How do I Choose the Best Surgical Tech Program?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 31 December 2018
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The best surgical tech program can be located by comparing the following four items: accreditation, job placement programs, alumni graduation statistics, and faculty quality. A surgical tech program is available from a wide range of community and career colleges. Upon graduation, a surgical technician can find employment opportunities in hospitals and outpatient day surgery clinics.

A surgical technician is responsible for managing equipment and supplies during complex surgical procedures. The program is two years in length and is mandatory when applying for a position as a surgical technician. This position sees many of the same things as a surgical nurse. Think carefully about this to decide if this program is right for you.

Accredited surgical tech programs have been evaluated by an independent agency, authorized by the government. This agency is responsible for reviewing the quality of academic programs and administrative policies to ensure that they meet a minimum standard. Courses completed from an accredited school can be transferred to other post-secondary educational institutions. In addition, these schools can offer government student aid programs.

Job placement programs are very important in a surgical tech program. Most schools arrange for a work term within a surgical setting in the second year of the program. Students are expected to observe, and then provide limited support during actual surgeries. This experience is very important, as it is otherwise impossible to gain surgical tech experience before graduation.


Every post-secondary school maintains statistics on graduate employment rates. This information is collected at three-, six-, and 12-month intervals and provides insight into the impact of the education program. The level of detail varies, but typically includes current job title, starting salary, full time or part time, type of industry, and if the job is training related.

When selecting a surgical tech program, take the time to review the credentials of the faculty or teaching staff. While the program director may have an impressive resume, the average student will never meet someone at this level. Avoid any school that is unwilling to discuss the background and qualifications of its teaching staff.

People who report the greatest satisfaction with surgical technician programs have work experience in the health services sector. This may include training as a nurse assistant, emergency medical technician, or personal support worker. These candidates have a realistic idea of the challenges and rewards of the health services industry. They are also willing to work long hours, rotating shifts, and weekends.



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