Hit television medical series like Grey's Anatomy show surgical interns fighting tooth and nail to scrub in on any surgery. Had they chosen the career path of surgical technician, they'd scrub in every time.
The new Surgical Technologist Certificate program offered at Lone Star College–Tomball can help you get into your scrubs and in the operating room in just a year, said Director of Surgical Technology Diane Montagna, R.N.
The three-semester, 42 credit-hour program began in January and will normally run over a fall, spring, and summer semester. There is one academic credit course (BIOL 2404) and 11 workforce courses. Once the program receives the sought accreditation, graduates will be eligible to take the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) certification examination to become Certified Surgical Technologists (CST), said Montagna.
Surgical technicians typically assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel, said Montagna.
"They may also help set up the operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, and help count sponges, needles, supplies, and instruments."
"They are a vital member of the surgical team," said Montagna. "And with the ever increasing growth of the medical industry, this job grows right along with it - bringing surgical technicians many great paying jobs to choose from."
According to America's Career InfoNet, the median salary in 2005 in Texas for a surgical technician was $34,200 and the high salary was $45,800. Nationally, there is expected to be a 30 percent increase in positions in this field by the year 2014.
Tomball College surgical technology student Josh Quaglino said he is amazed by the level of training in the program.
"I knew that it was going to be hands on, but we really got excellent experience and training right off the bat," said Quaglino. "I have already been able to scrub in and do six cases including a total knee repair, a cesarean section, a vaginal hysterectomy, and a gall bladder removal. It is really exciting to be able to apply what you are learning in the operating room."
The program shares an invaluable partnership with Tomball Regional Hospital which provides space and training through surgeries, said Montagna.
"We have a lab in our classroom for training and then our students go to Tomball Regional Hospital three days a week to work alongside another type of scrub technician called a preceptor," said Montagna. "This is where our students get in their scrubs and start passing instruments and getting in on the action."
Once students complete the program and pass the board exam, "they are off and running in their new career," said Montagna, "Which really offers them a world of opportunity. They can work in so many areas - hospitals, doctors' offices, for oral surgeons or in pain management - the list goes on. The opportunities for them are really endless."
"I love the program and I love the instructors," said Quaglino. "I'll hate to leave Tomball College when I'm done with the program, but I literally just cannot wait to get out there and be a full-time surgical technician. I would really recommend this program to anyone considering it - it's the best."
For more information on the program, visit the Lone Star College–Tomball website, tomball.lonestar.edu, or contact Diane Montagna at Diane.C.Montagna@lonestar.edu or by phone: 281-351-3346.
Tomball College is a member of the Lone Star College System. Lone Star College System comprises Lone Star College–CyFair, Lone Star College-Kingwood, Lone Star College–Montgomery, Lone Star College-North Harris, Lone Star College–Tomball, six satellite centers and The University Center.