September 22, 2017

Earning Your Surgical Technologist Degree

Your Surgical Technologist Degree can be seen as the first step to your career. The way that your career develops can often be traced back directly to your academic choices, although obviously your clinical skills and your ability to get along with others will have a significant factor as well. Even if your skills in the surgical setting are beyond reproach, you are unlikely to be promoted if you seem to have trouble getting along with your co-workers. And in the same way, someone who is very popular at work may experience difficulty maintaining their employment if their skills are not what they should be. Although it seems obvious, I have seen more than one person involuntarily terminated because of situations just like these.

In all likelihood, if you look around at schools in your area, you will probably be able to find a school that offers this degree. There is one thing that people seem to regret after the fact, is that they often seemed to have spent more money on their degree than they actually had to. The fact of the matter is that many technical and community or junior colleges offer this type of degree. That means that, unless you live in a small town or rural area, you can get your education at a fraction of the cost that some of the private colleges charge for the same program. Whether you are paying it for yourself, using financial aid to go to school, or using loans to further your education, to some people, it seems pointless to pay more than you have to.

Using a Community College to Earning a Degree

At a community college, you are probably going to take many of the same classes that any other student seeking any type of degree will take. As a result, you will have to spend a lot of time studying information that has little or nothing to do with your career plans. It will make you, at least in the eyes of administrators in the facilities that you will be working at, a more informed employee. You will have more opportunities for employment in the future than people who do not have that degree, so don’t feel discouraged or consider changing your mind when it gets hard. You’ll be very grateful for the choices you have made and the education you have earned within the first few years in this industry.

It simply cannot be stressed enough that you absolutely have to attend a school that is accredited. Not only would it be very difficult for you to get most types of financial aid at a school that was not accredited, you will have a similar problem after graduation. It is virtually impossible for you to take the licensing exam, if you did not go to an accredited school. Please do not assume that your school is accredited. Most are, but it would be very unfortunate if yours was the rare school that was not.

At community college, if you are able to attend school full time, you should plan to spend about 2 years in school. Each state has different requirements about the type of classes you need to take. You will also have to perform your unpaid clinicals in a hospital or surgical setting, so plan to make your first impression be a great one while you’re learning. To see what the requirements are, for both the school you ant to attend AND the surgical technology program, contact the school in question. They should be able to give you all of the necessary information, including the projected cost and how you can become eligible for admission.

A Technical College…How Different is it From Other Schools?

You will often find that a technical college has lower admission requirements than most other schools. As a matter of fact, in many states, you don’t have to have a GED or high school diploma in order to be able to attend the school. That does not mean that individual programs at the technical college don’t have higher requirements, so you’ll probably have to have one of those before you can even apply into this program. If you find a technical college in your area that offers you a way to get your Surgical Technologist Degree, you should probably jump on it.

At a technical college, your classwork and clinicals will be almost identical to the curriculum at a community college. The exception to that is you may be able to finish your education faster here, because it is common for many technical colleges in the United States to have lower class sizes, more frequent enrollments, and faster learning. Again, if you have an interest in earning your Surgical Technologist degree at a technical college in your area, you will need to contact the school itself to find out you can enroll.

The Third Option For You…a Private, Specialty School

If you can afford it, earning your Surgical Technologist degree at a private school has a lot of advantages. You are likely to have smaller classes, and enrollment several times a year, instead of the one or two times a year that you’ll probably see at public colleges. Because a private, specialty school is likely to focus on medical programs or even solely on surgical technology degrees, you should expect to have a top-notch education with teachers who have a lot of experience in that field.

The important information that you should ask about includes:

1) The total cost, including clinical fees, books, and uniforms, that you will be responsible for
2) The graduation rate ( if the school has a much higher drop-out rate than similar programs in other schools, you might want to find out why).
3) The possibility of extra tutoring. If you have trouble in a particular class, will you be able to get extra help, or will you have to find help online?
4) How long the average student takes to graduate, and do they have statistics in how well their students do on the certification exam.
5) Do they have any type of job placement assistance available? If so, how long does it last for, and exactly what does it consist of? There have been some schools in the media over the last few years that claim to offer job placement assistance, but the assistance is actually just being handed a section of the paper that has job listings.

Wherever you go to school, and whatever choice you make about how you get your Surgical Assistant degree, it’s important that you have a firm understanding of what you will be required to do. The key to success, both while you’re in school and after you graduate, is a clear comprehension of all your commitments.