Surgical technicians and technologists are responsible for assisting surgeons before, during, and after surgery. They prepare the operating room, sterilize the equipment, and even assist during the surgery. Working as a surgical technician is one way to enter the health care field without having to complete many years of schooling, but specialized training is still important. Typically, earning a two-year degree or a postsecondary certificate is a viable way to prepare for becoming a surgical technician.
Although there are only two surgical technologist schools in Oregon, be sure to think about your own unique situation and what is best for your goals before choosing.
After you make it through the program you choose, work for your certification from the NBSTSA (National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting). While it's not required in Oregon, it is an effective way to stand out from the competition when looking for that first job.
Surgical technologist schools in Oregon all have slightly different curriculum. The one you go through depends on the type of certificate or degree you want. However, no matter where you go, your education is going to consist of lectures, working in labs and going to actual clinical environments to learn hands-on.
As far as actual courses go, expect to take things like:
Becoming a surgical technician also involves working with the tools of the trade. This includes those you need to do your job and those you must know how to handle for surgeons during operations. Learning how to sterilize them and prep the patient are also big components of all surgical tech schools in Oregon.
Oregon doesn't have any official rules about a certificate that surgical technicians must acquire in order to practice. As long as you graduate from one of the two surgical technician schools in Oregon we listed earlier, you can begin working.
That being said, the NBSTSA's CST exam can give you a certification that any employer in Oregon is going to recognize. In fact, it's gotten to the point where not having a CST is probably more noticeable than having one.
As long as you complete a course in surgical technology, you'll be primed to take and pass the CST exam. The schools covered above go out of their way to make sure you're prepared, so while you should still study for it, the prospect shouldn't be too intimidating.
In all, there are 200 questions (only 175 are scored; 25 are just for statistical research) and you are tested on the types of work surgical technicians must do on a regular basis.
When it comes to preparing for your CST exam, check out these resources:
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 Oregon. 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