How to Become a Surgical Technologist in Indiana
There are some basic minimum requirements that the state of Indiana has set for surgical technologists working in the state. These are not hard to achieve, and if you are willing to train or complete a certificate or associate degree program, you can be ready to work in this exciting, hands-on healthcare career within a year or two. [En Español]
What is a Surgical Technologist?
State law in Indiana defines a surgical technologist as a healthcare professional who provides care for surgical patients by preparing operating rooms, anticipating what the surgeon and other members of the surgical team will need, and performing specific tasks during the operation. These may include passing instruments to the surgeon, suctioning at the operation site, transferring drugs, holding retractors, and handling specimens.
Requirements for Working as a Surgical Technologist in Indiana
There are several different ways in which you can be eligible to work in surgical technology in Indiana. One of the most common pathways to this career is to complete an accredited and approved post-secondary program and then get certified by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). The other options are:
- Completing surgical technology training while serving in the military
- Working as a surgical technologist before July 1, 2009
- Working for the federal government as a surgical technologist
- Having the necessary skills and knowledge to work in surgical technology as determined by the employer
In Indiana, it is the responsibility of the surgical technologist to prove to an employer that he or she meets one or more of these requirements and to notify them in writing of any changes in compliance with the requirements, such as failing to renew NBSTSA certification.
To become a qualified surgical technologist in Indiana, getting certified through the NBSTSA is a good option. It requires that you first complete a program, which may be for a certificate or a two-year degree that is accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
Completing an appropriate secondary program qualifies you to take the NBSTSA exam. A passing score on the exam will qualify you to become certified. Once certified, you must complete 15 credits of continuing education courses each year and renew the certification every four years. The state of Indiana also requires 15 hours of continuing education, regardless of certification status.
Surgical Technology Programs in Indiana
To become certified you first have to complete an education and training program in surgical technology. Indiana has several accredited programs from which to choose:
- Indiana University Health, Indianapolis. The surgical technology certificate program at IU Health takes just 11 months to complete with a full-time schedule of courses. IU Health employees pay just $2,111.16 for the surgical technology program, while other students can expect fees to total $4,135.56. Graduates of the program had 100 percent passing rates on the NBSTSA certification exam for 2015 and 2016.
- University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne. Graduates of this program in Fort Wayne are also successful in getting certified, with a 100 percent pass rate for three years running. Students who complete the program earn an associate degree and complete hands-on clinical work at several area medical centers and hospitals before graduating.
- Ivy Tech Community College, Multiple Sites. Ivy Tech has multiple campuses throughout the state with accredited surgical tech programs. These include Indianapolis, Evansville, Kokomo, Lafayette, Columbus, Muncie, Terre Haute, and Valparaiso. The programs are selective in admitting students and include 900 hours of hands-on practice in a clinical setting and operating room.
Allied Health Education Programs in Indiana
The Allied Health Education Programs at IU Health, the University of Saint Francis, and Ivy Tech Community College all provide students with the necessary qualifications to become certified as a surgical technologists in Indiana. Each program has its advantages and prerequisites that students should consider before selecting one.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
For a career in healthcare that will provide good job security in Indiana, surgical technology is a great option. According to BLS, in 2020, the state had 2,840 surgical technologists employed, and by 2030 that number is expected to grow to 3,050. That means there will be 230 new positions ready for those training for the career now.
Salary expectations for qualified surgical techs in the state are good, with the average hourly salary in 2021 at $22.92. That year, surgical technologists saw an average annual income of $47,670, but salaries can climb much higher with experience and years on the job.
Working as a Surgical Technologist in Indiana
Surgical technologists are most often employed by hospitals. In Indiana, there are opportunities for employment throughout the state, but the larger cities will have the most jobs available: Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, and South Bend. Some of the largest hospitals are Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, and Deaconess Midtown Hospital in Evansville.
As a qualified surgical tech in Indiana, you may also be hired to work in outpatient surgery centers, physician offices, and dental offices. With a year or two of school and a passing score on a certification exam, you will be ready for this exciting and meaningful career in the state of Indiana.