Surgical technologists are an integral part of the operating room team, providing assistance to surgeons, nurses, and other medical personnel during surgical procedures. Becoming a surgical technologist requires a combination of education and training, as well as certification.


The first step to becoming a surgical technologist is to obtain a high school diploma or equivalent. After that, aspiring surgical technologists must complete a formal education program. These programs are typically offered at community colleges, vocational schools, and universities. Most programs take between nine months and two years to complete and include courses in anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, and surgical procedures.


In addition to formal education, surgical technologists must also complete a clinical training program. This program provides hands-on experience in the operating room, allowing students to observe and participate in actual surgical procedures. During this time, students learn how to properly prepare the operating room, sterilize instruments, and assist the surgical team.


Once a student has completed their education and training, they must obtain certification in order to become a surgical technologist. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) offers the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam, which is the most widely recognized certification for surgical technologists. The exam covers topics such as anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, and surgical procedures.

In addition to the CST exam, some states may require surgical technologists to obtain a state license. Licensing requirements vary by state, so it is important to check with your state’s licensing board for specific requirements.

Becoming a surgical technologist requires a combination of education, training, and certification. Those who are interested in this career should be prepared to commit to a rigorous program of study and training in order to become certified. With the right education and training, however, surgical technologists can enjoy a rewarding career in the medical field.

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