Surgical Technician Training Programs in Idaho
Every part of the healthcare industry is served by a variety of specialized care providers, support staff, and administrative staff, showing that this field truly relies on teamwork. When you decide to earn a surgical technician certificate, you make the call to become part of a local surgical team, make everyone’s jobs a little bit easier, and improve the surgical process for patients in your community. Even better, you may be able to get started as an operating room tech in less than two years.
Reach out to surgical tech programs in your area to find out how you can get started.
What Kind of Surgical Technician Training Do I Need in Idaho?
To start working as a scrub tech in Idaho, you need the right education from a surgical technology program. Idaho schools have certificate, diploma, and Associate’s degree options for students, making it easy to choose the program that suits your schedule, prior education, and career goals.
Use our list of Idaho schools to find the surgical technician program that fits you.
Getting Into Surgical Tech Schools in Idaho
Surgical technology is a technical career field, which means that it depends on specialized career skills instead of general education. These programs are often targeted at working adults without college degrees and new high school graduates who want to get started in a promising field. As a result, admissions requirements are very reasonable.
You may need to meet minimum GPA requirements, but most schools start at 2.0 or 2.5 instead of 3.0. Many programs expect you to take the ACT, SAT, or Accuplacer exam to assess your overall knowledge and potential in postsecondary education. Since this career path put you in contact with vulnerable patients, you must also undergo several health checks and background checks.
Admissions Standards for OR Techs in Idaho
- Must have up-to-date vaccinations or have titers drawn
- Physical exam that shows you can handle the physical demands of an OR job
- Negative drug screen
- Negative TB test
- Clear background check
Idaho Surgical Technology Training
The hard work begins when you choose a surgical tech Associate program and start taking courses. Every class you take should prepare you for some part of your future job duties, from sterilizing equipment and assisting during surgeries to patient documentation and communication.
Since there are surgical tech diploma programs, Associate’s degree programs, and certificate programs, you may wonder which option best prepares you for an OR tech career. As long as you choose a program that is accredited by the CAAHEP, you can feel confident that you are getting the same high quality of education as students in other training programs.
Accredited programs clearly outline what they expect of their students in their learning outcomes and goals. While comparing outcomes at each school, you may find that most learning outcomes focus on communication skills, knowledge of medical procedures and terminology, practical understanding of sterilization techniques, and an ability to act quickly in high-stress situations.
Surgical Tech Courses in Idaho
- Medical Terminology (2 credits): Anticipate taking this course early in your education, since it is the foundation for communicating effectively with surgeons and responding quickly to requests in the operating room. Memorizing these terms is an important part of this class, but you must also continue to build your medical vocabulary throughout your degree.
- Anatomy and Physiology (8 credits): Many Idaho surgical tech Associate programs split this into two courses, allowing you to master basic anatomy and physiology before moving on to more complicated body systems and functions.
- Human Disease (3 credits): This class ties in with your anatomy and physiology coursework, since it looks at the many ways in which the human body can stop working and cause disease. While learning about different diseases and diagnoses, you may learn about the surgical procedures that can be used to treat each diagnosis.
- Surgical Pharmacology (3 credits): In this course, build your understanding of medications used in surgical settings. Common topics include sedatives, pain medications, and antibiotics.
- Wound Closure Techniques (3 credits): While you may not close wounds as a scrub tech, it is important to be familiar with wound closure techniques so you can provide your supervising surgeon with the right tools.
- Surgical Concepts (3 credits): This class explores many of the key foundations of surgical technology, ensuring that you can hold your own in an operating room and help other members of your team work more efficiently.
- Sterilization Techniques (4 credits): Discover different ways to sterilize a patient’s surgical site, sterilize surgical tools and instruments, and maintain a sterile environment during a surgical procedure.
- Surgical Techniques (5 credits): The curriculum for this class introduces you to key surgical procedures and techniques used by surgeons during each procedure. In this class, plan on completing both a classroom component and a laboratory component.
Why Can’t I Attend a Certified Surgical Tech Program Online?
As you reach out to surgical tech programs in your area, you may notice that none of them offer the option of earning a surgical tech Associate’s degree online. This is due to the amount of practical experience required to graduate and be well-prepared for an operating room tech position.
To apply for certification, you must participate in at least 120 surgical procedures, and you must be the lead assistant on at least 80 of those procedures. Some schools let you begin earning your surgical tech certification online by offering blended courses and online general education classes. By using these options, you can enjoy a more flexible schedule that allows you to meet work and family obligations.
Paying for Surgical Tech School in Idaho
Take your time finalizing your surgical technician certificate, diploma, or degree choice. You must be accepted to a program before applying for financial aid, since many financial aid programs are only open to certain schools or use your school’s cost of attendance to determine how much assistance you get.
The U.S. Department of Education oversees the federal financial aid program. To find out if you qualify for financial aid, you can fill out the Free Application For Federal Student Aid. As a federal program, this application has strict deadlines, so it’s important to apply as early as possible after selecting a surgical tech degree.
There are numerous other grant options for those attending surgical tech programs. Through the Idaho State Assembly, you can become a student member of the local branch of the Association of Surgical Technologists and apply for student scholarships. Another major resource for students all over the country is Peterson’s, which maintains a database that contains thousands of scholarships.
Working as a Certified Surgical Technician in Idaho
Once you earn your surgical technology Associate’s degree and you have gotten enough hands-on practice to feel confident in your surgical assisting skills, it is time to put your abilities to the test and start working. By meeting surgical tech program requirements and certification requirements, you can meet the qualifications for many local surgical tech jobs.
Idaho Surgical Technician Requirements
Before completing your surgical tech Associate degree, consider spending some time looking into local job openings for surgical technologists. It’s clear that most, if not all, employers expect you to be a Certified Surgical Technologist before applying. This is not a legal requirement, but certification is an easy way for employers to verify your skills and knowledge before hiring you.
The largest certification program in the United States is the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. Once your application is approved, you can pay the testing fee of $190 for members or $290 for non-members and then take your licensing exam. Then, all you have to do is complete 60 hours of continuing education every four years and renew your certification at the end of each four-year period.
Where are the Best Surgical Tech Jobs in Idaho?
Whether you live in a highly populated urban part of Idaho or one of this region’s many rural areas, the training you get at surgical tech diploma programs can open the gateway to many job opportunities.
The majority of employed surgical technologists work in hospitals, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017). You may float between multiple departments or remain in the same department, depending on what position you are hired for and what your facility needs. You can also look into openings at outpatient surgical centers and physicians’ offices.
If you go this route, you may specialize in a certain type of surgery, such as cosmetic surgery or dermatological surgery. Furthermore, outpatient surgical centers rarely see emergency cases, so accepting a position at one of these facilities may allow you a more steady schedule.
Hiring Requirements in Idaho
- Graduation from an accredited surgical tech school
- Certified Surgical Technologist certification
- Physical strength that accommodates long periods of standing, squatting, carrying, and lifting
- Up-to-date immunizations
- Liability insurance
Common Surgical Technician Job Duties in Idaho
Surgical technology program Idaho graduates may work in many different settings, but they are all limited by the same scope of practice. The scope of practice for OR tech graduates prevents professionals from carrying out tasks that they cannot safely do, which leads to better outcomes for patients.
The Idaho State Assembly outlines the duties that may be assigned to surgical technicians and which duties are not part of their training.
Duties for Surgical Technician Program Graduates in Hospitals and Surgical Centers
- Storage and organization of surgical instruments
- Sterilization of surgical tools and instruments
- Setting out surgical tools for each scheduled and emergency surgery
- Providing tools to supervising surgeons as needed
- Counting sponges and instruments before a surgical site is closed
- Post-surgical documentation
Idaho Surgical Tech Salaries
Completing a surgical technology Associate’s degree may boost your earning potential and put you in a great position to earn a competitive salary. Across Idaho, the average salary for a surgical technologist is $43,080 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).
In Boise, the mean income rises to $44,610 annually (BLS, 2017). An average annual income of $50,090 is reported in Idaho Falls (BLS, 2017).
The job outlook is bright for surgical assistants, which is one of the many reasons that this is the ideal time to earn a surgical tech degree. By 2024, job openings for surgical technologists may jump 15% (BLS, 2017).
Surgical Technology Resources in Idaho
Learning about surgical tech programs online can help you select a school that fits your needs, but it is still essential to attend networking events, seminars, and training classes to become part of the local healthcare community. Going to these events can put you in touch with surgical technologists, surgeons, healthcare administrators, and others in your industry.
Joining local and national organizations is a good start, since you can get information on surgical tech courses that meet continuing education surgical technician requirements.
Another benefit of building a professional network is staying informed of legislative issues, changes in care standards, and new surgical techniques. While this field can change quickly, it may take longer to learn about industrywide changes if you aren’t active in your healthcare community.
Local and National Professional Organizations
- Association of Surgical Technologists
- Association of Surgical Assistants
- Idaho State Assembly (offers free continuing education events once per month)
This could be the start of a whole new career for you. Healthcare is growing quickly, and as the population of the United States grows, demand for skilled professionals may continue to increase.
The sooner you begin your surgical technologist degree program, the more quickly you may apply for certification and begin working.
Ready to check out your options?