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Schools for Aspiring Operating Room Technicians

Operating room technicians, also known as surgical technologists, assist with patient care during surgical procedures, working in conjunction with doctors, surgeons and nurses. Diploma, certificate and associate's degree programs are available around the United States.

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree is required for work as an operating room technician or surgical technologist. In some states, certification is required; in others, it can improve job prospects.

10 Schools with Surgical Technologist / Operating Room Technician Programs

These 10 schools offer training for aspiring surgical technologists and operating room technicians:

College Location Institution Type Programs Offered Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*
Eastern Florida State College Cocoa, FL 4-year, Public Associate
Certificate
$2,496 in-state
$9,739 out-of-state
Houston Community College Houston, TX 2-year, Public Associate
Certificate
$1,632 in-district
3,360 in-state
$3,756 out-of-state
Baton Rouge Community College Baton Rouge, LA 2-year, Public Associate $3,872 in-state
$7,951 out-of-state
Robert Morris University Illinois Chicago, IL 4-year, Private not-for-profit Associate $25,200
Wayne County Community College District Detroit, MI 2-year, Public Associate $2,813 in-district
$3,080 in-state
$3,807 out-of-state
Great Bay Community College Portsmouth, NH 2-year, Public Associate $7,104 in-state
$15,264 out-of-state
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Asheville, NC 2-year, Public Associate $2,419 in-state
$8,563 out-of-state
Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte, NC 2-year, Public Associate $2,664 in-state
$8,808 out-of-state
Pennsylvania College of Technology Williamsport, PA 4-year, Public Associate $15,810 in-state
$22,470 out-of-state
Onondaga College Syracuse, NY 2-year, Public Certificate $5,014 in-state
$9,184 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

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School Selection Criteria

Here are some things to consider when seeking a program in this field:

  • Students should choose a program that has been accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
  • It may be valuable to find out what the pass rate is for graduates on the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA), which confers certification.
  • Prospective students may want to look into the school's lab and clinical training facilities to make sure that students can get experience with the latest surgical technologies.
  • Students who hope to advance to higher degree programs in the future should check that a school offers easily transferable courses.

Associate Degree Programs

Associate's degree programs for surgical technologists introduce students to essential biomedical principles and surgical procedures. Topics of study include pharmacology, physiology, anatomy and medical terminology. Coursework also includes clinical experiences and general education requirements. At some schools, credits from these programs, which are designed to be completed in two years, can transfer into bachelor's degree programs.

Certificate and Diploma Programs

Some community colleges and vocational schools offer non-degree programs for aspiring surgical technologists and operating room technicians. Students in these programs take the same introductory courses as those in associate's degree programs, but they do not have to fulfill general education requirements. As a result, certificate programs typically take less than two years to complete.

Aspiring surgical technologists and operating room technicians can find undergraduate programs at colleges and universities around the country. Prospective students should look for accredited schools with high certification exam pass rates and excellent hands-on training facilities.

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