How to Become a Surgical Tech in Virginia
Virginia residents hoping to begin their careers in the healthcare field might consider taking the necessary classes to become surgical technologists.
Once you meet the state’s training requirements and register with the Board of Medicine, you’ll be able to qualify for well-paying surgical tech jobs in Virginia.
Education and Training
Those wondering how to become surgical techs in Virginia need to complete a training program with accreditation through one of the following agencies:
- The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
- The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
Once you find a Virginia trade school, community college, or university that offers a surgical tech educational course, you can undergo specialized training to learn the necessary skills for surgical techs in VA.
Classes at most schools teach the following:
- Medical Terminology
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Principles of Microbiology
- General Psychology and Sociology
- Intro to Surgery
- Fundamental Perioperative Techniques
- Surgical Procedures
VA Surgical Tech Clinical Rotations
In addition to the traditional classroom instruction they get during their educational programs, students receive hands-on training through externships in local healthcare settings, such as clinics and hospitals. During this portion of their programs, students apply the information they learned in class and develop the skills they’ll need in surgical tech jobs in Virginia.
While earning their clinical hours, aspiring surgical techs in VA work with doctors, nurses, sterile processing agents, and other members of surgical teams to perform their duties in actual operating rooms.
Depending on your career goals, you might consider completing clinicals in a facility that practices one of the following surgical disciplines:
- Orthopedic Surgery
- Oral Surgery
- Ophthalmic Surgery
- Plastic Surgery
- Organ Transplantation
- Pediatric Surgery
How Long is Surgical Tech Training in VA?
Training course lengths for surgical techs in Virginia differ depending on which program type you choose.
For example, most students complete their training and qualify for surgical tech jobs in Virginia in about 18 months. However, there are also two-year degree programs for those hoping to work with specialized surgical tools at private hospitals and medical research facilities.
How Much Does it Cost?
Some certificate and diploma programs for surgical techs in Virginia may cost anywhere from $1,200 to $5,000. However, exact tuition rates vary by institution.
On the other hand, tuition, textbooks, registration fees, and study materials can cost between $15,000 and $30,000 or more for students in degree programs.
Virginia Surgical Tech Requirements
Although there is no mandatory licensing requirement for surgical techs in VA, you will need to pass a certification exam and obtain an official credential from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).
Take the following steps to register for the NBSTSA exam:
- Submit proof of graduation from an accredited trade school, college, or military surgical tech training program, such as:
- A notarized letter from your program director or a copy of your DD214 for military applicants
- A copy of your graduation certificate
- Transcripts from your surgical tech program
- Complete an exam application
- Pay the $290 fee for first-time applicants
Board of Medicine Registration
After passing their NBSTSA certification exams, surgical techs in VA must register with the state’s Board of Medicine before applying for surgical tech jobs in Virginia. To do this, you’ll need to create an account on the Virginia Department of Health Professions website, provide documents to show you’ve completed a training course and are NBSTA certified, and complete an online application form.
In addition to having the proper certifications, surgical techs in VA might also need to meet specific company standards to work in certain medical facilities. For example, many employers require applicants to pass a criminal background check and drug screening and have updated immunization records.
Surgical Tech Salaries in VA
While the average surgical tech salary in Virginia is about $50,109 per year, your annual earnings depend on your experience. For example, an entry-level tech might earn about $35,435 annually.
Meanwhile, more experienced surgical techs in VA can make as much as $70,000 or more.
Your location affects your wages as a Virginia surgical tech as well. Check out this table of annual earnings in different Virginia cities to discover how much a surgical tech makes in VA:
- Richmond $68,197
- Norfolk $59,706
- Chesapeake $61,748
- Virginia Beach $53,391
- Hampton $58,777
- Newport News $58,722
Most surgical techs in VA earn salaries close to the state’s average while working in general medical hospitals. However, annual earnings may be higher for techs working in private hospitals and specialized surgical centers.
What Do They Do?
Surgical techs in VA assist doctors, nurses, and other surgical team members before, during, and after procedures. Those working surgical tech jobs in Virginia check supplies before each surgery and set up sterile tables with the necessary tools, equipment, and medications for the operating room.
During an operation, a tech keeps the surgical field and tools sterile and passes instruments to the surgical team as needed. Techs also count each supply table item before and after the procedure to ensure all surgical tools are accounted for.
Surgical techs in VA and elsewhere in the U.S. may have an easy time finding work over the next decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a six-percent increase in the demand for surgical technologists over the next 10 years. This growth rate translates to about 9,600 job openings becoming available each year between 2021 and 2031.