Surgical techs not only enjoy a good starting salary and benefits, they also have the opportunity to advance their career through continued education in the medical field. In North Carolina, surgical technician jobs openings are numerous because of the increasing population and the need for skilled, educated graduate students.
Becoming a licensed surgical tech involves the completion of a full training program. Depending on the educational level desired, this program can take from between one and two years. The title of First Surgical Assistant is awarded to those who complete a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree. These individuals are rewarded with the best opportunities available.
Job Opportunities For Surgical Technicians
The state of North Carolina has a vast health care system that includes state-operated hospitals, health care facilities that are part of the state university, and countless health care centers and doctor’s offices that utilize the services of a skilled medical assistant.
Current openings in the surgical tech field include jobs in:
- Trauma centers
- Weight loss clinics
- Dentist offices and dental surgery clinics
- Urgent care centers
- Surgical wards in hospitals
A qualified surgical tech is a necessary part of a medical team working in hospitals, urgent care centers, and trauma units. These individuals assist surgeons by making sure the equipment is properly sterilized and made ready for use. They also assist surgeons in preparing the operating room for a specific procedure. Surgical technicians are thoroughly trained in the areas of sanitation and operating room etiquitte.
A first surgical assistant also monitors the condition of the patient before, during, and after a medical or surgical procedure. The assistant is familiar with equipment used to record vital signs and is often given the duty of tracking the condition of the patient, entering the data on paper, and entering the same information into a computer storage program.
Training Required For Surgical Technicians
There are several different types of programs available to those desiring a career as a surgical technician. In North Carolina, students will find numerous schools that offer accelerated courses leading to a diploma or certificate. Depending on the type of program chosen, the coursework will vary somewhat. Basically, study in this area focuses on familiarity of operating procedures in a medical facility and a deep understanding of medical terms that apply to surgery in general.
Specialized training involves core courses relating to study of:
- Physical anatomy and general biology
- Knowledge of terms and phrases used by surgeons in an operating environment
- Techniques for safely transporting patients
- Prepping the operating area
- Use of certain instruments and how to keep them sanitized
The coursework includes lectures, laboratory skills tests, research into the area of surgical procedures, and post-operative care training. The courses may be taken in-person at a traditional brick-and-mortar institution, or may be completed online.
Upon completion of the program, students are given a series of tests that will determine if certification as a surgical tech will be awarded. The certification as a first surgical assistant is given only after a period of internship, generally two to three years after a degree or diploma has been handed to the student.
National certification offers graduate students a far greater chance of locating a suitable position in the surgical assistant field. North Carolina students are not required to take this examination, but will greatly benefit from having a nationally recognized certificate when entering the work force.
Surgical Tech Programs In North Carolina
More than 25 accredited surgical tech programs are available to students in North Carolina, many of them part of a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree program at the various colleges and universities located across the state. All of these programs include certification as well as a diploma or degree in the specified core study area.
Interested students may wish to look at an online map that details the location of these schools, their current enrollment requirements, and the different core course choices available. Accelerated courses at various community colleges and online tech schools may take less than two years to complete.
Some of the better-known surgical technician programs in North Carolina are offered by the following schools:
- College of the Albemarle
- Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock
- Cape Fear Community College
- Carolinas College of Health Sciences
- Catawba Valley Community College
- Miller-Motte College in Wilmington
After the completion of the Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree program, individuals wishing to obtain national certification may do so by submitting a request to either the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting or to the National Centre for Competency Testing. Both of these organizations are nationally recognized and offer a comprehensive exam that can be renewed every few years.
Salaries For Surgical Technicians
Salaries for entry level positions are generally in the $30-40K range. North Carolina graduate students who successfully pass the national exam may be rewarded with higher starting salaries. Experienced first surgical assistants who have at least three years of work experience often earn in excess of $70,000 per year.
Surgical Tech Programs In North Carolina
American National University
American National University promotes a progressive learning format, so as you earn a diploma or associate’s degree, you can immediately use your training to advance your career as you continue your education in a growing number of fields at the bachelor’s and graduate levels – in high-demand areas such as information technology, network security, health sciences and business administration and management.
- Surgical Technology
- Medical Assisting
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At Kaplan College, we create programs with our students’ needs in mind. Our goal is to empower you with the real-world knowledge you need to succeed beyond the classroom. We offer a variety of programs at 40 campuses across 10 states in various degree levels to help train you for entry-level employment in a variety of rewarding careers.
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Gain comprehensive training designed to prepare you with the knowledge and skills that could help you pursue entry-level opportunities in the health care field. Experience the satisfaction of helping people when they need it most.
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Maintain and repair the computer systems many organizations rely on to conduct day-to-day business. Through hands-on training in computer laboratories, you could develop the communication, teamwork, and critical thinking skills to help you pursue entry-level opportunities in today’s competitive marketplace and become a productive member of a business office.
Play an important role in the legal field. Gain the confidence and experience that could help you stand out to employers and acquire the communication, research, and analytical skills to pursue entry-level positions in the legal field.‡
Pursue a career in health care and assist others. Develop the skills and experience that could help you pursue entry-level opportunities in the nursing field and make a difference in patients’ lives.§
Train for the skills that could help you pursue new career opportunities. Experience comprehensive training with group discussions, lectures, and hands-on experience with equipment typically used in the field to help you develop the practical skills to pursue career success.§
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*Areas of study may vary by location.
_†Additional academy training may be required for law enforcement positions. Applicants to the criminal justice program in the state of Texas will require additional training approved by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) upon graduation in order to seek the following positions: police officer, peace officer, sheriff’s deputy, bailiff, and jailer.
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§Certain positions may require additional training, licensing, or certification.
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While programs are designed to prepare graduates to pursue employment in their field of study, or in related fields, the College does not guarantee that graduates will be placed in any particular job, or employed at all.
- Medical Assistant
Take your life in an exciting new direction with an education from Virginia College! Graduates of Virginia College can be confident in the skills and training that they’ve received because programs are designed for their success. Virginia College focuses on the needs of the job market of each industry, creating programs that meet the needs of students and future employees alike.
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Virginia College provides a number of choices in order to offer you the education that best fits your needs and goals, from diploma and associate degree programs to bachelor degree programs at some locations. Virginia College’s school of business management even offers graduate degrees at select campuses. Programs are also offered in a number of different fields, providing choices as varied as graphic design degrees or paralegal studies. Whether you’re interested in criminal justice schools or a cosmetology college, Virginia College has a choice that’s right for you!
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- Medical Assistant
- Medical Assistant
Keiser University eCampus Online
For over 35 years, Keiser University has provided student-centered, quality career education. Keiser University Online offers degree programs online to prepare students for in-demand professions. Degrees are offered with a curriculum that is in pace with technology and workforce demand trends in business, criminal justice, healthcare and computer technology. Our “one-class-at-a-time” approach allows busy students to focus on their education and balance the demands of work and family.
Keiser University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates and degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral levels. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Keiser University.
- Keiser University eCampus Online
- Associate of Science in Medical Assisting
- Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science
- Associate of Arts in Health Services Administration