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Surgical Technician Programs in Maine

Surgical Technician Training Programs in Maine

The population of Maine is aging, with more and more of the state’s population coming from a higher age range. This has dramatically changed healthcare needs in Maine. Across many different specialties, surgical needs have led to an increase in demand for surgeons, surgical techs, and others who can work under pressure in life-and-death situations.

Attending a surgical technician program may be the first step to a rewarding career in healthcare for you. Are you ready to start comparing your options? Use our list of surgical tech program to request information from surgical technologist programs in Maine.

What Kind of Surgical Technician Training Do I Need in Maine?

Once you start reaching out to schools that offer surgical tech degree programs, you may wonder what type of training you need to work in this field. After all, schools offer all types of programs, so which one is best?

All accredited surgical technician certificate and degree programs may help you become a licensed professional.

You may start your search with surgical tech diploma programs. Diplomas and certificates have nearly identical requirements, generally involving one year of full-time study, 30 credits, and several hundred hours of clinical experience.

The other main option at this level is a surgical tech Associate program. This program is closer to two years in length, and surgical technician requirements for graduation include 60 or more credits. A surgical technology Associate’s degree includes up to 30 credits of general education classes in fields like mathematics, English, and philosophy.

Getting Into Surgical Tech Schools in Maine

Compared to many other healthcare careers, surgical technology is a field with straightforward admissions requirements. You simply have to meet a set of academic, criminal background, and health requirements.

Admissions Requirements for Surgical Tech Schools in Maine

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Up-to-date immunizations
  • Ability to pass a comprehensive physical exam
  • Negative TB test
  • Negative drug screen
  • Background check and fingerprints

Maine Surgical Technology Training

Once you’ve made it through the admissions process, it’s time to begin your surgical technician program. Depending on whether you choose a certificate, diploma, or surgical technology Associate’s degree, you may start with general education classes or go straight into surgical courses.

Your training may start with core theory courses that introduce you to the field of healthcare and ensure that you are ready for the demands of a career in surgery. As you grow in this field, you may spend more time in the laboratory or in clinical rotations.

Surgical Tech Courses in Maine

  • Anatomy and Physiology (4 credits): You must thoroughly understand the human body to play an assisting role in surgery. In this class, plan on learning how each part of the body works, how to identify it, and how it may be affected by disease.
  • Medical Terminology (1 credit): Most surgical tech Associate programs require a course in medical terminology. This training helps you feel comfortable in medical settings, understand what is being asked of you, and know what is going on in any surgical procedure.
  • Introduction to Surgical Technology (7 credits): This is a complex field, so a course like this is extremely important. It covers the most essential parts of surgical technology. You may learn what surgical technicians do in the surgical ward and what their responsibilities are. You may also spend some time exploring job options.
  • Pharmacology for Surgical Technologists (2 credits): Although operating room techs do not prescribe or administer medication, you should understand how different medications work. That is the primary goal of this course, which pays particular attention to the medications given during, prior to, and after surgery to manage pain and minimize complications.
  • Surgical Technology (15 credits): These high-credit courses offer the bulk of your relevant training. They cover the theory of surgical technology and then immediately apply theory to the demands of the workplace. This type of course combines laboratory time, classroom time, and clinical rotations.

Are Online Surgical Tech Programs Available?

Surgical assistant online programs are not a viable option for students who want to work in this field after graduation. While they may present a way to learn about the theory of surgical technology, they do not offer the clinical experience needed for a surgical tech degree. To qualify for certification and have the skills that local employers want, you have to meet clinical and laboratory requirements.

How Can I Fit School Into a Busy Schedule?

Even though you may not be able to attend an online Associate’s in surgical technology program in Maine, there are flexible options to consider. Instead of doing your entire surgical tech degree online, look into blended surgical technology programs that combine online study and conventional study. You may do your theory and general education classes online. You can then meet clinical and laboratory requirements at in-person courses and rotations.

Paying for Surgical Tech School in Maine

You’ve chosen a surgical tech school and you are excited to start your education. The final step involves deciding how you’ll cover your educational expenses. Many students choose to exhaust federal financial aid options first. With your school code, you can figure out how much it costs to attend your program and ensure that it fits your budget. From there, fill out the FAFSA to learn about loan and grant options. These awards are based on financial need.

Many students in surgical tech diploma programs also apply for private aid. These awards may be given based on financial need or academic merit. Peterson’s offers a comprehensive database of local, state, and federal awards in various fields of study. If you join the Association of Surgical Technologists as a student member, you can apply for their scholarships. The Foundation of Surgical Technology is another major scholarship resource for surgical tech students.

Don’t wait any longer to find a program that is right for you!

Check out our list of surgical tech programs and get in touch with schools that can help you get on the right path.

Working as a Certified Surgical Technician in Maine

The goal of a surgical tech degree is to start a rewarding, fulfilling career in this field. Your preparation begins long before you graduate. You have to take the right courses to build necessary skills and meet certification standards. Check certification standards and requirements throughout your education to make sure you’re on the right path for graduation and certification.

Maine Surgical Technician Requirements

To get started as a scrub tech in Maine, you simply need to finish your training. Legally, there are no requirements for practice in Maine. The state allows anyone to call themselves a surgical technologist and apply for jobs. This leaves hiring authority up to each employer. While you do not need any training to work legally in this role, the majority of Maine employers require certification.

National certification is optional, but it is an easy way to show that your skills and education meet a baseline standard. This is particularly valuable when you are first developing your career.

The process of becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist is regulated by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. You have to graduate from a CAAHEP-accredited school and provide official transcripts. On top of that, you must pass a certification exam and pay a $190 fee if you are a member or a $290 fee if you are a non-member. Renewal occurs every four years. In each four-year period, you have to earn 60 continuing education units to qualify for renewal.

Where are the Best Surgical Tech Jobs in Maine?

The best job depends entirely on your preferences, skills, and goals. OR techs are employed in almost every healthcare setting in Maine. The hospital is perhaps the most common work setting for Certified Surgical Technologists. This is because many major surgeries require hospitalization and the variety of resources that hospitals offer.

When you start, you may begin as a float surgical tech. This means that you fill in the schedule gaps left by surgical techs in various departments, so you never know what each shift will be like. This is beneficial because it permits you to gain experience in many settings and types of surgeries. With enough experience, you may move into a full-time specialized position in one department.

No matter where you work in a hospital, be ready to keep your schedule flexible. Many departments keep operating room techs scheduled 24 hours per day, so you may have to work nights, weekends, and holidays.

Some surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis. To keep costs low, patients and insurance companies may elect to go to outpatient offices or clinics. In this type of career, you may work with a more limited list of surgical procedures. You could also be part of a smaller surgical team. However, these facilities may have better scheduling options. They are not often open nights or weekends, so you may work traditional daytime, weekday shifts.

Common Surgical Technician Job Duties in Maine

  • Checking supply levels and maintaining a list of available equipment
  • Restocking rooms as needed
  • Ordering supplies
  • Cleaning and sterilizing instruments and equipment
  • Double-checking the work of other surgical techs
  • Communicating with other healthcare providers to stay on top of patients’ needs
  • Patient communication and preparation prior to surgery
  • Pre-surgical instrument counting and positioning
  • Offering standby assistance during surgical procedures
  • Responding to emergency situations
  • Retrieving tools and equipment as needed
  • Counting tools before a surgery is complete
  • Follow-up documentation
  • Cleaning and sterilizing equipment immediately after surgery
  • Cleaning surgical rooms and preparing them for the next procedure

Your surgical tech courses should fully cover what is expected of you as an OR tech. At all times, you must work only within your scope of practice. Stepping outside your scope of practice may lead to decisions that are dangerous for your patients. Additionally, this may leave you or your facility open to lawsuits. The Maine State Assembly keeps a detailed list of responsibilities included in a scrub tech’s scope of practice.

Maine Surgical Tech Salaries in 2017

There are many benefits that come with working in the state of Maine. To start, salaries in this state tend to be higher than national averages. This may add up over the course of your career. In Maine, the average annual income for a surgical technician is $45,000 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). By the year 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job openings for surgical techs to increase 15% (2017).

Surgical Technology Resources in Maine

As you may know, there’s a lot that impacts your personal job outlook and earning potential. Your network is a major part of that. At a Maine school of surgical technology, you may start building your professional network. Don’t lose momentum; continue developing your network in the early days of your career. You may be able to join some of the most popular surgical technician groups as a student; otherwise, join them as a new professional.

As a member of local and national groups, you may get access to special training opportunities. These seminars and training events may help you meet continuing education requirements for certification.

Now that you know what it takes to get going in the field of surgical technology, it’s time to figure out which type of program is a good fit for you. Maine schools have many options for certificate, diploma, and Associate’s degree students.

Reach out to Maine schools to request more information.

The more you learn about each school on your list, the easier it may be for you to decide which program suits you. Gather information, contact schools one by one, and tour as many programs as you can. Ready to get the ball rolling? Browse our list of accredited surgical technology schools in Maine, and contact them to learn more about their programs and what they offer.