How to Become a Surgical Technologist in Delaware
Surgery is an invasive process requiring much attention to detail. To be effective, surgeons must use the help of skilled surgical technologists and assistants. Medical tools and equipment must be sterilized and properly placed. Timeliness is important, and surgical technologists can expect to provide an extra set of eyes, ears, and hands for the lead surgeon. This ensures that the lead surgeon does not have to scramble around the room looking for the proper tools to complete the operation. If this kind of responsibility excites you, becoming a surgical technologist may suit you well. [En Español]
Requirements for Becoming a Surgical Technologist in Delaware
Like most U.S. states, Delaware does not require surgical technologists to follow any state-mandated regulations before finding employment. However, it is highly recommended that you complete a surgical tech training program accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). These organizations help aspiring surgical technologists find the best schools and training programs to properly prepare them for a successful career.
Most post-secondary education programs have a minimum requirement of a high school diploma or GED, so be sure you can provide these documents before applying to a training program. To increase your chances of finding employment, it is a great idea to find a local internship that will offer you hands-on experience in the field while you are completing coursework. Your employer may not require this hands-on experience, but it is best to learn as much as possible if you want to set yourself apart from the competition. Going the extra mile to apply your knowledge in real-world settings, under the supervision of certified professionals, will give you the chance to learn from any mistakes early-on and ask the questions that will boost your knowledge and skill set.
Surgical Technology Programs in Delaware
The CAAHEP and the ABHES have accredited two schools for surgical technician programs in Delaware.
- Delaware Technical and Community College offers an Associate degree in Surgical Technology, which will take about two years to complete. Tuition costs $2,242 per semester for in-state students, while out-of-state students will pay around $5,600. This degree program is available only at DTCC’s Dover, Delaware, campus.
- Harris School of Business offers a certificate surgical technology program that can be completed in one year. The cost of tuition is about $20,000 per year, and the school offers students help with job placement tools after graduation. The school has campuses in the cities of Dover and Wilmington.
Most surgical tech programs include anatomy classes, pharmacology, surgical equipment sterilization training, as well as soft skills related to customer service and communication. As a surgical technologist in Delaware, you will be responsible for setting up the operating room before surgery begins, performing certain tasks during the operation (such as passing tools or counting sponges), and helping keep the procedure running efficiently.
Allied Health Education Programs in Delaware
Delaware has several allied health education programs that can help aspiring surgical technologists gain the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in the field. These include programs in medical assisting, medical imaging, dental assisting, and more. These programs are offered at several institutions throughout the state.
National Certification for Surgical Technologists in Delaware
Delaware does not require surgical technologists to be certified; however, earning your voluntary certification will be a wise decision for many reasons. A certified surgical technologist will be able to find jobs more easily, and you could receive a higher salary based on your skill level.
The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) is responsible for the examination and certification process of surgical technologists. The exam fee is $290, and eligibility requirements include documentation of a completed NBSTSA-recognized surgical program. Schools accredited by either the CAAHEP or the ABHES will be recognized by the NBSTSA. Documentation of completion of a military training program in surgical technology is also acceptable. You can expect to recertify every four years by either retaking the exam or providing proof of continued education with 60 completed credit hours over the four years between exams.
Surgical Tech Jobs Outlook and Salary Expectations
Based on data from the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP), 260 surgical technologists were working in Delaware in 2019. By 2026, there is estimated to be an additional 30 jobs added to the field in this state alone.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that surgical technologists made an average salary of $23.25 per hour in 2021, which is equivalent to $48,350 annually. The highest earners in the trade in Delaware made more than $61,560 during the same year.
Working as a Surgical Technologist in Delaware
A Delaware surgical technician can expect the job market to grow by 9.9 percent in the 10 years from 2016 to 2026, according to PMP data. This shows that the field will continue to expand and likely evolve over the years. The sooner you get started, the faster you will begin to grow with the trade.
You may find work in local hospitals or outpatient clinics, helping surgeons work in a way that is precise and efficient. You can also specialize in different types of operations like heart surgery, bone surgery, or cosmetic surgery, among others. The highest-paid surgical technologists in Delaware can be found in the cities of Rehoboth Beach, Milford, and Harrington. If this sounds like a fit for you, you may find surgical technology to be a fulfilling career.