If you’re considering a career in surgical technology, you might be wondering if you can work without certification. The answer is that it depends on the state you’re working in.
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Surgical Technician Certification
Surgical tech certification is not required in all states, but most employers prefer to hire certified surgical techs. Certification shows that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to work as a surgical tech. If you’re considering a career as a surgical tech, you should research the certification requirements in your state.
What is certification?
There are two types of certification for surgical techs: voluntary and mandatory. Voluntary certification is offered by several professional organizations and can be obtained by passing an exam. Although not required, this type of certification may be helpful in obtaining employment or advancing your career. Mandatory certification is required in some states and is typically obtained by completing an accredited surgical tech program and passing a state-recognized exam.
Certification exams test your knowledge of surgical technology and safe patient care practices. Depending on the type of certification you seek, you may be tested on topics such as medical terminology, sterilization procedures, surgical instruments, and basic patient care. Most exams also include a practical component in which you’ll be asked to demonstrate your skills in a simulated work environment.
How to become certified
In order to work as a surgical technician, you must have certification from an accredited organization, such as the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). You can earn your certification in one of two ways:
1. Complete an accredited surgical technology program and then pass the Certification Exam, or
2. Pass the Certification Exam without completing an accredited surgical technology program
If you choose to complete an accredited surgical technology program, you will need to graduate from high school or earn your GED first. Once you have completed your accredited surgical technology program, you will be eligible to take the Certification Exam.
If you choose not to complete an accredited surgical technology program, you will still need to pass the Certification Exam in order to work as a surgical technician. In order to be eligible to take the Certification Exam, you must have either completed a military training program in surgical technology or have worked as a surgical technician for at least one year.
Surgical Technician Job Description
Surgical techs are allied health professionals who work closely with surgeons, assisting them in the operating room. Surgical techs are responsible for a wide variety of duties, from prepping the operating room to sterilely instruments. Many surgical techs choose to become certified, but it is not always a requirement for the job. Let’s take a closer look.
What do surgical techs do?
Surgical techs are an integral part of the surgical team. They are responsible for preparing the operating room for surgery, sterilizing instruments, and passing instruments to the surgeon during surgery. They also may apply dressings and assist with wound care.
Surgical techs typically work in hospitals, but may also work in outpatient surgery centers, doctor’s offices, and dental offices. Some surgical techs may specialize in a particular type of surgery, such as orthopedics or cardiovascular surgery.
Most surgical tech programs last about 9 months to a year and lead to a certificate or diploma. Some community colleges offer 2-year associate degree programs in surgical technology. A few 4-year colleges offer bachelor’s degree programs in surgical technology, but these are not as common.
What are the job duties of a surgical tech?
A surgical tech, also called a surgical technician or scrub tech, is a medical professional who works alongside surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses and other operating room (OR) staff during surgeries. Surgical techs play a vital role in the operating room by preparing the operating room and patients for surgery and sterilizing instruments and equipment. They also pass instruments to the surgeon during surgery and may assist with closing the incision at the end of the procedure.
Surgical techs generally work in hospitals, but they may also work in ambulatory surgery centers, physicians’ offices or other healthcare facilities. Some surgical techs may specialize in a particular type of surgery, such as open-heart surgery or neurosurgery.
Most surgical tech programs last about nine months to a year, but some programs may last up to two years. Surgical tech programs typically lead to an Associate’s degree or certificate. Some community colleges offer four-year Bachelor’s degree programs in surgical technology, but these programs are less common. Many surgical tech programs include clinical rotations in which students gain hands-on experience working in an operating room under the supervision of a licensed surgical technologist.
Can You Work as a Surgical Tech Without Certification?
Most surgical techs choose to become certified through a professional organization, such as the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting or the American Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. Certification provides greater professional opportunities and can lead to higher earnings.
What are the requirements to work as a surgical tech?
In order to work as a surgical tech, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent. You must also complete an accredited surgical technology program and pass the national certification exam administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).
What are the benefits of certification?
There are many benefits to becoming a certified surgical technologist. Certification can give you a sense of pride and accomplishment, it can make you more marketable to potential employers, and it can lead to career advancement.
certified surgical technologist has completed an accredited surgical technology program and has passed a national certification exam. The certification exam covers a broad range of topics related to surgical technology, including medical terminology, sterilization techniques, wound care, and patient safety. Passing the exam shows that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform your job safely and effectively.
Becoming certified can also lead to career advancement. Many employers prefer to hire certified surgical technologists, and some even require certification for certain positions. In some cases, certification may be required for promotion to a supervisor or management position.
If you are thinking about becoming a surgical technologist, or if you are already working in the field, obtaining certification is a great way to show your commitment to your career and improve your chances for success.
What are the risks of working without certification?
Working as a surgical tech without certification is a risky proposition. The surgical tech profession is regulated by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA), and most employers require that surgical techs be certified by the NBSTSA. Some states also have their own certification requirements.
Working without certification as a surgical tech exposes you to a number of risks. First, you could be sued if something goes wrong during surgery. If the patient suffers complications or dies, the family could sue you and the hospital for damages. Second, you could be fired from your job if your employer finds out that you are not certified. Third, you will have a hard time finding another job if you leave your current job, as most employers prefer to hire certified surgical techs.
If you are considering working as a surgical tech without certification, you should weigh the risks carefully before making a decision.