How to Become a Surgical Technologist in Nevada
Surgical technologists need the ability to stand for long periods while remaining focused and attentive, as well as the ability to see open wounds without getting upset. As a surgical tech, you will be a key component in the operating process by preparing the operating room for surgery with proper sterilization. You may also be responsible for handling and overseeing the placement of medical tools during an operation, as well as cleaning the operating room after surgery is complete. You’ll listen carefully to the directions of the lead surgeon to provide the assistance needed for operations to turn out successfully.
It is also important that surgical techs be able to make critical decisions quickly. If this sounds exciting or interesting to you, working as a surgical technologist could turn out to be a career for you. [En Español]
Requirements for Becoming a Surgical Technologist in Nevada
A few states throughout the U.S. require surgical technologists to follow certain laws to practice. However, Nevada is one of many states that has no legislation for surgical technologists, allowing employers to determine what standards of expertise are acceptable.
If you want to take your career far and open multiple areas of opportunity for yourself within the field, you will first need to complete surgical technology coursework through a 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 have specific standards in place to ensure a quality education for aspiring surgical techs. The voluntary national certification for surgical technologists also requires that you complete one of these accredited programs before becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).
Typically, post-secondary education programs will require students to submit documentation of a high school diploma or GED before being enrolled. You should have these documents on-hand before applying to a training program. Additionally, while you are completing your coursework, it is a good idea to find a local internship to gain hands-on experience. Many training programs will provide this hands-on experience with your education, but some do not. Employers also may or may not require you to have prior experience. Either way, it will certainly set you apart from the crowd and show that you have the necessary foundational knowledge to get started quickly as a professional.
Surgical Technology Programs in Nevada
The CAAHEP has accredited two schools in Nevada for surgical technologists. The ABHES also includes one of these same two schools in their list of accredited surgical tech programs. Both programs are listed below:
- Nevada Career Institute, located in Las Vegas, offers a Diploma in Surgical Technology, which can be completed in 60 weeks. Students will receive classroom instruction as well as hands-on training outside the classroom. The program costs a total of $31,358.
- College of Southern Nevada is home to the only Associate Degree in Surgical Technology available in Nevada. The program takes two years to complete and costs a total of about $7,284. This school is also located in Las Vegas.
National Certification for Surgical Technologists
To become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST), you will need to take the exam offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Although the state of Nevada doesn’t set this as a requirement for surgical technologists, this certification will improve your job hunt by showing employers that you already have a refined skillset within the trade. Many employers across the country look for this certification before hiring surgical techs, so it is a good idea to take this initiative.
You will have to pay an exam fee of $290 to take this assessment. You’ll also need to provide proof that you’ve completed a surgical technology training program accredited by either the CAAHEP or the ABHES. Alternatively, if your surgical technology program was completed in the military, you will also be eligible to take this exam.
Every four years, the NBSTSA requires CSTs to recertify by either retaking the exam or showing proof of continued education with 60 completed credit hours in surgical technology coursework during the four years between exams.
Job Outlook and Salary Expectations
In 2016, there were 710 people employed as surgical technologists in Nevada, according to data from the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP). By 2026, the PMP estimates that there will be a total of 830 people in the state working in this field.
Surgical technologists in Nevada earned $30.79 per hour on average during May 2019, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. This equals an annual average income of about $64,050. The data shows that the top 10 percent of surgical techs in Nevada earned $93,190 during the same year. This means that Nevada is the second-highest paying state for surgical technologists in the entire U.S., coming in just behind California.
Working as a Surgical Technologist in Nevada
Nationally, the job market for surgical techs will continue to expand. By 2026, there is expected to be 12 percent growth throughout the country in this field alone. Surgical technologists will enjoy working in hospital operating rooms, labor and delivery departments, cosmetic surgery clinics, and other specialty practices or outpatient facilities. In Nevada, the highest-paying states for surgical techs include Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson.
If you want to work in a field that is fast-paced, exciting, and where work will always be available, becoming a surgical tech in Nevada may be the right choice for you.