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How to Become a Surgical Tech: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to become a surgical tech - step-by-step guide

Surgical technologist training programs are designed to give you all the skills you need to find the best possible allied healthcare career out there. Be aware, however, that while these programs are affordable educational options for most, the selection procedure may be selective.

To assist you with your application, we’ve put together a list of steps that will help you apply with ease. Check your chosen school’s process, however, as the following steps may vary slightly.

1. Visit Your Future School Campus

Before you can even start thinking of applying to a surgical tech training program, you need to choose a school that best suits you. The research process can be an overwhelming undertaking because there are thousands of surgical tech programs to choose from.

One of the biggest reasons for selecting a program is proximity. Many students consider staying in their hometowns (or at least nearby) to keep expenses lower. That shouldn’t stop you, however, from pursuing education outside of your city or state, as there may be outstanding employment options in other parts of the country.

When you visit your prospective school’s campus, you’ll be able to see if it’s a good fit for you. Once you’ve decided on the school, you can begin to make application preparations.

Make an Appointment with an Admissions Team Member

When you meet with an admissions team member, they can help you find the best way to achieve your personal goals. You’ll discuss your past educational and student performance along with course structure, pricing, and possible financial aid opportunities.

You should also review application and enrollment procedures to ensure that you have all of the necessary information.

2. Apply for Financial Aid

Not all surgical technologist programs are eligible for federal financial aid. For programs that are not eligible, students can look into private student loans. Companies like Climb Credit provide excellent funding options for students. If you decide to go this route, you should submit your application for aid before starting the surgical tech application process. Some schools also offer interest-free payment plans. This a great option for students who want to avoid loans.

3. Complete Your Surgical Tech Application

Surgical Tech Application

Many schools have rolling admissions, which means you can apply for a program at any time as long as a start date is available. Ask the school’s representative to determine if this is applicable.

Some surgical tech programs require students to apply in person. During your appointment, you’ll need to submit any required admission documents, complete an interview with a school official, and likely take an entrance exam (e.g. Wonderlic SLE).

Why do I Have to Take an Entrance Exam?

Don’t worry about taking the entrance exam. It’s incredibly common for healthcare training programs to require applicants to pass an entrance exam. The exam can help schools evaluate an applicant’s general mental competence and ability to meet the school’s educational requirements.

Schools use this information to determine whether or not the student will successfully complete their curriculum.

4. Wait for Your School’s Decision

You might be anxious after turning in your application, which is understandable. However, most schools typically fast-track their selections meaning you shouldn’t have to wait long. In fact, some schools may give you an answer within one to two weeks.

How Do Schools Determine Acceptance?

There are many factors that go into a school’s decision regarding surgical tech applications. These will probably include going over your highest level of completed education, overall GPA, whether or not you have healthcare experience, letters of reference, entrance exam scores, and how well your entrance interview went.

5. Finish Your Surgical Tech Course Enrollment

Students accepted into a surgical tech program may need to set up an appointment to complete the final steps in their enrollment process. This often includes signing an enrollment contract, and any other school-required documents.

6. Attend an Orientation

By this point, you’re a registered student. Either before or on the first day of your courses, you will be expected to attend an orientation program. This is a wonderful opportunity to receive information regarding the rules and policies of your school.

7. Start Your Surgical Tech Program

Surgical Tech Program

As with any great program, you will receive first-rate instruction on surgical tech duties like adequately preparing operating rooms for surgery, maintaining sterile environments, distributing proper surgical instruments to the surgical team, and much more. You will also discover the best methods for preoperative and postoperative care.

Remaining aware of all technological changes in your field is important. Not only is this a fascinating and ever-changing sector, but extra studying will keep you leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.

8. Complete Your Clinical Internship

After completing classroom and lab hours, students participate in a mandatory clinical internship. Expert mentors will assist each student with invaluable, hands-on experience with real surgical team members.

9. Pass Your Surgical Tech Certification

After fulfilling classroom and internship hours, students may be eligible to take a certification exam. The two most recognized certifications for surgical technologists are the Tech in Surgery – Certified TS-C exam offered by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) and the Certified Surgical Technologist exam offered by NBSTSA. Students will need to check with their schools and the certifying bodies for eligibility requirements.

Apply to Our Surgical Technologist Training Program Today

Surgical Technician Training Program

There are numerous many reasons to become a surgical technologist, including competitive salaries, a great job market, and being able to make a difference each day. Now it’s time to take the next step by applying to a surgical tech program. It’ll be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.


If you live in the New Jersey area, contact AIMS Education’s Surgical Technologist program today!



2 thoughts on “How to Become a Surgical Tech: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • tamara jackson says:

    i will be starting classes soon to become a surgical tech and i was trying to get a head start in my classes as far as trying to study things now that way they don’t seem foreign when i start

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