How to Become a Surgical Technologist in Idaho
Attention to detail, sharp focus, and endurance are just a few qualities surgical techs should have to excel in the medical field. Being part of a surgical team may require you to prepare patients for surgery by dressing their wounds or assisting them to enter an operating room. While surgery is taking place, you will need to ensure that medical instruments are in their proper places to help the operation flow smoothly. When surgery is complete, surgical technologists could also be responsible for sterilizing the operating room and assisting patients in recovery post-operation. [En Español]
Prerequisite Courses for Surgical Technologists
Before you can become a surgical technologist in Idaho, you must first complete prerequisite courses. High school students interested in pursuing this medical field should excel in classes such as biology and human anatomy. After graduating high school, most aspiring surgical techs will take part in specialized training programs to get the necessary knowledge and skills they need for a successful career.
Requirements for Becoming a Surgical Technologist in Idaho
There are a small number of states that require surgical techs to follow certain regulations to practice. Idaho is one such state, with laws in place to ensure surgical techs are held to a certain standard. To practice in this state, surgical techs must have completed a one-year education program for operating room technicians accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), in cooperation with the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA). Alternatively, surgical techs can complete training programs that meet the requirements set by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).
Completing a surgical tech training program accredited by either the CAAHEP or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) will make you eligible to practice in this state since these are two accrediting organizations recognized by the NBSTSA. These two trusted administrations set high standards for medical schools across the country. Additionally, completing a program from either of these lists will allow you to sit for the NBSTSA’s national exam which will make you a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).
To take charge of your career, you should be proactive. A great way to do this is by finding a local internship at a hospital or private practice. Any hands-on experience taking place in a real-world setting will prepare you to take your national CST exam and do your job efficiently when you begin seeking employment. Moreover, hands-on experience such as this could lead to a higher salary.
Surgical Tech Programs in Idaho
The ABHES currently lists no accredited schools for surgical technology in the state of Idaho, however, the CAAHEP lists three training programs, each detailed below:
- College of Western Idaho offers both an Intermediate Technical Certificate as well as an Associate of Applied Science degree in surgical technology. Certificates can be earned in just 18 months, while degree programs will take two years to complete. The certificate program will cost $7,621 for in-state students and $16,138 for out-of-state students.
- College of Southern Idaho allows students to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in surgical technology. Applications are accepted between February and August until classes are full. The degree can be completed in two years, and tuition is about $4,000 per year.
- College of Eastern Idaho offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in surgical technology, which will take two years to complete. The program curriculum includes hands-on training at local hospitals, and tuition is currently about $3,000 per year.
Allied Health Education Programs in Idaho
Idaho also offers several non-surgical technician programs to choose from, such as medical assisting and phlebotomy. These programs are offered at various universities and colleges in the state. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the following programs:
• University of Idaho – Medical Assistant Certificate
• North Idaho College – Phlebotomy Technician Certificate
• Boise State University – Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Certificate
• College of Western Idaho – Pharmacy Technician & Radiologic Technology Certificates
These programs will prepare you to provide important medical care in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices. They provide a solid foundation to help you begin or advance your career in the healthcare field.
Additionally, many of these programs are offered both on-campus and online, giving you the flexibility to attend classes while balancing other important commitments such as family and work. With so much potential for growth in the healthcare field, allied health education programs are an excellent choice for those looking to advance their career.
The healthcare field offers many opportunities to grow and expand your current skill set. With the right training, you can make a difference in the lives of others by providing quality care. Idaho is a great place to pursue these careers with its wide range of accredited programs suited for both new and experienced professionals. With the right education, you can find a job you love and make a difference in the lives of others.
National Certification for Surgical Technologists
Idaho state law does not require you to become a CST before practicing, however, it is highly recommended that you earn this credential. You may find that certain employers will require or strongly prefer to hire CSTs as opposed to surgical techs without certification.
Completing a surgical technology training program accredited by either the CAAHEP or the ABHES is a requirement to practice in Idaho and also a requirement to sit for the CST exam. Surgical techs who have taken a military training program in the field are also eligible to sit for this exam. The exam fee is $290.
Every four years, you will need to recertify to maintain your status as a CST. You can recertify by either retaking the exam or providing documented proof that you’ve completed at least 60 credit hours of continued education in surgical technology during the four years between exams.
Surgical Tech Jobs Outlook and Salary Expectations
The Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) projects that there will be a 26.2 percent expansion in the surgical tech job market in Idaho during the 10 years between 2016 and 2026. In 2019, 720 surgical techs were working in this state, and by 2026 there are expected to be 840 people employed in this field.
On average, surgical techs in Idaho make $23.00 per hour, or $47,830 per year, according to data presented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The highest-paid surgical techs in this state earn about $61,250 annually, according to the same data.
Working as a Surgical Technologist in Idaho
The job market for surgical techs is expected to expand by 12 percent nationally in the decade between 2016 and 2026, according to the BLS. In Idaho, the highest-paid surgical techs can be found working in cities like Coeur D Alene, Boise, and Meridian.
As a specialized surgical tech, you can choose to work exclusively in certain types of surgeries. These could include heart surgery, brain surgery, cosmetic surgery, and more. With many different varieties of surgical procedures, there are many opportunities to specialize. If you would enjoy working in the operating rooms of local hospitals, outpatient clinics, or private medical practices, surgical technology could be a career field in which you will thrive.