Online Schools that teach Surgical Technicians
Degrees in Surgical Technology: Surgical technology is very important in the operating room. The surgical technologist is the person who is responsible for prepping the operating room for the surgery, making sure all of the needed tools are present and everything is sterile, prepping the patient for the surgical procedure, and assisting during the surgery by locating and handing the appropriate tool to the nurse or surgeon. Without the surgical technologist, the operating room would not function as smoothly as it should and surgeries would likely take much longer to complete.
Surgical Technology Degree Levels Available Online
- Undergraduate/Graduate Certificate: 1 year to complete
- Associate Degree: 2 years to complete
It is important that, if you want to become a surgical technologist, that you begin taking health and life science courses while you are in high school. If you do not, then you will likely need more of those courses during your actual certificate or degree study. Some of the classes a student enrolled in surgery tech schools will take include: anatomy and physiology, chemistry, biology, medical terminology, and advanced math classes.
In addition to the classroom part of the education, all students in the surgical technology program will be required to complete clinical/field experience as a surgical tech. That means the student will spend a certain amount of time getting hands-on experience as a surgical tech in the operating room. The student will not be left to their own devices, however. There will be a surgical tech there with them, helping them complete their surgical tech tasks.
Traditionally, you have to earn an Associate Degree in surgical technology before you can work in the field. However, if a student has already earned a degree of any level in another career field of study, they can just enroll in a surgical technology certificate program. As long as the student gets all of the required classes in as well as the required clinical time, it does not matter that their degree is not in surgical technology.
All schools teaching surgery tech programs have their own admissions criteria and the same is true for the different departments within each school. When it comes to degree programs in allied health professions, there is usually a separate admissions process from the admissions process to get into the university itself. So you will likely have to complete two different sets of admissions criteria. Some of the basic requirements that must be met for admission include:
- Student must have a high school diploma or GED
- Student must have their ACT or SAT scores sent to the school
- Student may need to complete a personal essay for both the university admissions process and then also for the surgical technology program admissions
- Student may need letters of recommendation
- Student may need to complete an admissions interview with the surgical technology program admissions committee
As previously mentioned, every school will be different on what they require of their students in order to be considered for admission into the surgical technology program. Always double-check everything that you need for your chosen school so that there are no unnecessary delays in processing your application.
Online Degree vs. Traditional Degree Program
There is really no difference between earning an online degree and earning a degree in the traditional classroom. For the most part, the curriculum is the same for both methods and the professors likely are the same as well. There will probably be more focus on graded discussions and interactions with each other in the online method than in the classroom because, with the online method, the students are not in a room together and can talk freely. So, in order to encourage discussion with each other, the professors likely will grade each student on how well they contribute to discussions and how well they communicate with other students.
Also, it does not matter if you are in an online surgical technology program or a traditional classroom program – either way, you will have to complete the clinical portion of your education. Usually, though, with the online program, the student is tasked with finding a facility for their clinical experience.
Tuition and Accreditation
Depending on the education program you choose and the online school you choose, tuition can run anywhere from $11,500 each year to close to $23,000 a year. Of course, there are ways to get your education paid for without having to spend your own money. There are federal grants and scholarships available as well as some hospitals will offer to pay for your education in exchange for you contracting to work for that hospital for a specified number of years. This can be a very good thing for students who have already earned a degree and are seeking just the certificate as, a lot of times, students can't get financial aid for certificate programs.
There are two different organizations that an online surgical technology program can be accredited by: The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). It is important to enroll in a surgical technology program online that has received accreditation through one of these organizations. For one thing, most employers will only hire applicants who graduated from an accredited program. For another thing, the quality of education is likely to be much better since the school has to meet certain educational/curriculum standards in order to achieve and maintain accreditation.
Choosing the Best School for Online Degrees in Surgical Technology
The best school you can choose for your online degree in Surgical Technology is the school that meets all of your needs and fits your budget. If a student can afford to enroll in a private university's online surgical technology program, then by all means do it. However, there is nothing wrong with attending a community college's online program. The quality of education is going to be the same, no matter which school it is, as long as they are accredited by the CAAHEP or the ABHES. Just look at all of your options for online surgical technology programs and figure out which one is best suited for you and what you need in an education.