|Program Levels||Certificate programs, associate degree|
|Field(s) of Study||Surgical technology|
|Prerequisites:||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Online Availability:||Online programs are available; supervised externship or clinical work typically required|
|Program Length:||1 year for certificate programs, 2 years for associate's degrees|
Surgical technologists assist in operating rooms, make sure supplies are ready, and help prep patients for surgery. Online surgical technology training is offered via one-year certificate and two-year associate's degree programs. Students in these programs learn about developments and changes in surgical technology. Online training in surgical technology prepares students for licensure which is required in some states, and voluntary certification. Some online certificate programs in surgical technology are designed as refresher programs; thus, students are expected to have previous training and experience in the field. Associate degree programs don't have educational or experience requirements and are designed to provide initial training in surgical technology. Programs usually include a supervised externship and clinical work.
Students are required to complete an externship and participate in clinical work which provides practical, supervised experience. Common courses include:
- Physiology and anatomy: where students examine the structure of the human body including the skeletal, muscular, nervous, reproductive, and urinary systems. This required course helps students to correctly identify body parts in preparing patients for surgery.
- Instruments: where students discuss how specific surgical instruments are used and what they are used for, in addition to studying proper terminology. They gain experience loaded and unloading scalpels and learn the correct way to pass equipment to a surgeon. Sterilization methods are also discussed.
- Procedures: where students learn to close wounds and provide a sanitary surgical environment. They also explore medical problems that might require surgery and study the legal responsibilities of surgical technologists.
- Pharmacology: which familiarizes students with drugs commonly used on patients undergoing surgery. They also learn how drugs interact with the human body and what responses this might cause.
About Online Learning
Students access courses, complete lessons, turn in assignments, and take exams via the Internet with most programs allowing them to work at their own pace. Distance education students also might learn from online videos, tutorials, PowerPoint presentations, and online simulations, and they can interact with their classmates and instructors through online bulletin boards, chat rooms, and email.
Online surgical technology training provides students with certificate or an associate degree option depending on previous education and experience.