How to Become a Surgical Tech in Tennessee
If you’re living in Virginia and want a career that is both fulfilling and rewarding, then a role as a surgical tech may be a good fit for you.
With the right training and education, individuals can become certified to work in the state, assisting doctors in operating rooms, helping patients, and keeping surgical areas sterile and safe.
Education and Training
First and foremost, getting the proper education and training is mandatory when trying to become a surgical technologist in the state. Places such as Tennessee trade schools, community colleges, and specialized schools can offer certified programs that offer the necessary education.
Related High School Classes
High school students looking to get a career as a surgical tech may want to take classes such as biology, chemistry, and anatomy to have a strong grasp on some of the fundamentals before attending a post-secondary institution.
Surgical tech coursework for a surgical tech can include the following:
- Surgical Room Methods
- Aseptic Methods
- Patient Care
- Medical Terminology
- Medical Ethics
Earning a Certification
If you want to work as a surgical tech in TN, getting a certification is a mandatory part of the process.
Attending a Surgical Tech Program
Enrolling in and attending a surgical technologist program is mandatory if you want to work as a surgical tech in the state. Here, you can get the coursework and hands-on training you need to succeed.
Those curious to know the price of surgical tech school should know that it can depend on which program you attend and how much education you receive. Some certification programs can be completed for less than 5k, while others may cost over 20k.
How Long Does It Take?
Surgical technologist training programs differ depending on which one you choose. Typically, many programs in the state allow students to graduate with a certification in one year to eighteen months. However, some Tennessee trade schools and community colleges offer two-year associate degree programs that students may attend.
Tennessee Surgical Tech Requirements
While many states don’t have specific certification or training requirements to work as a surgical tech, the state of Tennessee has several benchmarks you need to meet before you can get employed.
To be a surgical tech in Tennessee, you must meet one of the following requirements:
- Complete a post-secondary education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
- Have a current national certification as a surgical technologist through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA)
- Complete training in surgical technology as a member of the armed forces
National Certification Exam
After finishing coursework and training, a surgical tech must pass the national certification exam. Additionally, the state also mandates that a surgical tech completes 15 hours of continuing education coursework every year.
Surgical Tech Salaries in TN
An average surgical tech in TN can be a profitable career path. However, experience, location, and type of workplace may affect your yearly income.
A few salaries you can earn as a surgical tech in Tennessee are:
- Knoxville $48,549
- Memphis $49,036
- Nashville $49,335
- Franklin $49,162
- Kingsport $46,226
Surgical techs have a wide range of job responsibilities. These employees prepare the operating room before surgeries, ensuring that the space is clean and sterile for both the patient and doctor. They also check to make sure that the surgical equipment functions properly and that all of the solutions and medications that will be needed are present.
In addition to prep work, these techs often bring patients into the operating room and assist in getting the individual ready for surgery by positioning them on the table, washing and disinfecting any incision sites, and covering them with drapes.
What Do They Do?
Common responsibilities and tasks of a typical surgical tech are:
- Readying the patient for surgery
- Prepping the operating room
- Ensuring the equipment and operating room is sterile and safe
- Assisting the surgeon during a procedure
- Counting supplies after an operation
- Restocking the operating room
Experts predict a steady growth in jobs over the next decade for this field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be an additional 9,600 additional surgical tech jobs per year from 2021-2031, which is an increase of six percent. Because of this data, individuals can expect to see a rise in surgical tech jobs in Tennessee, also.
Factors such as older workers retiring and professionals in the industry switching career paths will contribute to these numbers. It’s also important to note that with the baby boomer generation getting older, there will be an increased need for medical and healthcare professionals at every level.