What Skills Do I Need to Obtain a Surgical Technologist Certification?

What Skills Do I Need to Obtain a Surgical Technologist Certification?

Mar 16, 2015 | 10:00 am

You’re interested in helping with surgery, gaining experience in the operating room and earning surgical tech certification—so now what? Maybe your organizational skills make you great at preparing operating rooms and sterilizing equipment. Or, perhaps your care for people helps you prepare patients for their procedures comfortably. Whatever leads you to this career, you might wonder how you can advance to the next level. Find out what skills you need to obtain a surgical tech certification.

Education Needed

First, having the right education and preparation is necessary to become a surgical tech. Certification programs often require at least a high school diploma, but more commonly, the completion of an associate degree or diploma program. These programs can be found at community colleges, vocational schools and some hospital training programs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the first level of education for surgical technologists includes training in some of the following:

•Sterilizing equipment and instruments
•Setting up technical or robotic equipment
•Caring for patients and preventing infection
•Working in supervised clinical settings

Certification Requirements

After completing an accredited associate degree or diploma program in surgical technology, getting certified is a great way to stand out from the crowd and prove your knowledge. So, what skills do you need to gain surgical tech certification? According to the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, the exam tests you in topics such as:

•Preoperative Preparation
•Intraoperative Procedures
•Postoperative Procedures
•Administrative and Personnel Duties
•Equipment Sterilization and Maintenance
•Subjects such as Anatomy, Physical Biology, Microbiology and Surgical Pharmacology

These skills should all sound familiar to surgical tech students. Upon successfully passing the exam, surgical techs can add the letters “CST” to their title, confirming their level as “Certified Surgical Technologist.” Keeping current requires continuing education in the field.

Skills Needed for the Work

Even with all the right education and credentials, working in surgery comes down to having certain skills to succeed. The BLS notes that skills vital to the role of surgical tech include: dexterity, integrity, physical stamina, stress management skills and detail oriented thinking. With the right mix of natural skills, education and certification, surgical techs can go far in their field, even advancing quickly into more advanced roles.

If you found this article helpful, read on to find out what you can do with a surgical technician certification. Good luck!