What are the best certified first assistant assistant qualifications and training to get ahead?

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What is the best training for becoming a certified first assistant assistant? What types of ongoing training or certifications are necessary to be an effective certified first assistant assistant?

What do non-traditional career paths look like?

chris in Eden Prairie, Minnesota

92 months ago

Hello,
My name is Chris, I live in central Pennsylvania. I am currently taking a course to become certified in First Assisting. The course I am going through is NIFA!! So far it is GREAT!!! I am in Dallas, Tx right now, and just passed my hands on training for a week on suturing and tying! The rest is all online. I take the tests online and do the reading assignments at home. After all that is complete, I have to assist 135 cases and do a case study, then pass my certification of First Assisting.
The website is www.surgicalassisting.com

Huh? in Hinckley, Illinois

92 months ago

Am I the only one who has never heard of "First Assistant Assistant"?

cplank in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

92 months ago

HA HA!!! No!! That is not the name!! It was listed like that when I came across it. It was submitted to by the website. It is a Certified First Assistant(CFA)
They work w/ the surgeon to do surgery!!

Deb in Springdale, Arkansas

92 months ago

chris in Eden Prairie, Minnesota said: Hello,
My name is Chris, I live in central Pennsylvania. I am currently taking a course to become certified in First Assisting. The course I am going through is NIFA!! So far it is GREAT!!! I am in Dallas, Tx right now, and just passed my hands on training for a week on suturing and tying! The rest is all online. I take the tests online and do the reading assignments at home. After all that is complete, I have to assist 135 cases and do a case study, then pass my certification of First Assisting.
The website is www.surgicalassisting.com

People please be careful when using online courses! The above is not approved by the Comission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES. The school must be approved by either of these or you just spent thousands on a certificate than means nothing. Also, the course that the above person is taking is not for a CERTIFIED FIRST ASSISTANT. To become a Certified First Assistant you must be a Surgical Technologist first! You can not skip being a Surgical Technologist and go straight to being a Certified First Assistant. If you are interested in Surgical Assisting, Surgical Technologist, or Certified First Assistant, please go to the websites below. Hope this helps someone from getting ripped off.

www.nbstsa.org/certifyingexam/eligibility.html

www.caahep.org/Find_An_Accredited_Program.aspx

www.abhes.org/areasofstudytemp.asp

cplank in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

91 months ago

Thanks for that extra info "DEB"!! I have to add my comment now!
If you decide to take a course that fits your needs, time schedule, family life, etc and it is not an accredited course YOU ARE NOT WASTING YOUR TIME, and it will MEAN SOMETHING!!!! I am bettering myself by taking this course. It may not be accredited but guess what!!! I will still be qualified to do the job and I am getting paid for it!!!!
I took offense from what you wrote!! I have 2 kids, work 40-50 hrs a week, and this fit my needs. I RECOMMEND THIS COURSE TO ANYONE THAT WANTS TO BETTER THEMSELVES AND THIER CAREER!!!! I read from the same books as anyone else, ALEXANDER'S, AST ST FOR THE ST, etc!!!! Then I study and take my tests online. Works great for me and I am learning a hell of a lot.
Deb is a great person if you wanna become someone who belittles people!!!!! THANKS DEB!!!!!!!!!

Deb in Springdale, Arkansas

91 months ago

cplank in Williamsport, Pennsylvania said: Thanks for that extra info "DEB"!! I have to add my comment now!
If you decide to take a course that fits your needs, time schedule, family life, etc and it is not an accredited course YOU ARE NOT WASTING YOUR TIME, and it will MEAN SOMETHING!!!! I am bettering myself by taking this course. It may not be accredited but guess what!!! I will still be qualified to do the job and I am getting paid for it!!!!
I took offense from what you wrote!! I have 2 kids, work 40-50 hrs a week, and this fit my needs. I RECOMMEND THIS COURSE TO ANYONE THAT WANTS TO BETTER THEMSELVES AND THIER CAREER!!!! I read from the same books as anyone else, ALEXANDER'S, AST ST FOR THE ST, etc!!!! Then I study and take my tests online. Works great for me and I am learning a hell of a lot.
Deb is a great person if you wanna become someone who belittles people!!!!! THANKS DEB!!!!!!!!!

The title of this discussion, if you didnt notice, was "What are the BEST certified first assistant qualifications and training to get ahead?" In reality, if the school is not accredited, you will not make as much money when you finally do get hired, period. Also, someone who attended an accredited school WILL get hired over you. Some online courses that are not accredited will help you in your career if you are ALREADY in the medical field, but if you are just starting in the medical field, it is BEST to attend an accredited school. That is the point I was trying to make. I'm not trying to squash people's dreams here, I'm giving people a heads up.

"Effective January 1 , 2007, all candidates for this credential must be graduates of surgical assisting programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)"

surgicalassistant.org/html/Headlines/Evaluating%20A%20Surgical%20Assisting%20Education%20Program.html

ren in Las Vegas, Nevada

91 months ago

Deb,
You are correct! Although true that bettering yourself by obtaining further education is a laudable endeavor, courses without substance may mean future loss of income or the ability for more choices in work environment. Increasingly, accreditation has meaning--not only for students, but also for employers and the public. As more hospitals strive for Magnet status, Planetree accreditation, or other designations, more facilities are requiring nurses, surgical technologists, and other clinical personnel to achieve certification. Only those who have graduated from accredited programs may site for certification exams.
Accreditation assures that the course contents, progression of knowledge, practical application, and faculty are of the highest caliber. Participation in a course of study is more than reading the book and performing 135 cases--it's about having the skills to apply knowledge to performance and exercising critical thinking.
As this is a discussion amongst adults, there should be no feelings of personal attack--merely a colleague offering sound advice--Let the buyer beware!
As a perioperative nurse educator, I found Deb's referral to accredited and sound educational programs very beneficial. Thanx, Deb--one of my surgical techs inquired about becoming a CFA and I'm sure your website links will be helpful to him.

cplank in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

91 months ago

Well maybe I over reacted b/c of a long day at work, but I am busting my but off now w/ working full time, this schooling, house work, and a 16 month at home w/ another on the way. But when someone says that this is a waste of my time and money!! CMON!! That would hit a nerve with anyone. Here you are bettering yourself, making more money, have more self esteem and motivation at work and someone comes along and says that!! To be blunt it pissed me off. I appologize for anything I said before that offended anyone so now I am the adult!
Gonna quote something from REN -
"Only those who have graduated from accredited programs may site for certification exams. "
That is false. I will have to take a cert. exam after my course is complete!
Also, about the course I am enrolled in, it is more than reading "A BOOK AND 135 CASES"!!!!!! If you wish I will send you my course outline!!!! It is longer than you think!! Consists of 5 books, 4 other recommend text books, a dvd, traveling to a suture course which is very intense, 12 units with reading assignments of a minimum of 100 pages and study guides.
That is just a partial overview.
Also I would like to add that I recieved an email to enroll in this different course SA250 which is on its way to being accredited!! Within a yr this course will be accredited. It will meet the standards that all the other accredited course meet. I will sit for the National Assistant in Surgery Council title of Assistant in Surgery and be a AS-C.
That is on the ast.org website.

Deb in West Fork, Arkansas

91 months ago

Sorry if I came across as rude. But for some people, the course you are taking will not help them. The hospital or clinic they work at may require certification from an accredited school. (As most do) I would hate for someone to take the course and realize that it is not approved at their workplace. Also, because the school is not accredited yet, all graduates prior to the schools being accredited, will in fact, not be certified. They will have to take the CFA exam. And they may or may not be eligible to take the CFA exam due to when they graduated. Persons who graduated prior to the school being accredited may have to retake some or all of the courses. As of now, there is only one online program that is accredited for Certified First Assisting so far. It is Meridian Institute of Surgical Assisting. www.meridian-institute.com/ Which is stated here at the Association of Surgical Assistants website: www.surgicalassistant.org/html/Education/Education.html It seems it is similiar to the school you are taking. But it is accredited. And it's cost is around $4,500. If I were to point someone in the direction of online schooling for being a first assistant I would direct them there.

cplank in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

91 months ago

I am just letting everyone know that it will be accredited very soon!! I got reading the email I got last night and it will be done before I get done w/ my course which is abuot 9 months or so. That is fine about the students before me that aren't accredited and will have to retake the test.

SO for the record this course will be accredited!!! AND I RECOMMEND THIS COURSE!!!!
WHEN IT BECOMES ACCREDITED within 10 mo or so!
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!!!!!

Darn42 in Winston salem, North Carolina

91 months ago

Huh? in Hinckley, Illinois said: Am I the only one who has never heard of "First Assistant Assistant"?

Well its different names you dont have to explain people think they know every thing.

Gecco in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

91 months ago

You are missing the Point everyone is trying to make, 1st and foremost you do not have a surgical technology degree, and in the operating room we eat people like you for breakfast, second.. no O.R will take you on as a 1ST ASSISTANT needless to say any facility REMEMBER PA-C SA-C STFA - RNFA you cannot compete with anyone.. You may be able to find a job in a vet hospital (maybe) but good luck to you just the same.

traci innes in Murrieta, California

91 months ago

anyone hear of a first assist program on the weekend? i am a nurse practitioner and i am in the clinic 40-50 hours per week. so most of my open time is on the weekend for extra training. any ideas or thought that you can share with me.

cplank in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

91 months ago

The course I am in (NIFA-www.surgicalassisting.com), which will be accredited soon, does accept NP's!! All they had to do was take the one week asssting lab. I went to Dallas, Tx to take it. It is in different parts of the country. I couldn't believe. (no offense to NP's) But to only have to take this one week suture, tying, & assisting lab to work in the OR and assist?? WOW!!! I know you have a crap load of schooling under your belt. Even the instructor was suprised. It just depends on where you work and who you work for. So maybe look into that. If you aren't worried about the accredited part then this is great course. It is fun, easy to learn and you learn a lot on Anatomy/Physiology, procedure's, suture material, many types of tying techniques, etc. If you send me your email I could email you some paperwork I got from there.

TRACI INNES in Chandler, Arizona

91 months ago

THE COURSE YOU MENTIONED SOUNDS- LIKE WHAT I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR. I WOULD LIKE TO GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT IT! PLEASE E-MAIL ME
THANK YOU!

cplank in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

91 months ago

TRACI INNES in Chandler, Arizona said: THE COURSE YOU MENTIONED SOUNDS- LIKE WHAT I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR. I WOULD LIKE TO GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT IT! PLEASE E-MAIL ME
THANK YOU!

Whats ur email addy!!??

Darn42 in Winston salem, North Carolina

91 months ago

I read up on some info . That you had to be a registered Rn. TO BE AN CERTIFIED FIRST ASSISTANT its surgery assistant. Thats all I

Darn42 in Winston salem, North Carolina

91 months ago

The site you apply through is Meridian Institution of Surgical assisting number is 1-8779541500. Thank You DARN42

slash4cash in Skowhegan, Maine

90 months ago

I just wanted to comment on cplank's comments I came across on here. Being a CST/CFA I find it very disturbing that these online courses exist. I find them dangerous to patients!! It's one thing to have some previous background in the fiend, but to go into it knowing nothing? One week of clinical training in suture tying and they think your qualified to assist a surgeon in the operating room??? Very Scary.

Deb in West Fork, Arkansas

90 months ago

slash4cash in Skowhegan, Maine said: I just wanted to comment on cplank's comments I came across on here. Being a CST/CFA I find it very disturbing that these online courses exist. I find them dangerous to patients!! It's one thing to have some previous background in the fiend, but to go into it knowing nothing? One week of clinical training in suture tying and they think your qualified to assist a surgeon in the operating room??? Very Scary.

I believe that cplank is already a surgical tech.

cplank in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

90 months ago

slash4cash in Skowhegan, Maine said: I just wanted to comment on cplank's comments I came across on here. Being a CST/CFA I find it very disturbing that these online courses exist. I find them dangerous to patients!! It's one thing to have some previous background in the fiend, but to go into it knowing nothing? One week of clinical training in suture tying and they think your qualified to assist a surgeon in the operating room??? Very Scary.

Well I guess u must have misunderstood me!! I think I mentioned before there were NP's in my suture/tying lab I took that week that needed that one week course to actually work in the OR and that was it!! I am a CST and have been for 9 yrs!! I also have about 200 heart and lung cases that I have first assisted in! I am on the cardiac team and the PA-C left in 05! It left us 3 techs on the team to FA!! I did about 85% of the cases. I have a lot of background in this field. I do not FA in the general OR or for the private practice docs. I eventually will b/c I will have to have so many cases per field of study when I am done w/ my book work and start my clinicals.
If I were dangerous to pts then why have I been allowed to do this for the past 2.5 yrs!!! I take offense to that but I think you misunderstood me and my posts!! What I think is very scary are hospitals taking janitors w/ no college degree of any sorts and training them(OJT) to stand there sterile to pass instruments!! That is DANGEROUS!!!!!
This course is very intense! Yes it is online and you take the tests online but it is better than just getting certified by having 350 cases under your belt, having the surgeon sign a piece of paper so you can then set for the certification exam!! I have more knowledge than those people!!
This course covers every nook and cranny of the human body, covers pharm/micro, ethics, sutures, suturing/tying, and a lot more. If you wish I can forward you the syllabus/course outline!!

DaneG in Rome, Georgia

88 months ago

Deb in West Fork, Arkansas said: Sorry if I came across as rude. But for some people, the course you are taking will not help them. The hospital or clinic they work at may require certification from an accredited school. (As most do) I would hate for someone to take the course and realize that it is not approved at their workplace. Also, because the school is not accredited yet, all graduates prior to the schools being accredited, will in fact, not be certified. They will have to take the CFA exam. And they may or may not be eligible to take the CFA exam due to when they graduated. Persons who graduated prior to the school being accredited may have to retake some or all of the courses. As of now, there is only one online program that is accredited for Certified First Assisting so far. It is Meridian Institute of Surgical Assisting. www.meridian-institute.com/ Which is stated here at the Association of Surgical Assistants website: www.surgicalassistant.org/html/Education/Education.html It seems it is similiar to the school you are taking. But it is accredited. And it's cost is around $4,500. If I were to point someone in the direction of online schooling for being a first assistant I would direct them there.

I'm enrolled with Meridian, and it is a very well-respected program, I have had nothing but positive reactions from the surgeons in my town, all of whom have heard of the program and all signed on as my preceptors. Meridian is also the only program in the country with live-animal labs at Vanderbilt University in Nashville-- an invaluable experience when learning to tie on tissue and to obtain hemostasis, something that cannot be done on foam dummies. Any program, as an earlier poster mentioned, that skips over the requirement and experience of being a Certified Surgical Technologist first is one to be looked at with suspicion.

Robin in Tallahassee, Florida

86 months ago

Can't you guys read? She IS a CST. Nobody gave her a chance to say that and one person just assumed they knew it all and then it just crumbled from there. She is certified. She is in a good school. Let her be.

Matador017 in Boise, Idaho

85 months ago

OK, let me set the record straight here. I find it very disturbing that these online courses like NIFA are muddying the waters and confusing everyone in the field. NIFA is NOT an accredited school. IF you are an RN with a CNOR credential, then you may go through NIFA and sit for the CRNFA exam, which is specifically for nurses, not CST's. Even still, the CRNFA credential is not accredited through a nationally recognized organization. As far as going through NIFA as a CST and taking a certification exam, you may be able to sit for the AS-C in the future, but even this is a bogous credential. There are only two credentials that are nationally recognized, and only one of them is an accredited credential. These are the CSA from the National Surgical Assistant Association, and the CFA from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. The CFA is the only fully accredited credential. However, no matter where you live, the CSA and the CFA are both acceptable. The SA-C and the AS-C are NOT recognized in states that require title protection, registration, and/or licensure for surgical assistants. In the near future, many more if not most states will require this, and graduates from unaccredited schools with subpar credentials will be forced out of the industry, ie unemployable. Anyway, for a list of credentialled school go to the following:

www.caahep.org/Find_An_Accredited_Program.aspx

I am a surgical assistant with the following credentials: CST, CFA, CSA, CRCST. I work with several nurses that are NIFA grads, and they are pretty clueless. I'm sure some NIFA grads are good assistants, but for the most part, this program is a joke. This is precisely the reason that the credentialling boards don't take them seriously. If anyone out there is considering being a surgical assistant, if you have the will, the drive, and the ability to do it, why not do it right. You are throwing your money away by attending an unaccredited school

cplank in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

85 months ago

Just to let everyone know by the end of this yr. NIFA will be an accredited program!!! They are in the process of doing it right now b/c I have had to send them a whole bunch of info and what not. So if you are planning on taking a first assistant course in the future they will be accredited!! THANKS

Matador017 in Boise, Idaho

85 months ago

Is this accreditation through CAAHEP or some other body. If it's not CAAHEP, it's still no good. As a CST, you will still not be able to sit for the CSA or CFA exams upon graduating from NIFA. Any surgical assistant certification other than the CFA or CSA is not taken seriously in the industry. Good luck.

cplank in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

85 months ago

Yes it is being accredited by CAAHEP!! That is why our hospital picked this company. We knew it wasn't but was going to be accredited that is why we went through them!! It fit our needs(ie. internet testing, suture lab) We couldn't do the classroom thing b/c there aren't any near us. The people that work there are super helpful and the suture lab course that we took, we had to fly to Dallas, Tx(they have them all over the country) was superb!! In a class of about 14 or so we all did great and passed. Some advice for everyone, "Don't talk bad about a program until you get all the facts and actually have gone through that program and it didn't live up to its standards of practice!!!"

mdaulton in Cincinnati, Ohio

84 months ago

i am a 30 year CFA we do not hire SA/C at our hospital just CFA and CSA credentials are recognized here we do use a few RNFA also the reason is we have found the 3 groups we use here are far more superior both knowledge wise and technically more skilled than the SA/C sorry don't mean to belittle anyone but you really need one of the titles mentioned above to be successful and respcted as a surgical assistant

anancy1010 in Fort Worth, Texas

84 months ago

i have been reading these different comments and just taken aback by some i did my traing in england two year program came over to the states with my husband in 1991 i have been a scrub tech in the or for almost 20yrs when i first got here i wasnt aware that i could have been grandfathered in by ast to become a cst and missed that when my hospital went to acheive their magnet status they had me sit for the nccct test which some hospital take but most hospital are looking for cst now tell me this i took my exam back home after two yrs of training have though most of my career here been made to feel that i am less than nothing because i do not have that title and when i changed jobs they told me i had to go back to school which is another insult

renegadern in Las Vegas, Nevada

84 months ago

The world of medicine and surgery in particular continues to evolve, as many hospitals work towards various accreditations, such as Magnet status--the bar continues to be raised in regards to certifications necessary for employment. How we achieved our training and our initial acceptance into the perioperative field in the past has changed significantly in the past few years.
Don't take the suggestion to go back to school as an insult--Sitting for certification merely confirms in an organized format what a surgical tech knows after years in practice.

anancy1010 in Fort Worth, Texas

84 months ago

i believe that i have already proved myself i keep current with the certificatio thet i have already obtained and i already went tto school and sat an exam to do what i do i feel it is an insult

renegadern in Las Vegas, Nevada

84 months ago

That's a shame--that you feel insulted at the suggestion that continuing your education may be beneficial, both personally and professionally. In this fast-paced, technological world, one cannot afford to rest on their laurels.
I would respectfully ask--what do you see as the benefit of remaining static? Employer expectations are changing, recognized credentialing organizations are changing--Clearly, I don't see how remaining in denial of the obvious is beneficial to you--please explain.

anancy1010 in Fort Worth, Texas

84 months ago

i am not in denial have have taken my certification tests i have trained to be a technologist just because you went to an accredited school here does that make you a better technologist i was merely noting that i too have credentials however people have made me feel that they are not good enough when i well know that i am just as equal i went to an accreded school that is regonised in overseas i am always looking to further my education but to repeat something that i am already qualified to do is stupid

renegadern in Las Vegas, Nevada

84 months ago

I'm sorry that your colleagues co-workers have discounted your extensive experience and knowledge. Perhaps it is our American viewpoint that overseas schools are in some way sub-standard, which may not be the case at all.
Although you may not see any benefit to obtain the certification that is most recognized stateside; you may at some point, reconsider (I don't know how old you are). As we age, positions that require more knowledge and less physicial work often require recognized certifications, or in other cases, advanced degrees.
I can relate to your reluctance to invest time and money into learning "what you already know", but at some time you may wish to change direction. I can only relate personal experience--I thought an Associate Degree would be enough; afterall, why relearn what I already know? In order to move up to less physically demanding work and put all that knowledge to work, I had to obtain an advanced degree.
I was made Interim Manager of Sterile Processing 45 days ago--without the education/certification, I'd still be downstairs. Not all of us have the luxury or ability to provide direct patient care forever.I realized I had to think ahead to maintain and advance my career.

Matador017 in Boise, Idaho

84 months ago

Last month our hospital made the CST credential mandatory for employment. We now have the same regulations that the other hospitals in Boise have. No one in this area will hire you unless you are a CST. My friend, who had worked in our OR for two years was laid off because she could not obtain her CST credential. She was a TS-C. She went to an unaccredited school in Arizona. She is now unemployed and will have to either move, go back to school, or change careers. Also, the wife of a surgeon I work for as an assistant is a Scrub. She was let go from the trauma center for the same reason, she was unable to sit for the CST exam. This is a very real issue in our profession people. Trust me, if you are not a CST, your career can be over with the change of one state regulation or hospital policy. AST is fighting for this, and they have the lobbyists to back them up.

sara in Wantagh, New York

84 months ago

HELLO!

I am a certified surgical technician, and i would like to be a STFA (surgical tech first assistant). Here in NY there is no such thing, you would have to do the 6 year physicians assiatnt schooling. but, they told me you can do that in other states. I was wondering if anyone knew what states, and how long the program is? thanx!

Robin in Mobile, Alabama

84 months ago

Matador017 in Boise, Idaho

84 months ago

You have to be a CST first through the NBSTSA. Then, you have to go through an ACCREDITED school. I went to Meridian Institute of Surgical Assisting. It is an excellent program. Most schools require at least an Associate of Science degree in Surgical Technology to get in, but that requirement varies. There are also other criteria you must meet, but that will get sorted out after you apply to a program. As far as the states that allow first assistants to practice, New York and California are the only ones with restrictions. Even then, in Cali private docs and some hospitals such as Kaiser Permanente still hire them. So the other 48 states and various other territories and countries are wide open. Some states, such as Texas, Illinois, and Kentucky embrace the practice and have state licensure and registration for surgical assistants. Other states are looking into licensure and other legislation. States like Tennessee, Florida, Virginia, and Georgia have many first assistants that practice. They work in hospitals, private surgical assistant firms, and for private surgeons. To be successful in the field, you have to be either a CFA (Certified First Assistant) from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, or a CSA (Certified Surgical Assistant) from the National Surgical Assistant Association. I absolutely WOULD NOT recommend wasting your time on any other credential (though others on this post are apt to disagree with me). Most programs are a minimum of one year in length. Others are 1 1/2 to 2 years. Good luck in your endevours.

FYI - We're surgical technologists, not surgical technicians :)

Robin in Mobile, Alabama

84 months ago

for surgical first assistant the Meridian-institute.com is certified.

sara in Wantagh, New York

84 months ago

Matador017 in Boise, Idaho said: You have to be a CST first through the NBSTSA. Then, you have to go through an ACCREDITED school. I went to Meridian Institute of Surgical Assisting. It is an excellent program. Most schools require at least an Associate of Science degree in Surgical Technology to get in, but that requirement varies. There are also other criteria you must meet, but that will get sorted out after you apply to a program. As far as the states that allow first assistants to practice, New York and California are the only ones with restrictions. Even then, in Cali private docs and some hospitals such as Kaiser Permanente still hire them. So the other 48 states and various other territories and countries are wide open. Some states, such as Texas, Illinois, and Kentucky embrace the practice and have state licensure and registration for surgical assistants. Other states are looking into licensure and other legislation. States like Tennessee, Florida, Virginia, and Georgia have many first assistants that practice. They work in hospitals, private surgical assistant firms, and for private surgeons. To be successful in the field, you have to be either a CFA (Certified First Assistant) from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, or a CSA (Certified Surgical Assistant) from the National Surgical Assistant Association. I absolutely WOULD NOT recommend wasting your time on any other credential (though others on this post are apt to disagree with me). Most programs are a minimum of one year in length. Others are 1 1/2 to 2 years. Good luck in your endevours.

FYI - We're surgical technologists, not surgical technicians :)

thankyou for the information. people here don't know much about it because of the fact they dont allow it.

Surgical technologist is not used much here, they only used that name in school. we are called scrubs or surgical techs.. but i do agree surgical technologist sounds much better.

kp in Atlanta, Georgia

84 months ago

Please help! I have been reading the posts on here and I am really upset. I am attending Iverson Business School on Atlanta ga for Surgical tech. I was unaware that it had to be CAAHEP & NBSTSA accredited. I is not. Am I wasting my time? Will I be able to take th exam? I am taking this course so that I can eventually become a CFA. I have only been there five weeks so I can pull out an go somewhere else if needed. Thanks.

Matador017 in Boise, Idaho

84 months ago

I'm glad you found this thread in time. Yes, if you can pull out of your school do it right away. There are people who may want to pursuade you to stay in it, but trust me. You will not be able to sit for the CST exam, and hence will absolutley not be able to attend a first assistant school. You MUST go through an accredited Surgical Technology Program. Use the link below to find a school in your area that is CAAHEP accredited.

www.caahep.org/Find_An_Accredited_Program.aspx

Without training through an accredited program, you will close a lot of doors for yourself, if you can even get a job at all. Also, if you want to be an assistant one day, you need an associate of science degree in surgical technology to get into a first assistant school. So, make sure you get into an accredited school that offers an A.S. degree, not all do. If you need any help let me know. Good luck to you.

kp in Atlanta, Georgia

84 months ago

Thank you so much!! I was up all night in tears. I work for a plastic surgeon now and I needed a night program so hopefully the other school will offer one. I am looking into the Everest institute. They offer an associate in Surgical Technology and they are accredited. Is this the right one needed? I was wrong to assume that since Iverson is an accredited school that it was what I needed. I was just looking at the cases and OR exp that was needed and I found all of these things. I am so lucky to find it so early. Thanks again

slash4cash in Farmington, Maine

84 months ago

Might not be a bad idea to seriously consider pulling up stakes at your school and finding one that is accredited NOW. Honestly, I've been a CST/CFA for almost 10 yrs now and before I started reading this thread I hadn't heard of all of these alternate titles for CST's. So that to me tells me that these titles are very unpopular in the healthcare industry. Just go on any job posting board for a hospital OR for instance-does anyone ever see a listing for AS-C, TS-C?? Please tell me if I'm wrong-maybe it's a Maine thing but I frequent traveller sites too and all I see on those also are CST and CFA positions.

kp in Atlanta, Georgia

84 months ago

When I went online the Everest institute was accredited by the CAAHEP. I was mislead at Iverson Business. It's not going to be pretty when I get there Monday. I have a friend that is a lawyer and this is Fraud. I am demanding my money back. 18,000 is alot of money for a school that is not worth anything. I don't care how much I have to pay as long as it is the right program. I am going to withdraw from classes Monday.

Robin in Mobile, Alabama

84 months ago

I agree, pull out. You want to be acreditted. You will work hard and for what, not to become certified? oh no! I am sure you can find another program in Atlanta.

Robin in Mobile, Alabama

84 months ago

I know a girl in my class who is a st. She is in our program because she must be certified. So.....don't waste your time, do it right the first time and then check into www.merdian-institute.com for your first assistant position. I will graduate soon. I have two more quarters and then I will sit for my boards and go there to become a first assistant, if God willing. I was suppose to have graduated, but my mom died during a quarter and let's just say, I wasn't mentally capable of continuing at that time. Good luck to you. It's a journey.....or has been for me, but it's been fun and I've met alot of friends.

ROSEMARY MUDRY

84 months ago

MY DAUGHTER IS A xst/fa IN gA ABS WAS JUST NOTIFIED THAT INSURANCES OVER A SHORT PERIOD WILL SYOP LETTING THEM BILL LAON.... tHEY STATE THAT EAXH DR WILL HAVE TO HAVE HIS OR HER OWN PA OR NURSE TO THE FIRST ASSISTING. HAS ANYONE HERD THIS ALSO. I WILL BE SPENDING THE NEXT WEEK CALL ING ECH MAIN INSURANCE COMPANY TO SEE IF THIS IS TRU.... THIS WILL PUT ALOT OF WELL EDUCATED cST AND FIRST ASSISTABTS A SLAP IN THE FACE...MY DAYGHTER IS 24 AND HAS BEEN WORKING AS A CST FOR HER FIRST 2 AND FIST ASSISTANT 2.5 .. THIS IS HORRIBLE.I AM TRYING TO GWT ENOGHT PEOPLE TOGETHER AND MAY GET SOMEONE (LOB
BYIST) OR SOMEONE ELSE. I DO NEED HELP FROM ALL CSTS AND FA OUT THRER, YOU GUYS HAVE PUT TO MUCH TIMEIN TO HAVE MAJOR CEPS AND HIGHER START THIS OFF SO YOU WILL BE A A STUCK JOB THIS SUKS, IF ANYBODY IS WILLING TO WORK WITH ME IM FINDING THE TRUTHE BEHIND THIS IS WOULD BE GREATLY...

MY NAME IS ROSEMARY I REDIDE IN FLORIDA
561-674-6108

Robin in Mobile, Alabama

84 months ago

First of all I do apologize, but i could only guess what you were saying. i think you hit the wrong keys. If you are saying that a PA or RN can first assist then maybe you should call the CAAHEP. I haven't heard this and hope it's not true because I am just about to finish school and go to first assisting school I'd hate to think that i wasted my time and money.

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