Surgical Technician Training Programs in Arizona
In surgery, every moment counts. Surgeons have the expertise needed to make the right cuts and close up after procedures, but even common procedures can take longer than average when a surgeon has to get their own tools, protect a sterile field, and double-check their own work.
Surgical techs prepare for each procedure, create a clean and sterile environment, provide tools and equipment to surgeons, and clean up after each surgery.
Ready to learn more about earning a certificate or Associate in surgical technology? Phoenix, Yuma, and other Arizona cities have many OR tech programs that can help you get started in this field.
Reach out to Arizona operating room tech programs.
What Kind of Surgical Technician Training Do I Need in Arizona?
Healthcare has changed a ton in recent years, and this trend may continue for several years to come. With the right surgical tech Associate program, you can develop a strong knowledge of surgical procedures, tools, techniques, and technology. This makes you a great asset to any local hospital, surgical center, or clinic.
Check out your options now by requesting information from surgical technology Associate’s degree programs.
Getting Into Surgical Tech Schools in Arizona
Before you can jump into your training, you have to meet the admissions requirements of your school of choice. Generally, admissions standards are very reasonable. Surgical programs are often open to new high school graduates. You may need to meet minimum GPA requirements, which typically range from 2.0 to 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
Surgical tech degree programs are generally offered at community colleges and technical schools, which do not have the same ACT/SAT requirements as four-year institutions. However, you may need to take the Accuplacer test and meet minimum score requirements on the reading, arithmetic, and sentence skill sections.
Application Requirements for Scrub Tech Programs
- Arizona Department of Public Safety Fingerprint Clearance Card
- Urine toxicology screening test
- Completion of a physical that demonstrates your ability to handle the physical demands of a surgical technician role
Arizona Surgical Technology Training
At schools across Arizona, you can earn a diploma, certificate, or Associate’s degree. As long as you earn your diploma, certificate, or degree from a CAAHEP-accredited school, any of these options are excellent.
Diploma and certificate options are usually about one year or less of full-time study. An Associate’s degree takes a bit more time, since you need to earn at least 60 credits. This works out to an average of four semesters.
Hands-on practice is a requirement in any CAAHEP-accredited program. After you complete your laboratory courses and finish your theory training, you put your new knowledge to work in an internship or practicum course. By spending hundreds of hours working in real surgical settings, you can become confident about your ability to carry out orders and understand the needs of different supervising surgeons.
Surgical Tech Courses in Arizona
- Instrumentation, Equipment, and Sterilization (3 credits): This is one of the core surgical tech courses. In the early stages of your education, you learn about the many different instruments and tools used during procedures. The course covers how to identify instruments, what they are used for, and how tools are arranged for quick and easy access. You should also learn how to properly sterilize and store equipment.
- Anesthesia and Surgical Pharmacology (3 credits): Learn about the anesthesia options for different types of surgery and what you may see when you’re in the operating room.
- Patient Care (3 credits): Part of your surgical tech role may involve caring for patients and keeping them comfortable before, during, and after surgery. This class covers the foundations of patient care and what your scope of practice is in this area.
- Surgical Lab Procedures (9 credits): Surgical procedure courses explore a variety of procedures, starting with common, routine procedures and working up to more risky surgeries. During these courses, you may observe surgeries and even participate in surgeries under the supervision of a physician and instructor.
- Surgical Technologist Externship (6 credits): At most surgical technologist schools, AZ students must go through one or two three-credit externships. This requirements gives you the chance to get experience in different settings and get feedback on how to approve.
What Options are Available for Surgical Assistant Online Programs?
Many students ask about online surgical tech programs, especially working adults who struggle with keeping their schedules open enough to accommodate class schedules. There are some partially online degree programs that allow you to get some of your theory training online.
Why Can’t I Earn My Surgical Tech Degree Online?
Looking at the practical experience requirements of Arizona schools, you may have guessed that you can’t earn your degree entirely online. It’s impossible to get the hands-on practice you need when you study online, so all CAAHEP-accredited programs have multiple in-person requirements.
What Other Study Options Do I Have If I Want to Earn a Surgical Tech Associate’s Degree Online?
If you are looking for a certified surgical tech program online, you may consider a blended program. Blended programs only require some in-person attendance, so you may still be able to keep your work schedule and work your practical experience rotations around your other obligations. With this option, you can work toward your surgical tech certification online.
Paying for Surgical Tech School in Arizona
Financial aid is the next step for you. To apply for federal aid, you have to be accepted to a school. To apply for surgical tech scholarships, you need to be accepted to certificate, Associate’s degree, or surgical tech diploma programs.
Federal aid is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. When you fill out this form, you must already know which school you’re attending, since you have to find your school code for your application. Federal aid may include grants, subsidized loans, or unsubsidized loans.
Through local and national surgical technologist associations, you may apply for grants. An excellent resource to explore is Peterson’s, which has one of the largest scholarship databases available. You may apply for grants through the Association of Surgical Technologists while earning your surgical technician certificate.
Working as a Certified Surgical Technician in Arizona
With the variety of work settings and employers throughout Arizona, your surgical technician program may put you in a great position to start your new career. Find out what it takes to begin working.
Arizona Surgical Technician Requirements
Compared to other healthcare careers, the field of surgical technology does not have extensive licensing and certification requirements. In the state of Arizona, there are no surgical technician requirements for licensure or certification.
While you do not legally need to be certified to work, you may be hard-pressed to find employers who don’t require certification as a condition of employment. The process of becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist is regulated by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.
To apply, you must submit proof of graduating from a CAAHEP-accredited surgical tech school and sign up for your certification exam. When you sign up for the exam, you must pay a $190 fee if you are a member of the NBSTSA or a $290 fee if you are not a member. From there, you must earn 60 continuing education units every four years and submit your renewal paperwork every four years.
Where are the Best Surgical Tech Jobs in Arizona?
The job openings available to you depend on which part of Arizona you live in and which type of surgical technician certificate you have. In urban areas, there are often dozens of hospitals, specialized surgical centers, and outpatient clinics that accommodate the huge metropolitan population.
If you choose instead to work in a rural part of Arizona, you may use your surgical tech degree to work in a small rural hospital. These hospitals often have more limited resources, so you may be able to participate in surgeries in a wide range of specialty departments and wings.
No matter which work setting you choose, you may find yourself working a mix of day, night, and overnight shifts to ensure that the surgical department is always fully staffed and ready for emergencies. Specialized surgical centers and outpatient centers may have more traditional work hours, since they are less likely to take emergency cases than hospitals.
Surgical Technician Requirements and Hiring Standards
- High school diploma or GED
- Graduation from a vocational surgical technician program
- Life support certification
During each shift, you should be ready to meet the needs of your supervising surgeons. These needs vary from surgeon to surgeon, and even from surgery to surgery. As a scrub tech, you may be expected to count and set out equipment before a procedure, trade equipment in and out during a procedure, and count supplies after a procedure to ensure that nothing is left inside a patient. In some surgeries, you may have to hold skin taut or hold a limb out of the way to allow the surgeon greater access to the surgical site.
Common Surgical Technician Job Duties in Arizona
- Be aware of the surgery schedule for the current day and report to each surgery on time
- Sterilize and organize the tools needed for each procedure ahead of time
- Communicate with supervising surgeons during a surgery to provide tools and remove unnecessary items, creating an uncluttered work environment
- Keep the surgical site sterile and clean
- Verify that tools are properly accounted for and put away after surgery
- Dispose of medical waste in an appropriate manner
- Complete follow-up documentation
Since surgical tech diploma programs are fairly new when compared to other healthcare degrees, work requirements are still very different between states. At all times, you must stay within your scope of practice as outlined by the Arizona State Assembly. This helps you maintain your status as an OR tech and provide the best possible care to each patient.
Arizona Surgical Tech Salaries
After earning your surgery tech Associate degree, you may be ready to start working and testing your knowledge. While you may start out with an entry-level role and salary, gaining experience and seniority may positively affect your income.
As a surgical tech school graduate, you may pursue job openings in hospitals, surgery centers, and outpatient clinics. By the year 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job openings for surgical technologists to increase 15% throughout the United States (2017).
In Arizona, the average salary for a surgical technologist is $49,820 per year (BLS, 2017). In several areas, average salaries are higher. In Lake Havasu City, the mean income is $50,020 per year, and those working in the Phoenix area earn an average of $50,480 per year (BLS, 2017).
Surgical Technology Resources in Arizona
Whether you’re still earning your surgical technology Associate’s degree or you’re already a Certified Surgical Technologist, it’s important to have a strong professional network. Those who have been in this industry for years have found quicker ways to do things, streamlined their work processes, and learned how to impress surgeons in the operating room.
By connecting with other operating room tech professionals, you can take advantage of continuing education opportunities and legislative updates.
Surgical Technology Program Arizona Resources
- Tucson Surgical Technologist Workshop
- Association of Surgical Technologists
- Association of Surgical Assistants
Attending a surgical technician program could be the first step to a rewarding and challenging career in healthcare. The healthcare industry may continue to evolve and grow in coming years, so why not become part of it now?
Not only can you provide support to surgeons during procedures, you can ensure that patients have the best experience possible.