Surgical technicians play an important role as part of a medical team. They are responsible for making sure that the operating room is prepared for a specific procedure, and they assist the surgeon throughout the operation itself. The number of job openings for skilled assistants in the field of surgery is steadily increasing. Specialized programs at many Texas vocational schools and community colleges prepare students for an exciting career as a surgical tech.
The training is extensive and includes formal classroom instruction as well as laboratory work. Those individuals seeking an Associate’s degree will find several different programs available. Some of these accelerated courses take less than one year to complete, with the only prerequisite being a high school diploma and a minimum amount of college credits already earned.
A surgical assistant is knowledgeable in the areas of human anatomy, surgical procedures and accepted standards, specialized instruments and tools needed for performing both exploratory and repair surgery, and medical records keeping. Knowing how to interact with both doctors and patients is a critical part of becoming a successful assistant in the medical field.
Rehabilitation and physical therapyAs the medical industry continues to become more and more specialized, surgical technicians find niches to which they may be drawn. For example, the dental industry is divided into numerous sub-specialties including preventative surgery and periodontics. Assistants are needed in these fields to aid the oral surgeon in the areas of operations room prep, patient monitoring, and records keeping.
Surgical technicians are responsible for making sure the instruments used are clean and sanitized. The tools and instruments needed for a specific procedure are clearly stated in the operations procedure instructions. The surgical tech reads the pre-operation report and organizes the operating room with the proper equipment and tools, laid out according to accepted standards. During surgery, the tech acts as a right-hand assistant to the physician. This means that a thorough training program includes courses that teach proper etiquette in a medical service environment.
Most of the technical schools and community colleges offering courses in surgical assistance have a one- or two-year Associate’s degree program. A prerequisite will be prior credits in math, biology, and chemistry. Some of the core courses include basic nursing techniques, classes in communications and medical terminology, and studies of human anatomy.
Students are expected to have already completed a certain amount of college courses and earned a minimum number of college credits. Those holding a Bachelor’s degree and who have completed courses in math and science will be able to earn their Associate’s degree as a surgical technician in as little as one year.
Certification is not a state requirement in Texas, but those who complete an Associate’s degree program and pass a certification examination will have a greater number of jobs from which to choose. Many hospitals and private clinics will only hire surgical techs who have been certified by one of several authorities. These include the National Center for Competency Testing and the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. Students may take the exam immediately after earning their degree. Those who choose to enter the work force or complete an internship may also take the exam.
National certification is an added credential that helps individuals obtain the most lucrative positions offering the highest rates of pay. Certification is not permanent and must be renewed every several years. Those who work as a licensed surgical assistant will also be required to take part in lectures or continue their education in order for the certification to remain valid.
Texas is home to a large number of colleges and vocational schools offering degree programs for surgical techs and surgical assistants. The programs have been developed to help students gain an understanding of how surgical procedures are performed, why the operations are carried out in a certain manner, and how the assistant works alongside the attending physician. The schools listed here are accredited and recognized by the CAAHEP.
These schools offer one- and two-year programs, some of which are geared toward the earning of an Associate’s degree. Students are encouraged to ask the admissions office of these schools about studying to become a First Surgical Assistant. This title refers to those individuals who have completed a more comprehensive course that includes many hours of laboratory study as well as internship or on-the-job training.
Beginning salaries for a surgical technician in Texas range from $25,000 for an non-certified individual to more than $40,000 for a First Surgical Assistant. Those holding an Associate’s degree and who have at least three years experience may find available job positions that pay in excess of $60,000 per year.
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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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 28 campuses across 7 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 the security in our communities that will always be important to our society. Develop the decision-making and judgment skills that could help you pursue entry-level opportunities in the criminal justice field.†
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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.‡
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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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†Additional academy training may be required for law enforcement positions. Applicants to the Criminal Justice program in Texas will require additional TCOLE or other government agency approved training upon graduation to seek certain positions.
‡Paralegals are not lawyers and cannot practice law or give legal advice to consumers.
§Kaplan College cannot guarantee a student’s eligibility either to take any exam or become certified, registered or licensed. Individual state licensing/certification requirements may vary and are subject to change.
#No credits will be earned if the student withdraws from the program. Students must withdraw before the close of business on the last day of the Conditional Admittance Period for tuition exemption. Program requirements may vary and other conditions may apply. Please contact us for details.
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