How to Become a Surgical Technologist in Connecticut
Operating rooms during surgeries are one of the most intense environments in any medical facility. Surgical technologists must work well in these environments, as they will need to play a vital role in ensuring the operation has a successful outcome. Surgical technologists take proper care of medical instruments and equipment, following orders from the lead surgeon in handling these tools during procedures. They also ensure proper sterilization of medical instruments before and after surgery and may be responsible for preparing patients and surgical teams before an operation. [En Español]
Prerequisite Courses for Surgical Technology
Before enrolling in a surgical technologist program, applicants should have completed high school coursework including mathematics, human biology, general psychology, and other science topics. In some cases, medical terminology and healthcare courses can be beneficial for students interested in pursuing certification as a surgical technologist.
Requirements for Becoming a Surgical Technologist in Connecticut
Certain states have legislative requirements for surgical techs before they can begin practicing, but Connecticut is not one of them. This means that your employer will determine the level of skill and experience you need to be hired. To ensure your job search goes smoothly, you are highly encouraged to enroll in a school or program accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). These are the two most trusted organizations that accredit medical schools throughout the U.S.
Most post-secondary education programs require students to provide a high school diploma or GED before enrollment, so be sure to have this information available before applying. While completing your training program, you’re encouraged to seek an internship to gain some real-world experience in surgical technology. Many employers highly recommend that you have this previous hands-on experience, so it will increase your chances of being hired.
Surgical Technology Programs in Connecticut
The CAAHEP lists only two accredited programs for surgical technology in Connecticut. Surgical tech schools accredited by the ABHES in Connecticut do not currently offer surgical technology programs.
- Housatonic Community College offers an Associate of Science Degree in Surgical Technology, which takes two years to complete. Students will also complete 640 clinical hours as part of this program. Tuition is currently about $4,052 per year for in-state students and $12,116 per year for out-of-state students. The campus is located in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
- Manchester Community College is home to the Surgical Technology Hartford Hospital Consortium program, which awards students an associate degree upon completion. Students will complete their first year of schooling on MCC’s campus, and their second year will be completed with classes and clinical rotations on Hartford Hospital’s campus. Tuition at MCC is currently about $2,300 per semester.
Allied Health Education Programs
Several allied health education programs also offer courses in surgical technology. Capital Community College and Goodwin College both offer certificate programs, while Middlesex Community College has a diploma program in surgical technology. Tuition at these schools ranges from $1,500 to $2,500 a semester.
National Certification for Surgical Technologists in Connecticut
After completing an accredited training program in Connecticut, To increase your chances of successfully finding employment, you must obtain your Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) certification from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. This organization provides an exam that covers all necessary safety and surgical procedures for proper operation in a medical setting, it would be a wise decision to take the exam offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST). Not all employers will require this certification, but it will be a great addition to your resume as it exemplifies your level of expertise in surgical technology. It could also lead to higher pay.
The exam fee is $290, and to sit for this exam you will need to provide documentation of your completion of an NBSTSA-recognized surgical technology program. If a program is accredited by the CAAHEP or the ABHES, it will be recognized by the NBSTSA. You can instead provide proof that you’ve completed a military training program in surgical technology.
The NBSTSA requires surgical techs to recertify every four years. This can be done by either successfully retaking the exam or providing proof of your continued competence with 60 completed credit hours of surgical technology coursework during the four years between exams.
Job Outlook and Salary Expectations
As of 2021, surgical techs in Connecticut were making an average salary of $29.65 per hour, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. This is equivalent to $61,680 annually. Connecticut’s highest-paid surgical technologists earned more than $81,540 during the same year according to the BLS.
About 1,100 surgical techs were employed in Connecticut in 2020, according to data from the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP). This number is expected to increase by 6 percent in the 10 years from 2020 to 2030. This means that about 90 jobs will be added to the field.
Working as a Surgical Technologist in Connecticut
Connecticut is one of the highest-paying states for surgical technologists in the U.S. You can expect to earn the highest compensation in cities like Stamford, Norwalk, and Greenwich.
Surgical technologists enjoy working in hospitals, outpatient clinics, cosmetic surgery centers, or in areas of specialization like labor and delivery among many others. With a job market that will be expanding in the future and a high earning potential to look forward to, the field of surgical technology could be a promising one for you