How to Become a Surgical Technologist in Mississippi

When you think about healthcare providers involved in surgery, a surgeon, nurses and anesthesiologists may come to mind. You may not think of surgical technologists; however, they play a very important role before, during and after surgery. Before surgery, surgical techs are responsible for preparing the patient and the operating room (OR) for the procedure. In the OR, they will sterilize and lay out instruments and make sure all equipment is functioning properly.

Surgical techs will prep the patient by shaving and sterilizing the area of the body where the surgery will be performed. They will also transport the patient to the OR and position them on the operating table. During surgery, the surgical tech hands instruments and supplies to the surgeon. They also monitor the patient’s vitals and will assist the surgeon and other members of the team as needed. After surgery, the surgical tech is responsible for taking the patient from the OR to the recovery area. They will also clean the OR, re-sterilize everything and set up the OR for the next surgery. [En Español]

In Mississippi, the profession of surgical technology is not regulated, meaning there are no laws regarding certification, education or licensure. While there is not a surgical technologist license, you can obtain national certification and become a certified surgical technologist (CST). Many employers do require national certification. Basic life support (BLS) and CPR certification are also required by most employers in Mississippi.

The only educational requirement for surgical technologists in the state is a high school diploma or GED. A certificate or degree in surgical technology from a post-secondary institution is not required to work in Mississippi. However, completing a surgical technology program that is accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) is necessary to take the national certification exam.

Surgical Technology Programs in Mississippi

In addition to preparing you to take the national certification exam, completing a surgical technology program will also provide you with hands-on experience through clinical work and surgical externships. In Mississippi there are 10 colleges that offer surgical technology programs that are CAAHEP or ABHES accredited. For admission into a surgical technology program in Mississippi, you will need to have a high school diploma or GED, a physical exam, a negative drug screen and proof of current immunizations.

Here are a few of the accredited colleges in Mississippi and a summary of their surgical technology programs:

  • Meridian Community College. Meridian Community College has a one-year surgical technology certificate program, taken over three semesters. A certificate is given at the end of the summer semester. The first semester involves classroom instruction, and the final two semesters involve clinical labs. Students must pass a skills test at the end of the first semester to advance to the next. Upon completion of the program, students will be ready to take the national certification exam which is given at the Meridian CC campus.
  • Pearl River Community College. At Pearl River Community College, you can choose between taking a one-year surgical technologist technical certificate program or a two-year Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree program in surgical technology. A minimum ACT score of 16 is required to be admitted into this program. To graduate from either program you must scrub in on at least 120 surgical cases during your clinicals.

The certificate program consists of 46 credit hours taken over three semesters. The AAS degree program consists of 65 credit hours. In addition to the classes taken for the certificate program, students pursuing an AAS in surgical technology also need to take Anatomy & Physiology 1 and 2, 1 Math/Natural Science elective, 1 Social/Behavior Science elective and 1 Humanities/Fine Arts elective. The classes are limited to 20 students.

  • Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College offers an AAS degree in surgical technology. This program consists of 64 credit hours and can be completed in two years. Students in this program participate in regular classroom instruction as well as clinical labs in the on-campus operating suite. General education prerequisites that must be taken prior to taking the program specific courses are: Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2, Public Speaking, English Composition, College Algebra, General Psychology and a Humanities/Fine Arts elective.

Surgical Technologist Certification in Mississippi

To achieve the status of CST you must pass the certification exam given by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). In Mississippi you can take the exam in Jackson or in Meridian at Meridian CC. If you are a member of the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST), the exam fee is $190. If you aren’t a member, the exam fee is $290. To remain actively certified you must renew your certification every four years. This can be done through continued education or by taking the exam again every four years. If you choose continued education, you must take 15 credits yearly through attending workshops and seminars or enrolling in surgical technology classes. If you choose to retake the exam, you will be required to pay the exam fee again.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

Mississippi is the third-highest state for the concentration of jobs for surgical technologists. In 2016, there were 1,400 surgical technologists employed in Mississippi. That number is predicted to rise by 5.5 percent to 1,470 by 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Surgical technologists in Mississippi make an average $19.93 an hour and $41,460 annually. Entry-level surgical techs may earn around $13.73 hourly and $28,560 annually. CSTs with more experience under their belt can make up to $56,380 per year in the state. Location is key when it comes to salary as well. Surgical techs in several cities average more annually than the statewide mean average, including Memphis ($45,800), Jackson ($44,680) and Gulfport and Biloxi ($42,860).

Working as a Surgical Technologist in Mississippi

Surgical technologists are most often found working in hospitals, assisting with surgeries. However, they may also find work in surgical and birthing centers, outpatient clinics and even physician offices. Some surgical technologists assist with various surgeries while other may choose a specialty and stick with it.

Surgical technologists can most likely find employment throughout the state of Mississippi , but Biloxi, Gulfport, Jackson, Meridian and Southaven are excellent places to begin looking for work. Some specific places to consider working at in Mississippi include the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Fresenius Medical Care and Memorial Hospital at Gulfport.

If a career in healthcare that is financially rewarding and has plenty of room for growth and advancement sounds like something you would enjoy, you may want to consider becoming a surgical technologist in Mississippi.

College Programs

 

Gulfport-Biloxi, MS Area

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

51 Main Street, Perkinston, Mississippi 39573
(866) 735-1122
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Perkinston in Stone County, Mississippi. The majority of of the school’s 9,391 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be in the order of $3,272 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $6,072 yearly, while study materials may cost about $860, depending on the program.

Virginia College-Biloxi

920 Cedar Lake Rd-Ste C, Biloxi, Mississippi 39532
(228) 546-9100
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s degree program in Surgical Technology at Virginia College is based at their Biloxi campus in the city of Biloxi. The majority of of the school’s 313 students are on 2-year programs. The cost of tuition is in the order of $14,032 per year.

Jackson, MS Area

Hinds Community College

608 Hinds Boulevard, Raymond, Mississippi 39154
(601) 857-5261
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Hinds Community College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are offered at their campus in Raymond in Hinds County. The majority of of the school’s 11,935 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is in the order of $2,840 and for students from outside the state in the order of $5,640 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,600, although this will vary with the program.

Virginia College-Jackson

5841 Ridgewood Rd, Jackson, Mississippi 39211
(601) 977-0960
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s program in Surgical Technology at Virginia College can be taken at their Jackson campus in the city of Jackson, Mississippi. The college has in the order of 276 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The cost of tuition is likely to be in the order of $13,492 yearly.

Memphis, TN-MS-AR Area

Northwest Mississippi Community College

4975 Hwy 51 N, Senatobia, Mississippi 38668-1714
(662) 562-3200
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Northwest Mississippi Community College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Senatobia, MS. Most of the school’s 7,809 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly about $2,800 and for students from other states around $5,200 for each academic year. Books and supplies can cost roughly $1,000, although this will depend on the program.

Northeast Mississippi Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Itawamba Community College

602 W Hill Street, Fulton, Mississippi 38843-1099
(601) 862-8000
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Itawamba Community College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in the town of Fulton. This public college has about 5,611 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be about $2,620 and for students from other states likely to be about $4,820 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,400, although this varies from program to program.

Northwest Mississippi Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Holmes Community College

#1 Hill St, Goodman, Mississippi 39079
(662) 472-2312
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Holmes Community College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are offered at their campus in Goodman in Holmes County, MS. The majority of of the school’s 5,757 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually in the order of $2,740 and for students from outside the state in the order of $5,320 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,300, depending on the program chosen.

Southeast Mississippi Nonmetropolitan Area Area

East Central Community College

15738 Highway 15, Decatur, Mississippi 39327-0129
(601) 635-2111
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

East Central Community College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in Decatur in Newton County, MS. The majority of of the school’s 2,558 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is about $2,290 and for students from other states around $4,390 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,280, depending on the program.

Meridian Community College

910 Hwy 19 N, Meridian, Mississippi 39307-5801
(601) 483-8241
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Surgical Technology at Meridian Community College is taught at their campus in the town of Meridian, MS. This public college has approximately 3,381 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are about $2,440 and for students from other states likely to be about $3,740 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,800, although this varies from program to program.

Pearl River Community College

101 Hwy 11 N, Poplarville, Mississippi 39470
(601) 403-1000
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Pearl River Community College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are offered at their campus in Poplarville in Pearl River County, Mississippi. The college has approximately 4,379 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is around $3,080 and for out-of-state students in the order of $5,478 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $625, although this will vary with the program.

* Tuition fees and accredition status are correct at the time of writing, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm with college before applying.

Neighbor States

Residents of Mississippi may also wish to review their options in Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama.