How to Become a Surgical Technologist in Rhode Island
As a hospital patient going in for surgery, if you were presented with the opportunity to handpick the medical staff participating in your surgical procedure you would likely choose those who are the most attentive, caring and skilled. In addition to the technical skills learned in school, surgical technologists need to be patient, motivated and highly invested in their craft if they want to advance within the field. As a surgical technologist, you would be responsible for proper sterilization, use and placement of medical equipment as surgical procedure is taking place. Paying close attention to the lead surgeon’s requests and carefully observing each aspect of the procedure will be necessary to ensure the process runs smoothly. You may also interact with patients by physically preparing them for surgery, transporting them onto surgical tables and assisting in the post-operation process. [En Español]
Requirements for Becoming a Surgical Technologist in Rhode Island
Many U.S. states have recently passed legislation governing the practice of surgical technology. This is done to ensure protection of both patients and surgical techs alike. In Rhode Island, however, there are currently no laws that have been passed requiring surgical technologists to follow certain guidelines before finding employment.
If you want to excel quickly within this career field, it is in your best interest to enroll in a surgical tech training program to learn the skills you will need to do your job effectively. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) are two trusted organizations dedicated to setting standards for quality education within the medical field across the U.S. Attending a school that is accredited by either of these organizations will allow you to sit for the voluntary national exam that will certify you as a surgical technologist.
Finding a high-paying job after finishing your coursework may require you to go above-and-beyond while completing your training program. This could mean establishing connections within the medical industry by networking with school staff and classmates, or finding an internship while you are still in school. Gaining hands-on experience will show employers that you’re proactive and serious about your career.
Rhode Island Schools for Surgical Technologists
Although the ABHES currently has no accredited schools listed for surgical techs in Rhode Island, the CAAHEP accredits one school in the state.
- New England Institute of Technology offers an Associate in Science degree in Surgical Technology, which can be completed in as little as 18 months. Students will complete a 20-week clinical externship as part of this degree program. Students will be required to complete the national exam to become Certified Surgical Technologists (CSTs) before graduation, and tuition is currently about $27,000 per year.
National Certification for Surgical Technologists
The state of Rhode Island may not require surgical techs to become certified before practicing, but there are multiple other states that do set this requirement. In addition, the one accredited school for surgical techs in Rhode Island does require that you pass this exam before graduating.
This certification serves as a testament to your skill level and understanding of the trade. It could lead to higher pay, an increase in job offers or, at the least, an easier job-seeking process.
The CST exam is offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). You will have to pay a $290 exam fee and show proof that you’ve completed a surgical technology training program accredited by either the CAAHEP or the ABHES. You can also sit for this exam if you’ve completed a surgical tech training program provided by the military.
Every four years, you will need to recertify with the NBSTSA. You can recertify either by retaking the exam or submitting documentation of 60 additional completed credit hours of coursework over the four years between exams.
Rhode Island is expected to see two percent growth in the surgical tech job market within the 10-year period from 2016 to 2026, according to data from the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP). In 2016, there were about 300 surgical techs working in this state, and there is expected to be a total of 310 people working in this field by 2026.
Those working as surgical techs in Rhode Island earned about $23.90 per hour, or $49,700 per year, in 2017, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. The highest paid surgical techs in the state made an annual income of $65,840 during the same year.
Salary Range for Surgical Technologists
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Salaries in Rhode Island by Region
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Working as a Surgical Technologist in Rhode Island
If you want to be a surgical technologist, now is a great time to enter the field. Nationally, the BLS reports that this job market will see 12 percent growth by 2026.
Working as a surgical tech in Rhode Island, you will likely receive the highest compensation in cities like Narragansett, Cranston and Cumberland, among others. Work will be available in outpatient clinics, hospital operating rooms, labor and delivery wards or OB/GYN facilities. Becoming specialized in particular types of surgeries, like brain or heart surgeries, could help you excel more quickly and bring you maximum fulfillment as a surgical technologist. If you’re sure that this career is the right choice for you, enroll in a training program and get started right away.
One New England Tech Boulevard, East Greenwich, Rhode Island 02818-1205
Surgical Technology – Associate Program
New England Institute of Technology’s Associate-level Surgical Technology program is taught at their campus in East Greenwich in Kent County. Of the 2,919 students, about 4% are postgraduates. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Fees for tuition are broadly about $26,151 yearly, while study materials may cost about $1,521, depending on 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.