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Online Education (associate Of Science Degree In Surgical Technology)

By Expert Author: John Srob

Associate of Science in Surgical Technology

Students enrolled in the Associate of Science in Surgical Technology programs can gain skills needed to assist before and during an operation. These can range from caring for the patient and maintaining equipment to helping the doctors during the actual procedure. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredits most surgical technology programs and provides guidelines for the curriculum.

Most associate's degree programs include a practicum or externship where students apply their knowledge to real-life situations. These 2-year programs are typically offered at community colleges and technical schools. Applicants need at least a high school diploma or GED for admission.

Course Topics

In addition to general education requirements, students complete core coursework in basic and advanced anatomy, surgical technology and microbiology. Additional core courses may include:

Pharmacology
Medical law and ethics
Surgical techniques
Medical terminology
Pathophysiology

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Graduates can seek immediate entry-level employment or opt for further education with a bachelor's degree program in surgical technology. These programs expand upon the associate's degree program and offer additional courses in health sciences. However, according to the BLS, surgical technology programs are most commonly offered as options that take from 9-24 months to complete.

Voluntary certification may be preferred by employers of surgical technologists and can be obtained through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting or the National Center for Competency Testing. Certification typically requires the completion of continuing education requirements and additional examinations.
Career Opportunities
While demand for surgical technologists varies among communities, the forecast for employment in the surgical technology area is one of rapid growth. Surgical technologists routinely find employment in hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, out-patient care centers, central processing, and physician offices where surgery is performed, including dental/oral surgery. A majority of surgical technologists work primarily in surgical suites and physician offices.

Evening, night, weekend, holidays, and on-call rotations can be expected in some settings; otherwise the surgical technologist follows a standard hospital workday. Most often, the surgical technologist functions as a member of the sterile surgical team and is qualified to work in central processing and/or in a supporting roles within the operating room. In some settings, a surgical technologist can be expected to help see to the needs of the patient pre- and post-operatively.
Recommended High School Subjects
While still in high school, students planning to enter the Surgical Technology major should prepare extensively in oral and written communication skills, take math and science courses every year (including at least Algebra II and one year of both biology and chemistry, with labs preferred), and take Anatomy and Physiology, if available.

It is also recommended that the student "job shadow" in the operating room prior to enrollment if possible. Students who do not follow this plan can work with advisers at the College to develop an appropriate approach to study of the area. However, it is possible that more courses at the college level will need to be taken to help prepare the student for success as a SG student.

Many students worry that earning a medical degree is not quite the same as earning a PhD. Truth be told, it's not - but that's not a negative thing. By working in the health care field, you're assuredly going to make a difference in someone's life. It doesn't really matter whether you're doing so as a licensed PhD or not, so you should never feel like your medical degree doesn't stack up to that of someone's PhD.

An example of a medical degree that leads straight to a job is following a vocational program to become an x-ray technician. By the time your program is completed, you'll be fully certified to manipulate x-ray equipment to take "pictures" of the inside of the body. Mastering this program and becoming certified requires that you first master the basics of being an x-ray technician.

The really basic principle of turning into an x-ray specialist incorporates studying how to manage either portable or fixed types of x-ray devices, how to place sufferers to have the snap shots obtained, or how to produce the film. Possessing an identity in which you're relaxed and can feel logically is a vital aspect of becoming an x-ray specialist, and it is something you may be capable to acquire in college. A lot of times, you will be doing work with an individual who is wounded, so the environment you generate as the expert would help.

Some technicians go on to learn more advanced skills or explore other aspects of the radiology profession. Sonograms, magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) and computerized axial tomography scans (CAT scans) are all options for advanced learners. Regardless of the learning level, most x-racy technicians go on to spend at least some time training before entering the workforce.

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