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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Maryland. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.
Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Surgical Technologists relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 23.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org
Annual Median Salary