At the surgeon's side
The certified surgical technologist (CST) is a key member of the surgical team who anticipates the needs of the surgeon and passes instruments, sutures, and sponges in an efficient manner during surgery. Under the supervision of the surgeon, a CST may be involved in holding retractors or instruments, sponging or suctioning the operative site, or cutting suture material. The surgical technologist must perform under pressure in stressful and emergency situations, have a strong sense of responsibility, considerable patience, manual dexterity, and physical stamina. CSTs ensure that the operating room environment is safe, that equipment functions properly, and that the operative procedure is conducted under sterile conditions that maximize patient safety. With additional specialized training or education, a CST may act in the role of surgical first assistant, providing aid in exposure of the wound, suturing and other technical functions.
Although CSTs primarily work in the hospital as the sterile member of the surgical team, other job opportunities include work in delivery rooms, emergency departments, and ambulatory care centers. There are also jobs in medical sales, product development, and management roles in surgical services and research. In addition, CSTs are employed directly by surgeons as "private scrubs" and/or surgical first assistants. They have served in the Peace Corps as well as in all branches of the military. A number of them are instructors and directors of surgical technology programs.
The program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Committee on Surgical Technology Education. Graduates are qualified to take the NBSTSA National Certification Examination. Achieving the CST credential is crucial for professional recognition and advancement.
Gainful Employment Information
- U.S. Department of Labor's Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code: 31-9099, 29-2055
- Tuition and fees: $3,221.50
- Books and Supplies: $1,544.00
- Job Placement Rate: 89%
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