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How to Become a Certified Obstetric Technologist

Find out how to become a certified obstetric technologist. Research the education and training requirements and learn about the experience you need to become a certified obstetric technologist. View article »

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  • 0:03 Become a Certified OB…
  • 1:00 Step 1: Find a…
  • 1:52 Step 2: Obtain Employment
  • 2:30 Step 3: Become Certified

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Video Transcript

Become a Certified Obstetric Technologist

A certified obstetric technologist is a surgical technologist who assists and works under the supervision of an obstetrician. Job duties include patient preparation, assistance with vaginal and cesarean deliveries, clerical functions, and surgical instrument sterilization. These techs often work on their feet for prolonged periods of time and may need to move or lift patients. Preparation for this career involves successfully completing an accredited surgery technology program and taking a national certification examination.

Degree Level None required; an associate's degree may be helpful
Degree Fields Surgical technology or obstetric technology
Certification Required to use the title 'Certified Obstetric/Surgical Technologist'
Key Skills Manual dexterity, attention to detail, physical stamina
Salary (2015) $45,940 per year (average for surgical technologists)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Let's take a look at the steps you may take toward a career in obstetric technology.

Step 1: Find a Surgical Technology Program

These professionals generally hold at least a certificate or associate's degree in surgical technology. A surgical technology program includes coursework and covers topics such as anatomy, surgical techniques, medical terminology, pathophysiology, surgical technology, and operating room procedures. The main goal is to instill a solid foundation in the three main phases of surgery: before, during, and after. Depending on the program, students may be able to concentrate on specialty areas, including obstetric technology. No matter the area of focus, surgical technology programs provide hands-on training opportunities in the forms of labs, clinical practicums, internships, and externships. Some of this training includes clinical practice in obstetrics. Practical training courses are generally each a semester long.

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Step 2: Obtain Employment

Once you finish a surgical technology degree program, you may seek employment as an obstetric technologist. These professionals usually work in OB/GYN offices and maternity wards in medical facilities. However, these technologists often start out in entry-level positions as general surgical technologists and, as they gain experience, eventually focus their duties on obstetrics. During the job search, you may find employment tools through professional organizations, such as the Association of Surgical Technologists and the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.

Step 3: Become Certified

While not mandatory, certification can improve job prospects and lead to greater advancement opportunities. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting offers the Certified Surgical Technologist credential, which requires completion of an accredited degree program and passage of a certification exam. The two accrediting bodies are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. If you have already graduated from a non-accredited surgical technology program, you may still qualify for certification with experience and additional education.

Certified surgical technologists must renew certification every four years by earning 60 continuing education credits or retaking the certification exam.

To become a certified obstetric technologist, you must complete an accredited postsecondary degree program and obtain the Certified Surgical Technologist credential through National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.

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