Becoming a Surgical Tech in the State of California
In today’s economy, becoming a surgical technician can be a very wise career decision. This career is open to both newly graduated students and those individuals who have decided the time has come to transition from some other job in order to improve their professional standing.
With a growing demand for trained medical personnel, the long-term career prospects for surgical technicians will continue to improve in terms of salary and stability alike.
Becoming a Surgical Technician
In order to become a surgical technician, the candidate must successfully complete a surgical technologists program. There are a number of surgical tech schools in California, ranging from community colleges to vocational training institutions. Entering these programs requires that the student have a high school diploma or a graduate equivalency diploma (GED).
Over the course of his or her studies, the student will receive training in the following areas:
- The study of human anatomy and physiology.
- How to effectively and safely move patients and position them for surgery.
- How to prepare surgical equipment for use in the operating room. This includes training in how to sterilize surgical instruments in order to avoid infecting the patient.
- What type of terminology is used in the surgical theater, and how to effectively and promptly relay information to other medical professionals.
- How to quickly and effectively communicate with fellow workers during periods of high stress. This is especially important for technicians planning to work in emergency rooms.
The duration of a surgical technology program can vary depending on the school and the schedule of the student. A full-time program can take anywhere from several months to two years to complete. Many institutions offer part-time programs, including weekend and evening classes, for individuals who are currently working or otherwise unable to attending during regular school hours.
In addition, online courses are available at some schools, allowing the student to study at his or her own pace. In addition, online classes allow individuals who cannot easily attend in person to continue their studies from home.
Finding an Accredited School in California
When planning to attend surgical tech schools in California, in cities like San Diego, a potential student should ensure that they are properly accredited. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) has provided accreditation services since 2010, ensuring that all accredited schools adhere to the highest professional standards. Many employers consider attending an accredited program mandatory for their workers, so it is important that the student verify that the school is currently accredited by checking with CAAHEP.
Becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist
While not mandatory in California, becoming a certified surgical technologist can improve the career prospects of a surgical tech. Becoming certified requires that the surgical tech successfully complete an accredited program, after which he or she will take a comprehensive exam what demonstrates the tech’s professional and academic skills. Currently, certification is offered by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), National Board of Surgical Technology (NBST), and the National Healthcare Association (NHA).
Certified surgical techs are generally capable of commanding higher salaries, and are also hired in preference to non-certified candidates.
Some organizations will only consider a certified surgical tech for certain duties, such as assisting in specialized operations. In addition, some states require certification for all surgical techs, so individuals considering moving to another state should verify what that state’s professional licensing requirements are.
Surgical Tech Careers in California
California has a large and dynamic healthcare sector, which has resulted in an increased demand for qualified surgical technicians. With the continuing rise in the number of elective surgeries, in addition in a continuing emphasis on quality health care for the elderly, the state’s healthcare sector is likely to continue growing for the foreseeable future.
For surgical technicians, there are a wide variety of job positions available, with varying salaries and duties. Employers focusing on elective surgeries will have regular employment schedules, while hospitals and other institutions that operate on a 24-hour basis will have a need for a larger number of surgical technicians to cover all shifts.
Among the common careers a surgical technician can find in California are the following:
- Many technicians work at surgical dental clinics, assisting the surgeon in performing corrective dental surgery.
- A doctor’s office may require the assistance of a surgical technician when performing minor surgeries on his or her patients.
- Weight-loss clinics will require surgical technicians to assist in performing various types of surgery.
- Cosmetic surgery providers commonly make use of surgical techs during their operations.
- Urgent care clinics are becoming increasingly popular and perform a variety of minor surgeries.
- Trauma centers require highly skilled surgical techs who can function under conditions of high stress during emergency surgical procedures.
In all of these cases, a surgical technician will become a valued part of the medical team, assisting his or her colleagues in providing the best possible care for their patients.
The Current Professional Outlook for Surgical Techs
The surgical technician’s profession is currently growing at a rate of approximately 19 percent through 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS). Combined with the retirement of older technicians the establishment of new hospitals and clinics will ensure that newly graduated and experienced technicians alike will have a growing number of job opportunities in California.
Additionally, surgical technicians are well compensated compared to other careers with equivalent professional requirements. The median salary for a surgical tech is over $39,000. Some fields, such as outpatient care centers, provide a higher wage to the surgical tech. Finally, given their training and experience, a surgical tech can decide to transition to other medical specialties in order to advance his or her career.
The field of surgical technology is a highly respected part of the healthcare sector. Whether as a member of a hospital surgical team, or an assistant in a dental surgery clinic, the surgical technician provides a vital service to society.
Surgical Tech Programs In California
San Joaquin Valley College
San Joaquin Valley College is an accredited private junior college committed to the professional success of its students and graduates. Founded in 1977, SJVC has campuses located throughout California – including an Online division – and offers a variety of accelerated Certificate and Associate of Science degree programs in the business, medical and technical fields. Students benefit from a balance of classroom instruction, hands-on training and learning the skills they need to go straight to work in today’s competitive job market.
- Rancho Cordova
- Surgical Technology
- Respiratory Therapy
Concorde Career College
We believe hands-on experience is the best way to learn. And at Concorde, you’ll find that a “learn by doing” approach to healthcare training will get you the skills you need to succeed – and get you into the workforce quickly.
Even in today’s economy, the demand for skilled healthcare professionals shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Career Guide to Industries (2010-2011 Edition), the healthcare industry will generate .2 million in new wage and salary jobs between 2006 and 2016 – more than any other industry.
Now’s a great time to get started – and to move toward a rewarding healthcare career.
- San Diego
- Garden Grove
- Surgical Technology
- Medical Assistant
- Vocational Nurse
American Career College
American Career College (ACC) offers hands-on training that will prepare students for careers in the healthcare industry at three campuses in Los Angeles, Ontario, and Orange County, California. ACC“s programs combine classroom lectures and hands-on training to prepare students for a Diploma or Associate of Occupational Science degree. All ACC programs include access to trained faculty, a full student services department committed to helping students succeed, and career guidance and services after graduation. ACC is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools; some programs also hold programmatic accreditation or approvals.
Programs vary by campus. Program lengths vary by session and schedule. Financial aid available to those who qualify. ACC cannot guarantee employment. American Career College is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.
- Inland Empire
- Orange County
- Long Beach
- Surgical Technology
- Vocational Nursing
- Medical Assistant
Carrington College California
Now you can earn your associate degree and can get started in the career field you’ve always dreamed of more conveniently than ever by attending the online Campus of Carrington College California. Considered a leader in education, Carrington College California has a long history of helping students succeed in real world careers.
- Citrus Heights
- San Jose
- Medical Assisting
- Medical Assisting
- Vocational Nursing
California College San Diego
California College San Diego(sm) is a nonprofit institution that is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). The college offers fast, career-focused degree programs in healthcare, business and information technology. The goal of the college is to quickly and conveniently prepare you to become a competent professional to enter a career in your chosen field.
- San Marcos, CA
- San Diego, CA
- National City, CA
- Medical Specialties (AOS)
- Respiratory Therapy (AS)