SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY SCHOOLS IN NORTH CAROLINA
Surgical technologists are basically operating technicians who work under the supervision of doctors and registered nurses. Also known as scrubs, their main duty is to help the team of medical practitioners by providing the necessary settings for the pre and post operative care of patients. The main tasks of a surgical technologist are to maintain the operating room and also working with patients as they prepare for treatment. Their job begins by preparing the operating room for surgery. Opening, setting up and checking the working conditions of sterile and non sterile equipments, prepare the patient for surgery by washing, shaving and disinfecting, providing them with physical and emotional support in preparing them for surgery, helping the surgical team to put on the gloves and sterile gowns, preparing the incision site, assisting them during the operation, passing instrument to surgeons, operating sterilizers, lights, suction machines, electrosurgical units and diagnostic equipments, checking charts and observing vital signs, dispose specimens, transport patient to recovery room after surgery etc. Maintaining sterility in the operating room is one of the most important tasks of a surgical technician. All the above duties are carried out after receiving orders from the supervising doctor or registered nurse.
There are more than four hundred programs throughout the United States in surgical technology. All of them are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). But before one can join any program one must have finished high school with math, science and English. Vocational Schools, community colleges, career centers, universities and hospitals offer programs in surgical technology. The nature of the program may rang from that of certificate to the associate level and it will take anywhere between nine to twenty four months to finish them. During the course students learn subjects like physiology, microbiology, instrumentation, pharmacology, anatomy, medical terminology etc. They will also learn how to control infection, work with special drugs and sterilize instruments. Study programs involve both class room theory and practical clinical training. Surgical technologists may specialize in the area of neuro- surgery, cardiac surgery, wound preparation, anesthesia etc.
After completion of the surgical technology degree program, one may proceed towards obtaining certification. Although it is not mandatory in many states, most employers prefer those who are certified. Students must become certified surgical technologists (CST) by passing the examination of CAAHEP. Certification must be renewed every four year either by continuing education or retaking the examination. The examination is renewed by the national Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).
After certification a surgical technologist can work in hospital, private surgical facilities, in dental office or even get trained to become a teacher in surgical technology. They may work alone or as a team. Most surgical technologists begin their career as surgical assistants and then with gradual training and experience reach higher positions. According to the U.S Department of Labor, the average annual salary of a surgical technician in 2006 was $45,000. Due to the rising demand for surgeons as a result of increase in population, the demands for surgical technicians are also on high.There are numerous vocational schools and community colleges in the state of North Carolina offering programs in surgical technology ranging from certification to associate degree. Details regarding the course can be had from the websites of College Foundation of North Carolina, North Carolina Community College System and many other educational websites.
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