Giving birth is a natural process that can occur outside of a hospital. However, in some cases, it is safer for the mother to deliver via cesarean. Doctors need qualified surgical technicians who can help prepare a mother for surgery and assist during the procedure. Those who specialize in this are obstetric/gynecological (OB/GYN) surgical techs. You should be certified to work in this field.
Get your high school diploma or GED if you do not already have it. Most surgical technician programs require this minimum education level for admittance.
Apply for and complete surgical technician training at an accredited program. Programs last between nine and 24 months. At the end of the program, you will have a certificate, diploma or associate's degree, depending on the length of training. Study courses such as biology, physiology, chemistry, pharmacology, sterilization, patient care and safety, medical ethics and medical terminology. Focus on OB/GYN procedures during your study as the program may allow you to specialize.
Take the national certification exam for surgical technicians. You can register and take the exam through the National Board of Surgical Technologists and Surgical Assistants, Liason Council on Certification for the Surgical Tech or the National Center for Competency Testing.
The National Center for Competency Testing allows you to become certified without completing a traditional education program. It alternately provides certification for those who have gone through on-the-job training programs (at least two years in length) or who have gained at least seven years of experience in the field.
Remember that you will need to renew your certification through continuing education or retaking of the competency exam.
Some experience in nursing is beneficial for those interested in being a OB surgical tech. Employers will expect you to have additional health care certifications such as basic CPR even if you have not worked in the health care industry previously, so get these certifications during your schooling if your program doesn't include them as part of your tech program.
2016 Salary Information for Surgical Technologists
Surgical technologists earned a median annual salary of $45,160 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, surgical technologists earned a 25th percentile salary of $36,980, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $55,030, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 107,700 people were employed in the U.S. as surgical technologists.
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