Operating Room Technician Certification and Diploma Program Info

Surgical technology certificate and diploma programs are available through hospitals, vocational schools and community colleges. Many courses in surgical technology programs focus on actual operating room procedures; however, students also learn through lab studies and internships in hospital operating rooms.

Essential Information

Operating room (OR) technicians, also called surgical technologists, assist surgeons, nurses and physicians before and during surgical procedures. They prepare the operating room, manage equipment and perform basic surgical tasks.

  • Operating Room Technician Program Fields: Surgical technology
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED, criminal background check, drug screening
  • Program Length: Approximately one year
  • Other Requirements: Internships

Certificate and Diploma Programs in Operating Room Technology

Many courses in a surgical technology program focus on actual operating room procedures; however, students also learn through lab studies and internships in hospital operating rooms. Examples of course topics include these:

  • Patient care techniques
  • Anatomy & physiology
  • Surgical procedures
  • Aseptic techniques
  • Infection and immunology

Popular Career Options

Employment opportunities for both certificate and degree holders include:

  • Surgical technologists
  • Surgical technicians
  • Operating room technicians
  • Scrubs

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that jobs for surgical technologists were expected to increase by 30% between 2012 and 2022. This is much faster than the average job growth (www.bls.gov). In 2012 the BLS reported that surgical technologists earned an average salary of $41,790.

Continuing Education

The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) offers voluntary certification for operating room technicians through its Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam. Eligible candidates must have earned a minimum of a certificate or diploma from an accredited program and must pass a certification examination. To maintain certification, candidates must complete 60 hours of continuing education.

The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) also offers certification to individuals who meet the requirements.

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