Surgical Technologists assist in surgical operations. They help to prepare the OR (operating room), sterilize the instruments and keep an inventory of them. Additionally, surgical technologists will hand instruments to the nurses and surgeons as needed during the surgery. Other duties during surgery include cutting sutures, counting sponges or instruments, holding retractors, or taking specimens for the lab.
Surgical technologists obtain formal training in a surgical technologist program from a community college or technical/vocational school.
Programs range in length from nine months for a certificate, to 24 months for an associate's degree.
Certification is preferred by most employers. There are two different councils that certify surgical technologists. One is the Liaison Council for the Certification of the Surgical Technologist, which awards the CST designation (Certified Surgical Technologist) upon passing the exam. One must graduate from an accredited surgical technologist program to be eligible for the exam.
The other certification is the TS-C (Tech in Surgery, Certified) which is awarded by the NCCT (National Center for Competency Testing).
Outpatient surgery centers