Working under the supervision of surgeons, surgical technicians assist in a number of ways during operations. They may help to get the operating room ready for surgery, transporting patients there and preparing them for surgery. During the operation, they may pass equipment, adjust equipment and lights and generally assist surgeons throughout the surgery.
Pennsylvania Surgical Technician Schools
It is typically required for a surgical technician (or surgical technologist) to have an associate's degree or a postsecondary certificate. There are a variety of accredited programs available that assist students in becoming a surgical technician with a number of these being located in Pennsylvania. Some of these include:
- Pittsburgh Technical College: Established for over 65 years, PTC offers a wide range of academic programs. One of these is Surgical Technology, which is a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
- University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown: Founded in 1927, the Johnstown campus is the oldest and largest one of the University of Pittsburgh. Here, students can enroll on their Surgical Technology course, which is a 75-credit associate degree program.
- Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences: PA College offers a number of flexible degree programs including Surgical Technology. This is an associate's degree that combines classroom-based learning with hands-on experiences in an operating theater.
- Star Career Academy-Philadelphia: The SCA was first established in 1979 before becoming specialized in allied health training in 1983. The academy offers a Surgical Technology diploma program that enables students to go on and pursue entry-level employment.
- McCann School of Business & Technology: McCann has a number of campuses that are based around Pennsylvania, including Monroe, Hazleton and Allentown. Their Surgical Technology program is available at several campuses, including Allentown and is a two-year program.
- Montgomery County Community College: Accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, Montgomery County Community College boasts over 100 certificate and associate degree programs. This includes their Surgical Technology two-year associate in applied science degree program.
What to Expect from Pennsylvania Surgical Technician Programs
If you enroll on a program at a surgical technician school in Pennsylvania, you can expect to acquire all of the skills and technical knowledge you'll need to go on and become a professional surgical technologist. These programs will have you learning the technical side in a classroom whilst also putting your skills to the test in an operating theater where you'll be guided by a qualified surgeon. The courses will cover a plethora of topics, including:
- Surgical principles
Pennsylvania Surgical Technician License
Although there aren't any specific licenses that are required in Pennsylvania, students may find it beneficial to gain a certificate through an accredited organization. This includes becoming a "Certified Surgical Technologist (CST)" through The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting or becoming a "Tech in Surgery - Certified (NCCT)" through the National Center for Competency Testing. To maintain either of these certifications, surgical technologists are required to complete further educational programs.
Becoming certified in basic life support or CPR may also be a requirement for some jobs. The American Board of Surgical Assistants, the National Commission for the Certification of Surgical Assistants and the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting also offer certificates for surgical first assistants.
Resources for Surgical Technicians in Pennsylvania