A surgical technologist's chief duties will mainly involve providing assistance during surgical operations. They will typically arrange the necessary equipment for operations, help prepare the operating rooms, and also assist doctors during surgeries. Other tasks might include readying patients for surgery, preparing operating rooms for surgery, stocking and sterilizing surgery supplies and equipment, counting supplies, passing instruments to surgeons during operations, and maintaining a sterile environment.
Maryland Surgical Technologist Schools
Most surgical technologists hold either a postsecondary certificate or an associate degree in surgical technology. The list below includes surgical tech schools in Maryland that offer a variety of courses, tracks and programs of interest to prospective surgical technologists.
- Anne Arundel Community College: Boasting 225 different programs and more than 3,500 courses, this community college serves about 50,000 credit and noncredit students each year. It focuses on workforce as well as professional training.
- Baltimore City Community College: With 29 different Associate's degree choices - as well as 16 certificate programs in technology, business, engineering, health care, hospitality, and teacher education, among other fields - BCCC helps students prepare for a four-year university or simply improve their current workplace skills.
- Chesapeake College: Founded in 1965 as Maryland's first regional community college, Chesapeake College offers more than 70 college majors as well as a range of certificate programs, career training, non-credit workforce training, and lifelong learning.
- Fortis Institute-Baltimore: A two-year private for-profit institution, Fortis offers career education and training programs in the nursing, healthcare, medical, dental, business, information technology, skilled trades, massage and cosmetology career fields.
- Frederick Community College: This institution includes instruction in more than 85 degree and certificate programs offered with flexible course schedules year-round including a host of online courses.
- Montgomery College: At three different campuses across Maryland in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, Montgomery College has 130 different student clubs and was noted in the New York Times' list of best community colleges in the country.
- Prince George's Community College: Educating students since 1958, Prince George's Community College boasts 44,000 students who represent 103 countries around the world, offering associate degrees, certificates, letters of recognition and licensures.
- The Community College of Baltimore County: Ranked among the number one providers of undergraduate education in the Baltimore area, CCBC is also well-known for workforce development, technology training, and lifelong learning/life enrichment programs. CCBC has been serving the Baltimore community since 1957.
What to Expect from Maryland Surgical Technician Programs
Most surgical tech programs will generally provide a combination of general skill building and technical knowledge coursework, and also may require a set amount of in-field education. They can take anywhere from several months to two years to fully complete. Coursework will likely vary from program to program, but some of the common skills you can expect to develop include:
- Stress-management skills
- Being detail-oriented
- Physical stamina
These particular skills might play an essential role in your success as a surgical technician.
In terms of technical knowledge, surgical technology coursework will most likely involve courses in biology, medical terminology, anatomy, pharmacology, and other topics. Specific training may also extend to preventing and controlling infections should they occur, ensuring the care and safety of patients, ways to sterilize equipment, as well as setting up technical or robotic equipment.
Maryland Surgical Technician Certification
Certification for a surgical technologist is not mandatory in the state of Maryland. It is, however, mandatory in the states of Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Employers may be more likely to hire candidates with any additional certification though as it can demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the diverse job responsibilities involved in this career.
When it comes to national certification, surgical technicians have a few different options. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting grants the "Certified Surgical Technologist (CST)" title and involves the completing an accredited program as well as passing an exam.
Surgical technicians may also seek certification through the National Center for Competency Testing which offers the "Tech in Surgery - Certified (NCCT)" certification. This particular path does not require completing an accredited formal education program however and applicants can qualify instead through work experience and military training as well as other paths. It does however require the testing essential skills and passing an exam.
Both of the certifications will require continuing education to maintain certification. Keep in mind that many jobs may require technicians to be certified in CPR or basic life support or even both.
Resources for Surgical Technicians in Maryland