How to Become a Surgical Technologist

The following are some general steps to help lead you to a career as a surgical technologist.

  1. Enroll in and graduate from an accredited surgical technology program.
  2. Sit for the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) national certification exam.
  3. Look for a job in this exciting field.
  4. Complete the necessary continuing education requirements of 60 credits over a four-year period.
  5. If you wish to advance, enroll in a surgical first assistant program (most are one year in duration).
  6. Sit for the NBSTSA Certified First Assistant national certification exam.

What are some current hot topics in this field?

One constant topic for discussion in this field is the responsibilities included within a surgical technologists’ scope of practice, which varies from state to state, and from one hospital to the next. Most surgical techs believe it would create less confusion if the scope of practice was standardized across the board.

Also, surgical technologists are trained under medical education rather than nursing education and are

What types of personality traits or skills make someone a good fit for this profession?

Communication skills are a must in this profession. It is essential to be able to communicate both quickly and clearly since surgical technologists work under high-pressure situations. Individuals considering this profession should also work well in teams. The ability to stay focused during high-pressure situations with the surgeon and surgical team is very important in order to consistently deliver quality surgical patient care. Finally, having good dexterity skills along with good physical stamina are important traits in this field.

Do most people stay in this field or use it as a stepping-stone for another job in health care?

In this field, if someone decides they want to move on to another field within or outside of health care, it typically happens after about five years of practice as a surgical technologist. If after five years the person still wants to work as a surgical technologist, typically he/she stays with it as a career.

Surgical Technologist Schools