Becoming a surgical technician is a decision that can help lead an individual to a successful and well-compensated medical career. Whether the candidate has just graduated from high school, or is seeking to move from his or her current job to a more rewarding career, the field of surgical technology is a promising one in today’s economy.
Becoming a Surgical Technician
There are a number of steps an individual must take in order to become a surgical technician in Ohio. They include the following requirements:
- The individual must be 18 years of age or older.
- They must have a valid high school diploma or GED.
- They should have completed an accredited surgical technology program at a surgical tech school in Ohio.
Accredited Surgical Tech Schools in Ohio
The most important part of becoming a surgical technician is selecting an effective surgical technology program. These programs are usually offered by two-year community colleges or vocational institutions and are widely available.
The student should make certain that these programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). A school that is accredited by CAAHEP must hold to strict standards of educational quality, ensuring that any student will receive an effective education as a surgical technician. Furthermore, many businesses and most credentialing authorities will only accept course work performed at an accredited institution.
In most cases, a full-time surgical technician program will take about two years to complete. For those who cannot attend school full-time, many part-time and online programs exist, allowing the student to complete the program at his or her own pace. Online programs benefit those who cannot travel to the school, allowing them to continue most of their studies from the comfort of their own home.
A program in surgical technology trains the student how to perform all of the duties of the surgical technologist, in addition to preparing them to work with other medical professionals in the course of their duties. In most cases, programs include both academic instruction in the classroom setting and practical instruction where the student actually performs some of the functions of a surgical technician under the observation of his or her instructors.
After completing an accredited program, the student may chose to become certified. There are a number of nationally recognized organizations that provide certification services. In most cases, becoming certified requires that the candidate have graduated from an accredited program and successfully complete an exam that tests his or her academic and practical qualifications. Some certification services may allow the candidate to substitute practical experience for a certain amount of schooling.
In addition, even after becoming certified, the surgical technologist must continue to maintain his or her qualifications. This is accomplished by providing proof that the individual had obtained a certain amount of continuing education (CE) classes. By doing so, the surgical technologist can demonstrate that he or she is remaining current with the state of medical technology.
The most common sources of certification include the following organizations:
- The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) certifies individuals with the title of tech in surgery-certified.
- Candidates who successfully pass the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) certification program are known as certified surgical technologists.
- The National Healthcare Association (NHA) provides Certified Operating Room Surgical Technicians or CORSTs.
The Benefits of Certification
Certified technicians, regardless of the certifying body, enjoy better career and salary options than non-certified surgical techs, as well as preferential hiring policies. Additionally, in states that require the licensing of surgical technicians, a certified tech may be able to obtain licensing without having to complete another surgical tech training program.
Finally, although Ohio currently does not currently require surgical techs to be licensed, legislation under consideration may change that in the near future. For this reason, it is wise for Ohio students to seriously consider becoming certified surgical techs.
The Benefits of Becoming a Surgical Technician in Ohio
Ohio is currently among the top five employers of surgical technicians, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In addition, the median salary of Ohio surgical techs is over $40,000, which is slightly higher than the national average. Furthermore, the rising number of elective surgical procedures, coupled with the growing importance of the healthcare sector, indicates that the field of surgical technology will continue to enjoy steady growth well into the 21st century.
Becoming a surgical technician is an excellent path to a well compensated and personally rewarding career. Whether for a newly graduated student looking for his or her first job, or an individual who has decided to change careers, this field is one that offers a great deal to those who chose to become surgical techs.