Surgical technologists are a vital part of any surgical team. They prepare the operating room for surgeries, sterilize equipment, prep patients for procedures and hand surgeons tools during operations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that there were over 93,000 surgical techs in 2010, and the BLS predicted that employment in the field would grow by 19 percent by 2020. Becoming a surgical technologist is moderate in difficulty, but if you love challenging yourself and have great organizational skills, this could be an exciting career option to explore.
Earn a certificate or associate degree. Community colleges and vocational schools offer programs that provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in this career. Your training to become a surgical tech may take as little as eight months or as long as two years, depending on if you choose to earn a non-degree certificate or an associate degree in surgical technology. Expect to take courses in anatomy, medical terminology, biology, sterilization techniques and infection prevention.
Earn certification. Most hospitals will not hire you unless you are certified as a surgical technologist. You can earn the Certified Surgical Technologist credential from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting or the Certified Operating Room and Surgical Technician designation from the National Healthcare Association. Both credentials will aid you in finding employment and will help you stand out as a professional in the field. To earn certification you must pass an exam.
Continue your education. Certification must be renewed regularly to make sure you are upholding the standards of excellence set by the credentialing organizations. You must complete continuing education or take a recertification exam in order to renew your certification. Continuing education opportunities can be found through professional organizations and universities.
Advance in your career. With experience and dedication you can be promoted to surgical assistant. With this promotion comes more duties in the operating room, including patient pre- and post-operative care.