Surgical technicians may not get to share the spotlight too often, but they are an integral part of any surgical team and procedure. These individuals are in charge of keeping operating rooms sterile and organized before, while, and after medical procedures take place. They're also responsible for sterilizing surgical wounds and incisions, ensuring patients are clear from any fluids or materials that could cause infection.
Surgical Technologist Schools in Arkansas
Arkansas hosts a number of colleges and institutions allowing students to study toward becoming surgical technologists. The programs vary in length and intensity, and, while they all culminate in similar outcomes, they all offer different perks for students with different goals in mind.
- Arkansas State University - Newport: Arkansas State University in Newport offers a 12-month certificate program in surgical technology. The program consists of 40 credit hours of study and clinical preparation. No prerequisite courses are needed, however students must submit their ACT and ATI - TEAS "V" scores, as well as be accepted to the university, to attend the program.
- Baptist Health College - Little Rock: The certificate program at Baptist Health College in Little Rock is two semesters in length, with programs beginning in both January and July. Students enrolled in this program should expect to attend class or clinic full-time, Monday through Friday, for the duration of their studies.
- North Arkansas College: North Arkansas College offers a 9-month program for those looking to get a jumpstart in their career as a surgical technologist. For students who have a little more time on their hands, the college offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science degree program, which can then be used to transfer for a four-year university.
- Northwest Technical Institute: Northwest Technical Institute's program begins in the Fall of each year, and lasts for three semesters (Fall/Spring/Summer). Throughout each semester, students will have both classroom and clinical experiences to learn from. Cohorts average around 18 students per class, so students can expect a certain level of individualized attention throughout the program.
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences: The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences offers two separate tracks for prospective surgical tech students. Those who wish to attend full-time can complete the program in two semesters, and those who can only attend part-time can do so in four. Either way, completion of the program culminates in the earning of an Associate of Science degree in surgical technology.
What to Expect from Arkansas Surgical Technologist Programs
All surgical technologist programs feature a mixture of classroom and clinical experience. Some of the programs require students to have a strong foundational knowledge of the medical field before entering, while others provide this education within the first semester of the program. On the clinical side, students will need to demonstrate proficiency in putting their knowledge into practice in real-world settings before earning their degree or certificate.
Toward the end of a program, or upon completion, students will also prepare to sit for an exam administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical First Assistants.
Arkansas Surgical Technologist License
Surgical technologists who have completed accredited programs within the state of Arkansas are not required to become licensed.
The NBSTSA does, however, recommend those in the surgical technology profession take the exam which will allow them to become certified nationwide. This will allow those who have yet to find work as surgical techs the opportunity to display their knowledge and abilities quickly and efficiently to prospective employers. Furthermore, those who become nationally certified will have a much easier time transferring to another state that may require in-state licensing.
Once certified by the NBSTSA, surgical technologists will need to renew their certificate every four years.
Resources for Surgical Technologists in Arkansas