Surgical Technician Programs in Florida
Surgical Technician Training Programs in Florida
In any healthcare setting, it takes a team of professionals to use time efficiently, improve patient outcomes, and get patients the care they need. In the field of surgery, this is especially true!
Surgery requires tons of preparation, the appropriate tools, and many skilled hands in the operating room. After surgery, tools must be cleaned, documentation must be filled out, and patients need aftercare. Earning a surgical technician certificate and becoming an OR tech can put you in a place to carry out these and other important duties.
Get started now by contacting Florida surgical technology schools.
What Kind of Surgical Technician Training Do I Need in Florida?
Before you can walk into an operating room and be an asset to surgeons, nurses, and supervising physicians, you have to do your part and get the training you need in a surgical tech Associate, certificate, or diploma program.
You can complete a surgical technician program fairly quickly, making this field a great option for those who don’t want to spend four years or more in school before they begin working. Discover which options are best for you by contacting surgical assistant programs. Florida schools are listed on this page.
Getting Into Surgical Tech Schools in Florida
Many new students choose a certificate, diploma, or Associate’s degree program because these programs are straightforward, short-term, and designed to prepare you for a specific career path.
One of the big differences between technical programs and Bachelor’s degree programs is the difficulty of each program’s admissions requirements. Surgical tech diploma programs are usually quite simple to get into. While most programs require that you be at least 18 years old, some programs accept 17-year-old students, as long as they have a GED or high school diploma.
Admissions Requirements for Surgical Tech Programs
- High school GPA of 2.0 or higher
- No extenuating health circumstances or diagnoses
- No history of felonies
- Ability to pass a thorough physical exam
- Accuplacer, SAT, or ACT scores
Surgical Tech School Application Documents
- Application fee
- References from past employers and teachers
- High school transcripts
- College transcripts (if you have completed any postsecondary education)
- Background check authorization form
- Consent form for drug screen
Some surgical tech degree programs also require that you demonstrate your interest in this field; this is common at schools with long waitlists for the surgical tech Associate program. You may have to write an essay or have an interview with the head of the program to ensure that you’re a good fit for the field of healthcare.
Florida Surgical Technology Training
Which type of training is best for you? If you’re looking into programs that let you further your education in the long run, consider a surgical technology Associate’s degree. These programs last between two and three years, although most Florida schools design their programs to be finished in two years. You go through a strict curriculum of general education courses and build your knowledge of surgical technology at the same time. Overall, this study option involves earning at least 60 credits.
Another popular choice for new students is a surgical technician certificate or diploma. A Florida surgical technology specialist certificate is considerably shorter than an Associate’s degree program, requiring between 30 and 40 credits. You do not take any general education classes; you simply prepare for a career as a scrub tech by working through your surgical technology coursework.
Surgical Tech Courses in Florida
- Introduction to Surgical Technology (3 credits): This class is often required in the first semester, since it gives you a broad overview of this field and outlines what is expected of you throughout your career.
- Surgical Equipment and Instrumentation (3 credits): This class commonly combines theoretical education and hands-on practice. After learning about the names of tools and their uses, you may work with them in the lab to figure out how they are used and how you can properly clean them.
- Perioperative Patient Care Concepts (2 credits): After-surgery care is a requirement in many operating room tech jobs, which is why this course studies the post-surgical needs of patients and how you can support your supervising surgeon.
- Surgical Techniques and Procedures (2 credits): This introduction to surgical procedures helps you understand what steps are followed in each procedure and how you can adequately prepare for common surgical procedures.
- Surgical Procedures 1, 2, and 3 (9 credits): Together, these three courses should cover the vast majority of surgeries you may see throughout your career. After building a strong understanding of common, routine procedures, you can build on your knowledge by studying increasingly complex surgeries.
- Surgical Biomedical Fundamentals (3 credits): Find out how surgery fits into the biomedical field and what the intended outcomes are of surgical procedures.
- Surgical Pharmacology (2 credits): Many different medications are used before, during, and after surgery. This class looks at the most common medications you may see as a Certified Surgical Technologist.
- Principles and Practices of Surgical Technology (2 credits): In this class, wrap up everything you’ve learned by condensing it into the key principles of surgical technology.
Earning a Surgical Tech Associate’s Degree Online
Distance-based degree programs have plenty of benefits, so it’s no surprise that many students are interested in online surgical tech programs. However, if you’re dedicated to working in this field, you need to do at least some of your education in a traditional setting.
To qualify for certification, you must attend a program that offers hundreds of hours of lab and clinical experience. Surgical assistant online programs do not meet this requirement, so they are not a viable choice for those who want to become certified. You can begin the path to a surgical tech degree online by taking general education courses online, which may minimize the amount of time you have to spend in the classroom.
Paying for Surgical Tech School in Florida
Many surgical tech diploma programs qualify for financial aid. With different deadlines for every financial aid program, it’s important to begin applying for federal aid as soon as possible. You do have to have a school selected before you apply for federal aid; the Department of Education uses your school code to estimate the cost of attendance each year, which they use to determine your aid.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid decides how much aid and which type of assistance you may get. There are many industry-specific scholarship programs. For example, the Association of Surgical Technologists gives awards to selected student members each year. You can search for Florida scholarships through Peterson’s, which makes it easy to track deadlines and required application materials.
Working as a Certified Surgical Technician in Florida
What do today’s employers look for? What surgical technician requirements do you have to meet before working? Once you have your surgical technology Associate’s degree in the bag, you can look into certification and start applying for job openings.
Florida Surgical Technician Requirements
Your next step is becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist, a process that is regulated by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. They allow you to schedule your exam after they verify that you have graduated from a CAAHEP-accredited surgical technician program.
You must pay a testing fee before you can schedule your exam; it costs $190 for members and $290 for non-members. To keep your certification active, you must earn 60 continuing education units every four years and renew your license every four years.
As is the case in most states, this certification is not technically required to work as an OR tech. However, most employers do require certification as a condition of employment.
Where are the Best Surgical Tech Jobs in Florida?
You can look for work as an operating room tech in places all over Florida. Hospitals are the most common employment setting for surgical technicians, especially in metropolitan areas that have most of the state’s population and most of its tourist activities. In a hospital, you may have to work a wide variety of shifts to ensure that your surgical department is ready for any emergency surgeries that may come up. Many of these facilities have a base pay rate, but they may pay more for holidays, overnight shifts, and weekend shifts.
On the other hand, you may choose to work in an outpatient surgical center. This type of institution relies largely on scheduled surgeries, so you may have a bit more control over your schedule and know exactly what surgeries you’ll help with each day.
Florida Scrub Tech Hiring Requirements
- Degree or certificate from a vocational surgical technology program
- Availability to work weekends, overnights, and holidays
- Ability to spend long periods of time standing, lifting, bending, squatting, and carrying
- CST certification
- Hands-on experience in surgical settings
The amount of work you do may change on a daily basis. If a multi-car crash occurs during your shift, you could spend a full 12 hours without being able to sit down or take a break. If there’s a quiet day at your facility, you may spend most of your time catching up on documentation, stocking supplies, and providing assistance as needed. It’s important to be prepared for both extremes and have the self-determination needed to keep yourself focused and busy during every shift.
Common Surgical Technician Job Duties in Florida
Once you’ve demonstrated that you meet an employer’s surgical technician requirements and you’ve accepted a position, you can start getting acclimated to your new workplace. Many healthcare facilities have long training periods that allow you to shadow surgery technicians and get institution-specific education.
One of the most important things to remember is that you must stay within your scope of practice, which is emphasized at almost every surgical tech school. The Florida State Assembly of Surgical Technologists lays out clear limits for surgical technologists.
Permitted OR Tech Job Duties
- Set up operating rooms for each surgical procedure
- Stock supplies in stockrooms and surgical rooms
- Sterilize equipment prior to each procedure
- Prepare patients for their scheduled procedures
- Provide assistance during surgical procedures
- Set up and maintain a sterile environment throughout surgical procedures
Florida Surgical Tech Salaries
In general, Florida surgical tech salaries are close to national averages. Your surgical tech courses, continuing education, and level of experience can all positively influence your income. The mean annual income for a Florida surgical technologist is $41,040 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).
Average incomes are higher in many metropolitan areas. Those working in the Fort Lauderdale area earn an average salary of $43,380 per year (BLS, 2017). Miami surgical technologists bring in an average income of $43,030 annually (BLS, 2017). An average income of $42,720 per year is reported in the Port St. Lucie area, while those in the West Palm Beach metropolitan area earn an average of $45,560 each year (BLS, 2017).
Across the United States, demand for surgical technologists may swell 15% between 2014 and 2024 (BLS, 2017).
Surgical Technology Resources in Florida
Your work doesn’t end after you finish your surgical tech degree. While this is the case in almost any industry, it is really important in healthcare. Standards, techniques, and legislation change all the time.
If you don’t keep up with industry changes, you could fall behind your peers. You can attend renewal courses for your surgical tech certification online and join local, state, and national groups to contact other surgical professionals. The more resources you have available, the more you may be able to do with your degree and the more you may be able to develop your career.
Surgical Tech Groups and Associations
- Association of Surgical Technologists
- Florida State Assembly of Surgical Technologists
- Association of Surgical Assistants
With a surgical tech Associate’s degree, Florida graduates can fill in-demand positions at hospitals and inpatient surgical centers. Healthcare is a field that may continue to grow in coming years, making this the perfect time to start a healthcare career and dedicate your time to education.
The first step is finding the right training program for your education, experience, and career goals.