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.
Visit our Surgical Technology degree page to request more information on taking the next step in your healthcare career.