How to Become a Surgical Technologist in Missouri
Before surgery begins, patients must be physically prepared for the operation. Surgical technologists help patients prepare by washing, shaving or disinfecting areas of the body where operating will take place, and by transporting patients from medical beds onto surgery tables. In addition to these responsibilities, surgical technologists need to be reassuring and compassionate toward patients who may be nervous or worried before an operation begins. Surgical technologists work alongside lead surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses and other members of the surgical team. As a surgical tech, you would sterilize important surgical equipment before and after operations and ensure the proper handling of medical instruments during an operation. [En Español]
Requirements for Becoming a Surgical Technologist in Missouri
Missouri is one of many U.S. states that do not currently have legislation governing the profession of surgical technology. This allows your employer to determine the necessary standards you must meet in order to be hired. While this may seem to make things easier, you will still want to take important initiatives to ensure you receive the best training possible, which will lead to a more fruitful career.
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) are two of the most trusted U.S. organizations accrediting medical schools across the country. If you find a surgical technology program from either of these lists, you will be eligible to take the voluntary national exam to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).
Most likely, you will be required to provide proof of a high school diploma or GED before enrolling into one of these accredited training programs. If you are interested in challenging yourself to learn and grow within the trade, you should also seek out an internship at a medical facility that will provide you with real-world experience as a surgical tech. This experience will make you a top choice for potential employers and could possibly even lead to a full-time position upon graduation from your training program.
Surgical Technology Programs in Missouri
Missouri has a list of schools accredited by the CAAHEP for surgical technology students. If you’re interested in taking classes in this state, one of the three listed below may be a fit for you.
- Franklin Technology Center offers an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Surgical Technology. This program is designed to be completed in three semesters and includes courses in political science and speech/communications in addition to medical coursework. The total cost for this program is $12,352.
- Midwest Institute offers an Associate Degree in Surgical Technology, which can be completed in two years. Students will gain hands-on experience in an unpaid externship, which includes training in an operating room with professional surgical teams. The program currently costs a total of $39,374.
- Ozarks Technical Community College offers both a certificate and an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Surgical Technology. The certificate program can be completed in about one year, while the AAS degree will take two years to complete. Tuition currently costs about $5,362 annually.
National Certification for Surgical Technologists in Missouri
Although there are no state-legislated requirements to become a surgical technologist in Missouri, it is still a great idea to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST). This is a certification that most employers look for, and other employers will require this certification. Wherever you plan to work as a surgical technologist, you will benefit from being a CST as your job hunt will be easier, and you could receive higher compensation than those who do not have this credential.
The CST exam is offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Eligibility requirements include payment of a $290 exam fee, as well as proof that you’ve completed a surgical technology training program accredited by either the CAAHEP or the ABHES. Alternatively, you can show that you have successfully completed a military training program in surgical technology. It is important to note that every four years you will need to recertify as a CST by either retaking the exam or showing you have earned at least 60 credit hours of continued education in the field during the four-year period between exams.
Allied Health Education Programs in Missouri
In addition to Surgical Technology, there are other allied health education programs available in the state of Missouri. Some of these options include Radiologic Technology and Diagnostic Medical Sonography. All of these programs are accredited by either the CAAHEP or the ABHES and involve a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experience. Requirements for admission vary depending on the program, but in most cases applicants will need to provide proof of a high school diploma or GED and may be required to take placement tests. For those who complete these programs, there are certification exams available from related organizations such as the American Registry for Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Successful completion of the exams will help ensure that you have the necessary qualifications to work in your chosen field.
For those who are interested in a career as a surgical technologist or other allied health professional, Missouri is an excellent place to start. With a variety of accredited programs and certification exams available, you can be well prepared for a successful career.
Job Outlook and Salary Expectations
The job market for surgical technologists in Missouri is expected to increase by 12.2 percent in the 10-year period from 2016 to 2026, according to data provided by the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP). In 2016, there were 1,890 surgical technologists working in the state of Missouri, and there are expected to be 2,120 people employed as surgical techs by 2026.
Those working as surgical techs made an average of $22.45 per hour or $46,690 annually in 2021, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. The highest paid surgical techs in the state made an annual income of $59,850 during the same year.
Working as a Surgical Technologist in Missouri
The surgical technologist job market is projected see 8 percent national growth by 2031, according to the BLS. Finding a specialty within the trade will be a good idea if you already have an idea of the type of surgical environment in which you would like to work. Some CSTs work specifically with heart surgeries, while others may work with OB/GYNs for example, helping obstetricians in labor and delivery rooms. You can also find work in the operating rooms of hospitals, surgical clinics or outpatient facilities. Any professional environment where important medical tools are handled could be a suitable place to work as a surgical technologist. In Missouri, surgical technologist positions in the cities of Saint Louis, Kansas City and Independence will likely pay the most. If you know this is the right field for you, make a plan to get started today.