Surgical Technician Training Programs in Colorado
If you’re looking for an opportunity to make a difference in the field of healthcare, there are dozens of career paths you may be considering. Why not learn more about earning a surgical technician certificate and where you can work with a surgical tech Associate degree?
As the healthcare industry tries to meet the growing need for skilled professionals, you may find that this is the ideal time to invest in a new career. There are many surgical technology programs in Colorado that give you the chance to earn a certificate, diploma, or Associate’s degree.
Check out the list of schools in your area and request information to find out how you can get started.
What Kind of Surgical Technician Training Do I Need in Colorado?
From surgical tech diploma programs to surgical technology Associate’s degree programs, there are several short-term training options that meet care standards in Colorado.
Surgical technology is a field that relies on thorough knowledge of surgical tools, techniques, and procedures, so you can use your education in this field to help operations run more smoothly.
Use the list of surgical tech programs in Colorado to reach out to schools that interest you.
Getting Into Surgical Tech Schools in Colorado
If you’re evaluating several surgical technology Associate’s degree programs, you can start figuring out which schools suit you by checking out their admissions requirements. There may be slight differences in admissions from school to school, but they tend to be manageable for most students.
Surgical Tech Associate Degree CO Admissions Requirements
- GED or high school diploma
- Graduating GPA of 2.0 or higher
- No prior felonies
- Negative result on a TB skin test
- Completion of a physical exam
- Filled out application and application fee
- Background check consent form
- Medical testing results
- Drug testing form
- Transcripts from high school and colleges you have attended
Colorado Surgical Technology Training
Depending on which surgical tech school you decide to attend, you can plan on spending between two and four semesters earning your certificate, diploma, or surgical tech degree.
Some programs run in the evenings on a part-time basis, allowing working adults to advance their education and work toward a new career. In a standard surgical technician program, you may need to maintain full-time student status to remain in the program.
You may compare surgical technician certificate, diploma, and Associate’s programs during this process. They are similar in many ways, which is clear when you compare each school’s learning outcomes. The language used in each school’s learning outcomes may be slightly different, but overall, Colorado schools focus on the same core skills and areas of knowledge.
The main difference between a surgical tech Associate degree and a diploma or certificate program is general education. Associate’s programs require about 30 credits of general education, while diploma and certificate programs generally go straight into surgical tech courses.
Surgical Tech Courses in Colorado
- Fundamentals of Surgical Technology (3 credits): This course is typically required early in your training, since it covers the basics of surgical technology, what your responsibilities are in the operating room, and what skills you’re expected to develop by the time you graduate.
- Surgical Technology Skills Lab (3 credits): This laboratory course requires in-person work and practice. You learn how to obtain and process specimens, accurately identify and use tools, and sterilize equipment before and after a procedure.
- Pharmacology for the Surgical Technologist (2 credits): Students in this course learn about the various types of medication used during procedures to minimize pain, sedate patients, and put patients under general anesthesia.
- Surgical Procedures I-III (9 credits): In each of these three courses, you tackle specific surgical procedures. In the first class, you look at simple, routine procedures that you may see on a daily basis. You then build on your knowledge by studying more complex and uncommon surgical procedures.
- Internship (9 credits): Practical training is crucial in a surgical technician program. An internship helps you make connections with local surgeons and surgical technicians while ensuring that your physical skills are developed enough to enter the workforce.
In the list above, you may notice that quite a few core courses require in-person attendance and evaluation. This is why most surgical assistant online programs are not 100% online.
If you’re interested in completing your surgical tech degree online, you may need to plan your coursework in advance. Many schools let you earn part of your surgical tech Associate’s degree online by offering online general education and theory courses.
However, you still must attend laboratory and clinical courses, so you must plan your work schedule around these school commitments to become a Certified Surgical Technologist.
Paying for Surgical Tech School in Colorado
Whether you’re spending two or four semesters earning a surgical tech degree, you may want to reduce your own out-of-pocket expenses by looking for financial aid. Many surgical tech school programs have dedicated financial aid departments that award scholarships to students who display financial need and academic potential.
One of the biggest resources in the country is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is regulated by the U.S. Department of Education. By entering your school code and filling out a quick form, you can find out if you get unsubsidized loans, subsidized loans, or grants, based on your financial need.
From there, you can start applying for private scrub tech scholarships. Many students use Peterson’s to search for scholarships, keep an eye on deadlines, and make sure that they meet the requirements for each scholarship. If you’re interested in combining your scholarship application process with your networking, look into joining the Association of Surgical Technologists. Student members can apply for scholarships each academic year.
Working as a Certified Surgical Technician in Colorado
Once you’ve completed your surgical tech certification online or in person, you have to meet certain certification requirements to start working in Colorado. Your education provides a strong foundation for your new career, so get excited about the opportunities that may await you!
Colorado Surgical Technician Requirements
After finishing your training at one of Colorado’s surgical tech diploma programs, you are ready to move on to the next part of your surgical technician requirements. Colorado is one of the few states that requires registration of surgical technologists.
This process is different from licensure or certification, since it does not involve testing your knowledge or skills. You can submit your application and fee to the Office of Surgical Assistant and Surgical Technologist Registration. Once you have your initial license, you must renew it by March 31 every year.
As long as you attend an accredited surgical tech school, you can apply for certification through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. You can submit your paperwork and pay your testing fee, which is $190 for members and $290 for non-members.
After passing your certification test, you become a Certified Surgical Technologist. Every four years, you must earn 60 continuing education credits and submit your renewal paperwork. Continuing education may be offered through Denver surgical technologist Associate degree programs and other educational facilities.
Where are the Best Surgical Tech Jobs in Colorado?
While attending a Colorado surgical technology training program, you should have started to build relationships with local healthcare employers. This experience comes into play when you start applying for jobs.
It’s important to make a good impression when you complete clinical rotations, since you never know which site is looking for surgical technologists. Most surgical technologists work in hospitals. This environment is very diverse, since you may assist in surgeries in a variety of departments and specialties. Surgery is also performed in outpatient care centers and physicians’ offices, both of which may benefit from the services of an OR tech.
Surgical tech courses are designed to prepare you for the daily demands of a scrub tech job. As an operating room tech, you are responsible for cleaning up before surgeries, assisting during surgeries, and fully sanitizing the surgical tools after surgeries. This requires you to work efficiently with many different healthcare providers, such as nurses, surgeons, and nurse practitioners.
Hiring Requirements for OR Tech Jobs
- High school diploma or GED
- Graduation from an accredited surgical technician program
- CST certification
- Basic Life Support Certification
- Recent experience in this field
Common Surgical Technician Job Duties in Colorado
While your job duties may change from day to day to suit the needs of your employer, they fall into the same general scope of practice at all times. You should be an expert in your scope of practice in Colorado, since unintentionally working outside your scope of practice can cause you and your facility to get charged significant fines.
The current requirements and limitations for surgical technicians are outlined by the Colorado/Wyoming State Assembly.
OR Tech Job Duties
- Check the schedule to be familiar with the day’s surgeries
- Ensure that each surgical procedure has the tools and equipment that the surgeon needs
- Open and set up sterile supplies
- Prepare the surgical table for surgery
- Maintain a sterile environment with aseptic techniques
- Hand the surgeon tools and equipment as tools are needed
- Count sponges and sharps before a surgery is complete to ensure that nothing is unintentionally left in a patient
- Clean instruments and sterilize them
- Do all required documentation and provide updates to supervisors
Colorado Surgical Tech Salaries
As an operating room tech, you can earn a range of salaries. When you’re a new graduate, you may start at an entry-level position on the lower end of the scale. Your income potential may grow as you become experienced and gain seniority at your place of employment.
The average salary in Colorado is $49,270 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Salaries tend to be slightly higher in some parts of Colorado. Boulder surgical techs earn an average of $49,270 per year, while those in the Greeley area earn an average of $49,290 per year and surgical techs in the northwestern part of the state report an average income of $55,550 per year (BLS, 2017).
One of the benefits of attending a surgical technology community college program in Colorado is the positive job outlook in this field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an expected 15% boost in job openings by the year 2024 (2017).
Surgical Technology Resources in Colorado
One of the facts you can quickly learn about the medical field is that there’s always something new to learn. By building a community of surgical technicians, supervisors, and surgeons, you can learn about new legislation, techniques, and standards. This should be an especially high priority when you are still a student or a new surgical technologist.
State and National Resources
- Colorado/Wyoming State Assembly Spring Workshop
- Association of Surgical Technologists
- Association of Surgical Assistants
If you’re passionate about healthcare, detail-oriented, and ready to learn about the tools used during complex surgical procedures, this could be your chance to earn a surgical tech degree online or in person.
This training option is optimal for those who want to start working and earning money quickly, since it generally requires just one to two years of full-time education. With your training, you may work in many different settings and find out which work environment suits your interests.