonable commuting range of a campus. However, students who are not located near a school’s campus have the option of online surgical technician schools, which enroll new students regularly.