How to Become a Surgical Technologist in New Hampshire
Surgical technologists are important people in the operating room. They must be compassionate toward patients, have a spirit of collaboration with team members, and pay keen attention to the directives of the lead surgeon while an operation is taking place. Not only must the equipment be properly sterilized, but medical instruments must also be handled with care, placed in appropriate positions relative to the lead surgeon’s needs, and handled by surgical techs in a way that allows the operation to flow smoothly. [En Español]
Prerequisite Courses for Surgical Technologists in New Hampshire
Before becoming a surgical technologist in New Hampshire, you will need to complete some prerequisite courses. Most hospitals and medical schools require that applicants have completed a minimum of two years of college-level coursework, which usually includes classes such as biology, human anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, and medical ethics. You must also have a basic understanding of the principles and practices of surgery, including sterilization methods, instrumentation techniques, and operating room protocols.
Requirements for Becoming a Surgical Technologist in New Hampshire
There are several U.S. states with laws in place to regulate surgical technology, however, New Hampshire is not currently one of these states. This allows individual employers to determine what level of education and experience is needed to join a surgical team.
To ensure you’re able to find employment within this field, you will need to enroll in a surgical technology training 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). These organizations work diligently to ensure that medical schools are held to high standards, so students can receive a quality education. Attending a school from either of these lists will also allow you to sit for the national exam to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).
If you want to take things a step further, it is a great idea to find a local internship that will provide you with some real-world experience within the trade. Some schools will even include this hands-on experience as part of their curriculum. Approaching potential employers with this type of training can put you at the top of their list of candidates. If you complete an internship in addition to the required coursework, it can exemplify your drive to succeed and your dedication to the craft. This would serve as a key component in making your job search easier.
Surgical Technology Programs in New Hampshire
While the ABHES currently lists no accredited schools for surgical technologists in New Hampshire, the CAAHEP lists three, as detailed below:
- Concord Hospital awards students a certificate in surgical technology, which can be completed in one year. Admission requirements include a pre-entrance interview with program officials, three references, and passing a criminal background check.
- Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center offers an 11-month certificate program in surgical technology. The program admits only 10 students per year, and tuition is $8,000, with books and fees totaling an additional $1,200.
- Great Bay Community College offers an associate’s degree in surgical technology. Students will sit for the national certification exam as part of this program’s curriculum. The program can be completed in two years, and tuition totals about $15,000.
Allied Health Education Programs in New Hampshire
In addition to the programs listed above, several other institutions in New Hampshire offer allied health education programs. These include:
New Hampshire Technical Institute offers an associate’s degree in medical laboratory technology and a certificate program in pharmacy technician studies.
River Valley Community College provides an associate’s degree in radiologic technology and a certificate program in medical coding.
Keene State College offers an associate’s degree in dental hygiene and certification programs for radiation therapists, respiratory care practitioners, and physical therapy assistants.
Southern New Hampshire University awards an associate’s degree in health information technology, as well as a bachelor’s degree in health sciences.
Regardless of which route you choose to take, a successful career as a surgical technologist in New Hampshire begins with quality education and training. With the right preparation, you can find yourself working alongside some of the most prestigious surgeons and healthcare professionals in the area. Furthermore, having your certification will allow you to work in any state, making you a highly valued asset in the medical profession. With hard work and dedication, you’ll be able to enjoy a successful career as a surgical technologist in New Hampshire
National Certification for Surgical Technologists
Even in states where national certification is not required, some training programs will require that surgical technologists sit for the national exam before graduating. This exam is provided by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Becoming a CST with the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting shows that you are knowledgeable within the field and able to function in your role independently. In states where this is not a requirement, having this certification could still potentially lead to higher pay.
You will need to pay a $290 fee to sit for this exam. Additionally, you’ll need to provide proof that you’ve completed a surgical tech training program that is either accredited by the CAAHEP or the ABHES or provided by the military. Every four years, you will need to either retake the exam or provide proof that you’ve completed 60 credit hours of coursework over the four years between exams. This shows your continued competence and allows you to keep your certification.
Job Outlook and Salary Expectations
In 2016, the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) reported that 440 surgical technologists were working in New Hampshire. By 2026, the PMP expects that number to jump to 490.
On average, you can expect to earn about $24.93 per hour as a surgical tech in this state, according to data presented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2021. This is equivalent to an annual average income of $51,850. The same data shows that the highest earners in this state made an average of $71,080 during the same year.
Working as a Surgical Technologist in New Hampshire
In New Hampshire, the highest-paid surgical technologists can be found in cities like Nashua, Merrimack, and Derry. Working as a surgical tech could afford you valuable experiences in a career you enjoy, along with the opportunity to specialize in particular types of surgery.
This includes brain surgeries, heart surgeries, labor and delivery procedures, and more. If you would enjoy working in environments like local hospitals, outpatient facilities, private practices, cosmetic surgery centers, or OB/GYN clinics, surgical technology may be a great fit for you.
National growth over time is something to look for when seeking out a new career, and surgical technology is expected to see 12 percent growth by 2026, according to the BLS. This means that the field will continue to expand, welcoming new professionals each year. If you get started soon, you could find yourself in this group.