Bachelor's Degrees in Surgical Technology
Bachelor's degree programs in surgical technology prepare students for careers as surgical technologists who assist physicians and nurses during operations. Read on to learn more about degree requirements and common courses in this program. Schools offering Biomedical Engineering Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Do I Need a Bachelor's Degree in Surgical Technology to Work in This Field?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most surgical technologists receive professional training through a certificate, diploma or associate's degree program (www.bls.gov). However, earning a Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Studies or Health Sciences with a specialization in surgical technology could lead to career advancement. Most bachelor's programs are designed for students who have completed an associate's program in surgical technology. Some programs are available online.
What Kinds of Classes Will I Take?
You'll probably need to take some general education courses in mathematics or the sciences. You might explore core topics like public policy in healthcare, promoting healthy lifestyles, medical ethics, epidemiology and foreign healthcare systems. Completion of a capstone project may be required; in some cases, you might need to complete a field experience at an authorized healthcare center.
What Can I Do With This Degree?
Surgical technologists usually work in an operating room. Common duties include preparing surgical instruments, calibrating equipment, laying out sterile drapes and checking medications. During surgery, technologists may hold tools, keep track of needles and sponges, cut stitches and apply medical dressing.
The BLS notes that employers in this field prefer job applicants who are certified. In order to earn certification through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, you'll need to graduate from a program that's accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Programs accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools are acceptable as well. Completion of an exam is required in order to receive certification.
In 2009, the median annual wage for a surgical technologist was $39,400, as reported by the BLS. The number of employed technologists was expected to increase by 25% from 2008-2018. Employment growth during this time was spurred by an increase in the number of surgical procedures.
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