What are the best surgical technician qualifications and training to get ahead?

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shellye in Columbus, Ohio

71 months ago

thank you that was very helpful information. truely appreciae your opinion.

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LMelendez in Overland Park, Kansas

71 months ago

shellye in Columbus, Ohio said: ok i graduated from an accredited school of surgical technology, and want to be a clinical instructor, if i sit for the ncct exam will i still be able to teach? i have 8 years of clinial experience and one year as a surgical tech traveler. help me anyone

You NEED the CST designation to be able to teach in an accredited CAAHEP Surgical Technology Program. I am a director of a program in Jacksonville, FL always looking for experienced CSTs for instructors. NCCT is a competency exam (National Center for Conpetency Testing) NOT a National Certification see www.nbstsa.org

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shellye in Columbus, Ohio

71 months ago

i thank you for that info but i thought that they do certify you as a tech in surgery ,but you are still considered certified. i work with a young lady who took the ncct exam because she never attended a school of surgical tech and has 11 years as a scrub and the hospital consider her a CST.

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ConcordeTech in Jacksonville, Florida

71 months ago

You can not be considered a "Certified" Tech based on experience. You HAVE to pass the National Certification Exam. If you do a search for my screen name on this site "ConcordeTech" You will find a couple of other threads where the cretification topic has been disscussed.

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sara in Nora Springs, Iowa

71 months ago

shellye in Columbus, Ohio said: i thank you for that info but i thought that they do certify you as a tech in surgery ,but you are still considered certified. i work with a young lady who took the ncct exam because she never attended a school of surgical tech and has 11 years as a scrub and the hospital consider her a CST.

Yes Shellye you are correct. If you take the NCCT Certification you are designated as Tech in Surgery-Certified,,(TS-C). Look up Surgical Technology thru Wikipedia on your computer. It is just one of MANY websites that writes "Surgical Technologists with the NCCT certification are nationally certified just like AST Certification", etc...
You can go to U.S. Department of Labor and/or the Bureau of Labor Statistics, look up Surgical Technologists there and it will read about certification thru a CAAHEP-accredited program and you can take the NBSTSA exam and be designated as CST. The next paragraph says "Certification also may be obtained from the National Center of Competency Testing (NCCT)." It goes on to say you can get cert. 3 different ways. One of which your friend did, if she had documentation of her cases and at least 7 years experience in the field, she could take the NCCT exam and on passing the exam is now certified. Again... the NCCT website explains it all.

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CST in Overland Park, Kansas

71 months ago

That hospital should be educated. A CST is a Certified Surgical Technologist certified by the National Board of Surgical Technologists and Surgical Assistants (NBSTSA). NCCT is only a center for "competency", it does not certify you as a CST. I also heard that the "certification exam" from NCCT is mailed to your home if requested. The CST designation is trademark to the NBSTSA and AST. Go to www.ast.org and www.nbstsa.org for more information.

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sara in Nora Springs, Iowa

71 months ago

CST is "trademark" of NBSTSA and AST. If you go back up to Shellye in Ohio and ask her friend, she probly is a TS-C. And if you go to those websites you listed, they are going to tell you all about the "their" CST certification. You think they are going to tell you about NCCT, their enemy? NCCT is their competition, Which really...the NCCT has nothing to compete about. However, the more surgical technicians that leave the AST organization, for the NCCT certification, the less money they make. In Fact I have a very good friend that is a member of our states AST council. In October she is going on an all expense paid cruise with all her AST Council members. Thanks to all AST membership holders. I am sorry... I got off track. You say you "heard" the NCCT exam was mailed to your home if requested? No it isnt, and you and that person needs to educate yourselves! Maybe you could go pick that person up and go to the National Center For Competency Testing. It is located right there in Overland Park.

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N in Elk Grove, California

71 months ago

sara in Nora Springs, Iowa said: CST is "trademark" of NBSTSA and AST. If you go back up to Shellye in Ohio and ask her friend, she probly is a TS-C. And if you go to those websites you listed, they are going to tell you all about the "their" CST certification. You think they are going to tell you about NCCT, their enemy? NCCT is their competition, Which really...the NCCT has nothing to compete about. However, the more surgical technicians that leave the AST organization, for the NCCT certification, the less money they make. In Fact I have a very good friend that is a member of our states AST council. In October she is going on an all expense paid cruise with all her AST Council members. Thanks to all AST membership holders. I am sorry... I got off track. You say you "heard" the NCCT exam was mailed to your home if requested? No it isnt, and you and that person needs to educate yourselves! Maybe you could go pick that person up and go to the National Center For Competency Testing. It is located right there in Overland Park.

I don't think the actual exam is mailed to you but NCCT does mail you the review book and practice test for $39.95 if you order it.

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kimberly tennyson in Huntsville, Alabama

71 months ago

i have almost 10 years experience in or scrubbing. i would like to get my certification and have been informed that i can be grandfathered in with over4 years in the state of Al. please let me know about this asap. thanks so much

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Lisa in Chicago, Illinois

71 months ago

I have applied to an accredited school for surg tech CAAHEP. I have spoken to them to make sure that I am able to sit for the exam. They assured me I am. I want to make sure I crossed all my t's and dotted i's before I hand them a check.

Also, I have a bachelor's degree, not in medicine. I am changing careers. What would be other jobs I could move up in, with or without extra education. Also, would being a surg tech for a few years and then getting my RN help me to become a surgical nurse? Is that the best route.

Also, for the people who have been a surg tech for years, would becoming a surgical nurse not be something you are interested in? And why?

Thank you for any information you can give me. I am changing careers and I just want to make sure I get all the information that I can get outside of the school that wants my tuition.

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Tilly in Michigan in Detroit, Michigan

71 months ago

I"m thinkin about becoming a sugical tech and had been checking schools out. What I wanted to know before I change careers(manufacturing)is being in the OR stressful? How do you specialize in heart or brain surgery? I heard thats where the money is at! How much does a surgical tech verses a cert. surgical tech makes? oh 1 more thing? are you always on call? and how many hrs do they work?

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Yvette Davis in Chicago, Illinois

71 months ago

Re: Tilly in Michigan

To answers to your questions. Yes the OR is stressful. Surg tech usually work 40 hrs a week. Pay varies usually like $5/hr more if your certified, but also depends on location. No you are not always on call at the hospital. Hopes this helps. I would suggest that you do your own in-depth research. Go to ast.org.

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Tacha Acevedo in Orlando, Florida

71 months ago

I just wanted to say that u can be a CST if u take ur exam with NCCT- there alot of students in my school who took the test and they are working not only in my state but some have relocated to different states and they have had any problems with their certification. It also states it in the Fuller's The Surgical Technoligist book, that you should have if ur in school. it list the NCCT as the other testing center. this infomation is listed in the first few pages of the book. the only difference from the 2 test is that the NCCT requires that u document 150 cases and the NBSTSA you don't have to. my program manager is a CST and he took both test and he said they are the same. there is no differents.

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Tacha Acevedo in Orlando, Florida

71 months ago

Kathy said: It's not AST that gives the exam. It is the National Board of Surgical Tech and Surg Assist. It use to be LCC-ST Liason Council on Surg Tech. ANd that exam WAS OFFERED TO EVERYONE.
It is unfortunate the situation you are in. My only recommendation would to be start lobbying for a "clinical test"
You may be out the box, unless you do this, because with all due respect - everyone is heading in the same direction for certification. If it becomes state law (it allready is in some states) then what will you do?

I know you quoted this 2 months ago. but i think u are hard headed. AST will not just let anyone take the test and that is ok. some schools are not accredated with them. they are accredated with NCCT and it is holds weight. there are alot of ST's I know who got their certification from them and had no problem with getting a job. and that should be proof enough. My program manager has been a CST for 24 yrs and he was certified by AST and then he took the test by NCCT and he stated that they are the same test. there is no difference. I know schools in my area who are able to take the test from AST and their students are not great scrubs. the hospitals are hiring more students from my school then those schools. it is mainly how passionate you are for the job and you know what you are doing. now they are saying that certification is going to mean nothing in the next couple of years. they say that you will need to have a licence. some who are already certified will just automatically be licence and thoses who are not will have to take the test to become licence.

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Tacha Acevedo in Orlando, Florida

71 months ago

sara in Nora Springs, Iowa said: Don't forget that I have been a tech for 21 years, certified thru the AST. I have to know... what are these "higher standards" ? Because if I do go thru the NCCT, I am wondering which "standard" I currently have that I wont be needing anymore. Thanks

right on Sara!!!!

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shellye in Columbus, Ohio

71 months ago

thank you! i recently spoke with a director over surgical tech program and she stated tha as long as i was certified it didnot matter which test it was, the test is reconized. i also read that a lot of employers is going to this test because they can use it to certify thier techs. so i'm going for it! when i look at somejob opportunities they donot state that you have to be certified through the lcc-st although there are some that do.

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Heather in Fort Wayne, Indiana

71 months ago

What is it that you want to do in the end? What are you referring to when you say surgical nurse? If you want to be a nurse that works in surgery, then the nurse route is the best way to go. Some hospitals will cross train their nurses to scrub cases as well.
Hope this helps.

Lisa in Chicago, Illinois said: I have applied to an accredited school for surg tech CAAHEP. I have spoken to them to make sure that I am able to sit for the exam. They assured me I am. I want to make sure I crossed all my t's and dotted i's before I hand them a check.

Also, I have a bachelor's degree, not in medicine. I am changing careers. What would be other jobs I could move up in, with or without extra education. Also, would being a surg tech for a few years and then getting my RN help me to become a surgical nurse? Is that the best route.

Also, for the people who have been a surg tech for years, would becoming a surgical nurse not be something you are interested in? And why?

Thank you for any information you can give me. I am changing careers and I just want to make sure I get all the information that I can get outside of the school that wants my tuition.

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Heather in Fort Wayne, Indiana

71 months ago

No you will not. Most schools are requiring that you be a CST that is accredited through NBSTSA.

shellye in Columbus, Ohio said: ok i graduated from an accredited school of surgical technology, and want to be a clinical instructor, if i sit for the ncct exam will i still be able to teach? i have 8 years of clinial experience and one year as a surgical tech traveler. help me anyone

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anancy1010 in Fort Worth, Texas

71 months ago

i just wanted to add to these comments i am an experinced tech of 20yrs now i did my schooling in england 2yr program i missed out aon the grandfather clause that ast had at the time i must say as a tech some but not all csts have looked down on me because ast did not regonize my credentialling i had the oppertunity to take the ncct test because my hospital wanted to get magnet status they required everyone to be certified and this was the organization that they refered me to.A few years later i changed jobs and my director told me that i would have to go back to school to sit for the cst exam after yrs of experience she has since left our new director set a policy that all the techs have to be certified and this topic of ncct came up and yes they do take it if i had the choice i would have taken the cst exam but because i came from overseas it wasnt even an option just because you have a c in front of your credentialing doesnt mean that you are better than your fellow peers i just know that i try to do the best patient care i can as a ts-c(ncct)

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anancy1010 in Fort Worth, Texas

71 months ago

another comment why did ast change to NBSTSA ARE THEY TRYING TO COMPETE WITH NCCT BEING NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED AND JOINT COMMISION DOES regonized NCCT

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STMiami in Overland Park, Kansas

71 months ago

ast is not nbstsa

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Tacha Acevedo in Orlando, Florida

71 months ago

I think that there is much fuss over these two cerfication companies. just give it a rest. they are samething. it doesn't make one tech better then the other. i know people who have taken both tests and they have no problems getting a job. the most important thing is you doing a great job for the patient and you know your stuff.

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anancy1010 in Fort Worth, Texas

71 months ago

i totally agree

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kimberly tennyson in Huntsville, Alabama

71 months ago

I am wondering about being grandfathered in. In the state of Alabama I have been a scrub for almost 10 years and I would like to know if I would be able to grand father in becuse of years experience? please let me know. thanks

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Lisa in Chicago, Illinois

71 months ago

I asked this question before but was really also trying to ask for you out there that have been surg techs for a long time, is there a reason you stayed there and didn't want to be a surg nurse. Is the surg nurse a job you wouldn't want and why? Is the surg tech job much better. I am not talking money, only job satisfaction. I am not interested in going for my RN hoping someone will stick me in the operating room because that is the only place I want to be which is why I was going to do surg tech. I just want to make sure that I will be challenged forever since it doesn't seem like there are very many places to move up unless I go back to school later to be a surg nurse. Can anyone give any ideas to that who have been a surg tech for years. Thank you.

I have applied to an accredited school for surg tech CAAHEP. I have spoken to them to make sure that I am able to sit for the exam. They assured me I am. I want to make sure I crossed all my t's and dotted i's before I hand them a check.

Also, I have a bachelor's degree, not in medicine. I am changing careers. What would be other jobs I could move up in, with or without extra education. Also, would being a surg tech for a few years and then getting my RN help me to become a surgical nurse? Is that the best route.

Also, for the people who have been a surg tech for years, would becoming a surgical nurse not be something you are interested in? And why?

Thank you for any information you can give me. I am changing careers and I just want to make sure I get all the information that I can get outside of the school that wants my tuition.

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Yvette Davis in Chicago, Illinois

71 months ago

To Lisa, In Chicago: The next advancement from CST is CFA or CSA. Certified First Assistant sometimes known as Certified Surgical Assistant. There are only 7 caahep accredited programs in the U.S for this program. Google National Board of Surgical Assisting. Hope this helps.

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Tacha Acevedo in Orlando, Florida

70 months ago

kimberly tennyson in Huntsville, Alabama said: I am wondering about being grandfathered in. In the state of Alabama I have been a scrub for almost 10 years and I would like to know if I would be able to grand father in becuse of years experience? please let me know. thanks

Probably not. you must likely have to take a certification exam. you shouldn't have any problem passing it if you have 10 yrs experience

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shellye in Columbus, Ohio

70 months ago

YOU CAN GET CERTIFIED AS A TECH IN SURGERY BY NCCT YOU HAVE THE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AND I'M SURE AFTER 10 YEARS YOU HAVE AT LEAST 150 CASES. LOOK ON THIER WEB SITE(ncct.com) YOU ARE ELIGIABLE TO SIT FOR THIER EXAM. SO THE ANSWER IS YES!

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kimberly tennyson in Huntsville, Alabama

70 months ago

thanks so much. I would like to get a study guide for the certification program. I have hundreds of cases behind me and would love to get my certificate. When i click on the website I am unsure what link to get on. Any help will be great! thanks so much I am excited and also would like to know when and where the test will be given is this something I can do online? and how do I register? thanks so much for your help. kimberly Sherrill Tennyson

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N in Honolulu, Hawaii

70 months ago

If your talking about the NCCT exam, you just need to go online, register to be a member and there is a list on top, you click on certifications and from that list you review materials and all the way at the bottom you can order the Review book-tech in surgery and they have just paper for $24.95 or the review book and practice test for $39.95.

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anancy1010 in Fort Worth, Texas

70 months ago

kimberly tennyson in Huntsville, Alabama said: I am wondering about being grandfathered in. In the state of Alabama I have been a scrub for almost 10 years and I would like to know if I would be able to grand father in becuse of years experience? please let me know. thanks

i think ast is bringing the grandfather clause back in 2010 please anyone correct me if i am wrong right now it does not exsists

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kimberly tennyson in Huntsville, Alabama

70 months ago

Thank you so much, I really appreciate your help. I am to old to go back to school.lol... Any imformation you have in the future will be wonderful! Please stay in touch.

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kimberly tennyson in Huntsville, Alabama

70 months ago

mrsmmcv in Gilbert, Arizona said: Thanks for that!
I went to a nonaccredited facility nearly 20 years ago and just only learned of the AST and their standards. I especially don't like that they will take your money to become a member of the association but not allow you to sit for the exam. I see it as hippocritical. As an TS-C I know just as much if not more than the CST.

I agree. I have scrubed for years, and we should be allowed to at least sit for the exam. I personally think anyone that is qualified enough to be in the O R for years trusted with the patients care should be allowed to grandfather in. Thanks and Goodluck

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kimberly tennyson in Huntsville, Alabama

70 months ago

Shellye thanks so much again. I really appreciate at. Have a great day and God Bless You and yours.

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anancy1010 in Fort Worth, Texas

70 months ago

kimberly tennyson in Huntsville, Alabama said: Thank you so much, I really appreciate your help. I am to old to go back to school.lol... Any imformation you have in the future will be wonderful! Please stay in touch.

You can take the NCCT test then at least you have your certification thats what i did i know ast is trying to push through legislation that all techs be certified so that may be a way to go and if you decide later to get granfathered in 2010 then you can but for certification purposes i think ncct is the way to go

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shellye in Columbus, Ohio

70 months ago

you are so welcome!!! thats what we are on here for to help each other! god bless you and yours also!

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Maureen in Marlton, New Jersey

70 months ago

Go to the CAAHEP website, put in your state, and surgical technology and it will tell you what school are accredited. If you went to one of those schools then you are able to sit for the national certification. If not then their are other ways of going about it. They are called AAD programs (online only)go to ast.org and you will find out more about these programs. I am currently attending one in Jamestown,NC its the most resonably priced and I love it! Once I am finished I will be able to sit for the exam.

kimberly tennyson in Huntsville, Alabama said: i have almost 10 years experience in or scrubbing. i would like to get my certification and have been informed that i can be grandfathered in with over4 years in the state of Al. please let me know about this asap. thanks so much

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anancy1010 in Fort Worth, Texas

70 months ago

kimberly tennyson in Huntsville, Alabama said: I am wondering about being grandfathered in. In the state of Alabama I have been a scrub for almost 10 years and I would like to know if I would be able to grand father in becuse of years experience? please let me know. thanks

Yes you can go through the accreddited online add causes but it will take about 6 months or so you can go at your own pace the price also depends on your experience it can cost anywhere from 3,000 and up but if you just want to sit for the test you just need to go to the NCCT website and it will give you the imformation that you need to sit for the exam

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shellye in Columbus, Ohio

70 months ago

LMelendez in Overland Park, Kansas said: You NEED the CST designation to be able to teach in an accredited CAAHEP Surgical Technology Program. I am a director of a program in Jacksonville, FL always looking for experienced CSTs for instructors. NCCT is a competency exam (National Center for Conpetency Testing) NOT a National Certification see www.nbstsa.org

are you hiring for full time and are you offering any relocation or sign on bonuses????? and are you a CST?????

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nicole in Brooklyn, New York

63 months ago

Liaquat in Bronx, New York said: I need Surgical technology exam review book, cd or dvd
for prepare CST exam(NBSTSA ) , please help me for review material
Thank you
Liaquat

email: Liaquat28@hotmail.com

my mailing address:

Liaquat Ali
2513,Tratman Ave,Apt#D41
Bronx,NY.10461
USA

what school did you attend?

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phil in Ringwood, New Jersey

58 months ago

april in Gadsden, Alabama said: Does anyone know what to do or who to contact about getting certified. I went to a non credited school and did not know it until i called to ask. Then that was to late!!!!!! I really would love to be certified if anyone knows let me know okay!!!!!!!!!!!

yes i do ,you can sit for the nbstsa ,if you didnt go to accredited school but u will have to take a ,what they call a accelerated alternate delivery program ,i found out about it from arcst.org ,u have to complete this course then you can sit for nbstsa,and you can do it online its like 2 semesters and costs vary ,good luck

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sonya in Augusta, Georgia

57 months ago

I am interested in becoming a mobile instrument repair technican. i am presently a surgical technician and have been one for almost 18 years. i was looking to branch into another area since being a repair technician pays commissions and suppose to pay well. do anyone know of any schools where i can receive my training or do most of these places provide on the job training?

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brian in Westlake, Ohio

56 months ago

sonya in Augusta, Georgia said: I am interested in becoming a mobile instrument repair technican. i am presently a surgical technician and have been one for almost 18 years. i was looking to branch into another area since being a repair technician pays commissions and suppose to pay well. do anyone know of any schools where i can receive my training or do most of these places provide on the job training?

I believe you have to have a 4 year degree

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debbie dd in Spring, Texas

56 months ago

Dianna in Channelview, Texas said: Hello, everyone...I am wanting to go to school to study ST course and I have read
these comments on this site and I am now
a little scared. Does anyone live in my area that can give me some good sound info on these schools????? I live in Houston area. I have called around and my mother said talk to people in this field before I decide to go thru with the money commit.. HELP ME PLEASE...I am a mother of three boys and I lost my job in April. I need to make a good move.

Dianna,

I was wondering how this has worked out for you? My daughter is wanting to persue an education as as ST as well. We are finding it difficult to find good info on how to proceed. Any help you can give would be very much appreciated.

Debbie

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upsettech in Milton, Florida

56 months ago

In this area they dont like new graduates. If you are lucky enough to get a job and get experience in this area thank your stars. I work at a hospital and i am unable to get a surgical technician position because my lac of experience. I graduated the Surgical Technology course and i have had previous surgical experience with animals. But they still prefer techs that already have experience. so it is going on 2 years now. And it seems that I have waisted a year of my life going to school for a position i will never qualify for.

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Kath

55 months ago

The post - What are the best qualificat. etc. has been on this site forever. I have to ask............As a New grad......... Did you not go through a clinical rotation? Were you not required to document a minimum of 175 cases? I have been out of school for many years, but we have "students" doing rotations at our hospital, and we often hire them. Haveyou taken the CST exam?
Did you graduate from a school that is "recognzied" so that you can even sit to take the exam. Many schools are "appearing" promising the world, and the ARE NOT ACCREDITED. Bottom line, if you graduate from a school that is not accreditated, you are out of the box and can't even sit to take the exam. I would definately check into this. If you are a "Credentialed CST" I can't comprehend that you can't find work

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basqueneo in New York, New York

54 months ago

Kathy said: NCCT IS NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The are NOT RECOGNIZED. call or research on line ast.org or NBSTSA.org

You will find your piece of paper from ncctinc
is useless

NCCT IS recognized! Sounds like Kathy is a little old an inflexible! I'm a better scrub than anyone I've encountered with AST certification. Why don't you get off the message boards and get back into the OR! :)

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sara in Rockford, Iowa

54 months ago

Yes NCCT is a nationally recognized certification! You wont find it on the AST website, WHY? Because AST doesnt want you to know about it because it is there compitition! Example... You wouldnt go to McDonalds and expect to see advertisements on the wall for Burger king?!

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Kelvin in Frederick, Maryland

53 months ago

"Certification?" a term with many different definitions when it comes to surgical technology. After reading through most of the comments posted, I came up with the perfect definition and description of certification for Surgical Technologist. There are two types of Surgical Technologist when it comes to certifications. The first type is a Surgical Technologist on Paper(finishing their program and allowed to take the exam with little or no experience); The second type of Surgical Technologist is one with vast expierience that has completed a program that may not have been accredited or was on-the-job trained prior to any programs beig offered in the career. Then there is the battle of the two certifying giants. THE AST and THE NCCT. Some of the comments suggested that the AST does not require a diverse number of surgical cases before sitting for their exam. It was stated that the AST main parameter is that the schools must be accredited and recognized by the AST organization. The main statement that really upset me was that the AST does not recognize those surgical technologist that were trained in the military. Being an veteran of the military ,most OR's prefer ex-military Surgical Technologist. Also for a quick piece of trivia, Surgical Technology was first introduced to the world by the military. How about that AST!
Now the NCCT, as it was stated, requires that one must have 150 or more cases in surgery in all services and it must be documented prior to applying to sit for the exam and have proof of attending a Surgical Technology program. By the way, the NCCT recongnizes our men and women in uniform!!!!!! The NCCT requirements for certification should be the standard for all certifying organizations. Thank you. P.S. We are Surgical Technologist not surgical techs!!!!!!!!! Kelvin.

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Kelvin in Frederick, Maryland

53 months ago

sonya in Augusta, Georgia said: I am interested in becoming a mobile instrument repair technican. i am presently a surgical technician and have been one for almost 18 years. i was looking to branch into another area since being a repair technician pays commissions and suppose to pay well. do anyone know of any schools where i can receive my training or do most of these places provide on the job training?

Hi Sonya, There is a company called TRE in N.J. and NIS in Maryland. I would suggest that you familiarize your with sterile processing procedures and become a certified central sterile tech and a central sterile certified instrument tech. Contact IAHCSMM(International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management)

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