Surgical Technician Training Programs in Arkansas
Surgery has changed a lot over the years, and more and more medical problems can be solved with various surgical techniques. However, the growing demand for surgical procedures means that patients can often wait longer to get into the operating room.
How can you help fix this issue and get started in an exciting new career?
Learn how to become a scrub tech in a surgical technician program. By learning how to provide assistance in a fast-paced operating room, you can become an invaluable part of a surgical team.
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What Kind of Surgical Technician Training Do I Need in Arkansas?
Keep reading to discover what you need to do to become an OR tech in Arkansas. Becoming familiar with surgical technician requirements before you start your training can help you get the most from your education.
Compare in-person and online surgical tech programs, learn about certification, and explore job opportunities.
Getting Into Surgical Tech Schools in Arkansas
Surgical tech Associate programs often start twice per year, with one group of students in the fall and one group of students in the spring. Applying early can give you more freedom in when you begin your education and start gaining experience.
Luckily, surgical tech admissions requirements are generally very relaxed. While you may need to meet minimum GPA standards, the minimum GPA is usually set at 2.0 or 2.5. You must also prove that you have the physical strength and health to work for extended periods of time in a healthcare setting.
Surgical Tech School Admission Requirements
- ACT score of 17 or higher
- Proof of GED or high school diploma
- Essay on your interested in surgical technology
- TB skin test
- Drug test
- Physical exam
- Interview with admissions committee
Arkansas Surgical Technology Training
As an Arkansas student, you can choose from a variety of surgical technician certificate programs. Programs range from one to two years, letting you choose the program that best suits your schedule and career goals.
If you want to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in the future, you may want to lay the groundwork now by earning a surgical technology Associate’s degree. If your first priority is working as soon as possible, a year-long diploma or certificate program may be the better choice for you.
When you choose a surgical tech program in south Arkansas or another part of the state, you should spend some time getting familiar with its learning outcomes and course requirements. If you know what your surgical tech school expects of you, you can prepare for your training in advance.
Surgical Tech Courses in Arkansas
- Medical Terminology (2 credits): Properly use medical terminology to communicate effectively with healthcare providers and patients. This course covers surgical tools, procedures, techniques, anatomy, and physiology.
- Anatomy and Physiology (4 credits): In this class, build a strong understanding of human anatomy and how each part of the body functions. As you develop your knowledge in this area, you may learn about how surgery is used to improve malfunction in each body system.
- Introduction to Surgical Technology (1 credit): Students get an overview of the field of surgical technology and what their role is in this field.
- Surgical Asepsis (2 credits): This class covers one of the most important aspects of working as a surgical technologist: creating, maintaining, and working in a sterile environment.
- Perioperative Fundamentals (3 credits): Since much of your work may take place before surgery even begins, this class gives lots of information on setting up an operating room and ensuring that it is ready for a scheduled or emergency surgical procedure.
- Patient Care Concepts (2 credits): Students learn how to provide evidence-based care to patients and how much patient care they are allowed to do within their scope of practice.
- Surgical Procedures (3 credits): After learning about common and routine surgical procedures, move on to advanced procedures that are less commonly requested. As you cover different procedures, you may learn how to best provide assistance to a supervising surgeon.
- Advanced Surgical Procedures (3 credits): This course builds on information gained in the last surgical procedures course, making you a helpful addition to long or complex surgeries.
Earning a Surgical Tech Degree Online
While studying surgical tech programs, you may be curious about completing a surgical tech Associate’s degree online. However, it’s important to note that there are no accredited surgical assistant online programs that do not require any clinical experience.
CAAHEP accreditation requires that a program offer both laboratory experience and clinical experience, neither of which can be completed online.
How You Can Start a Surgical Tech Degree Online
Although you cannot entirely finish your surgical tech certification online, you can probably do some online coursework to save time and streamline the process of becoming certified.
You may save time by enrolling in online general education courses and theory classes in anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology. This may give you more flexibility in your schedule and let you start your surgical tech certification online while finishing up other obligations.
Paying for Surgical Tech School in Arkansas
Financial aid minimizes your out-of-pocket school expenses and provides support for books, supplies, and other costs as you earn your surgical technician certificate.
You may want to first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, since awards are given out throughout the year. The earlier you submit your completed application, the sooner you may find out which loans and grants are available to you.
You need to have your school code ready when you fill out the FAFSA, since your school’s cost of attendance plays into your final award. Accredited surgical technology schools in Arkansas qualify for federal financial aid.
You can also search for grants and scholarships provided by local and national organizations. Using Peterson’s makes it easier to do a large scholarship search that brings up local, state, and national options. Look into associations that fund grants for OR tech students, such as Association of Surgical Technologists.
Working as a Certified Surgical Technician in Arkansas
Once your surgical tech degree is behind you, the next step is beginning your career and getting valuable work experience. At most surgical tech programs, Arkansas students should get plenty of clinical experience through internships and clinical rotations. This may help you learn about job openings.
Arkansas Surgical Technician Requirements
Surgical tech diploma programs aim to prepare you for certification in this field, since certification is required by the vast majority of employers. You do not need a license to work as a surgical technologist in Arkansas, which is standard across the country. Y
ou may still apply to become a Certified Surgical Technologist; most employers require either three years of experience or CST status. Certification is regulated by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.
Consider joining as a student member to save money on your exam fees; members pay $190 and non-members pay $290. The renewal period is four years. During each renewal cycle, you need 60 continuing education units.
Where are the Best Surgical Tech Jobs in Arkansas?
Becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist can help you qualify for a wide variety of job openings in various healthcare settings. Hospitals are the most common work environment, since they need scrub tech graduates in multiple departments and on different shifts.
Your surgical tech degree may expose you to various healthcare environments and help you find the work setting that best suits you. If you become an operating room tech in an outpatient surgery center, you may work with the same few surgeons on a regular basis.
In this setting, you can get to know the work preferences of your supervisors and become more adept at meeting their needs before they voice them.
Hiring Standards and Surgical Technician Requirements in AR
- OR technician coursework
- CPR certification
- Previous experience with operating room equipment and machines
- Understanding of nursing principles and procedures
- Ability to work efficiently in close quarters, cramped conditions, extreme hot, and extreme cold
- Ability to work under mentally stressful situations
- Understanding of operating room safety hazards
The layout of a day depends on which employer you choose. In general, though, you should expect to spend most of your time on your feet.
After a surgical procedure, you may get a short period of time to complete documentation and report on any issues to your supervisor. Outside of documentation time, you may pass most of your shifts in operating rooms.
You often have to stand in the same position for long stretches of time and hold tools, limbs, or other things that may get in the way during surgery.
Common Surgical Technician Job Duties in Arkansas
- Lay out tools before a surgery and ensure that they are properly cleaned and sterilized
- Count and recount tools, sponges, and other instruments
- Ensure that everyone is present and accounted for before surgery begins
- Give supervising surgeon tools, equipment, and other items as needed
- Dispose of items as needed during surgery
- Thoroughly clean the operating room after surgery
- Sterilize and store tools as outlined in institutional protocols
- Complete all necessary documentation
Graduates of surgical tech programs work within a clearly outlined scope of practice. This prevents operating room tech professionals from providing care that they haven’t received training in, which improves the overall patient experience.
You should touch on your scope of practice in several of your surgical tech courses. You can also access information on your practice rights through the Arkansas State Assembly.
Arkansas Surgical Tech Salaries
Salaries in this field are in line with Midwestern averages. If you work in a metropolitan part of Arkansas, you may earn more than if you work in a rural area. However, since demand for medical professionals is often higher in rural areas, you may qualify for sign-on and retention bonuses if you work in a high-needs area.
Across Arkansas, the average salary for a surgical technologist is $40,010 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Fayetteville professionals often earn slightly more; the average income in this area is $44,850 per year (BLS, 2017). Hot Springs surgical technologists earn an average of $40,270 per year, while Little Rock surgical technicians claim a mean income of $42,520 per year (BLS, 2017).
The demand for surgical technicians is growing across the country, so this may be the perfect time to earn your surgical technology Associate’s degree. Between 2014 and 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job openings for surgical technologists to increase 15% (2017).
Surgical Technology Resources in Arkansas
Don’t forget about the importance of networking while attending an Associate of Applied Science in surgical technology program in Arkansas. There is always more to learn in the field of healthcare, and only by working with other licensed professionals can you expand your scope of knowledge and become part of the local healthcare community. You can also get access to ongoing Arkansas surgical technologist training opportunities.
Local and National Resources
- Little Rock Surgical Technologist Workshop
- Association of Surgical Technologists
- Association of Surgical Assistants
As medicine becomes increasingly complex, the need for support staff and technicians may continue to grow. Getting the right training now can set you up for a career that you look forward to every day. On top of that, you can feel good knowing that your daily work makes a difference in the lives of surgeons, patients, and families.
Get more information on Arkansas surgical technologist training now.