Operating Room Technician Certification and Training Programs

Get the facts about the training needed to become an operating room technician. Learn about degree programs and classes, as well as professional organizations that offer certification. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Operating Room Technician Training Programs Are Available?

You won't be able to find any programs under the title of operating room technician. Instead, you might be able to find programs specializing in surgical technology. These programs can take as little as a year or as long as two years to complete.

There aren't any programs offering a completely online option. You will be required to complete hands-on training though a practicum or laboratory classes. If you are working towards an associate's degree, you might also need to complete an externship. These programs will teach you to prepare operating rooms for surgery, know which instruments are used for different operations and utilize proper sterilization techniques.

Program Field Surgical technology
Online AvailabilityPrograms are not offered entirely online, as hands-on training is required
Common CoursesPharmacology, human physiology, surgical procedures, patient care techniques, physiological pathology
CertificationCertification is available through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, (NBSTSA) and the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)

What Courses Can I Expect?

All levels of education cover much of the same material. A certificate program may teach you basic surgical technology information. Diploma programs may expand on certificate programs by including advanced techniques, theory and instructional courses. A diploma program may also provide more opportunities for clinical work. Associate's degree programs include all of the education and hands-on experience found in the lower levels of education. You can also expect associate's degree programs to include additional general education courses.

All levels of education can train you in dressing preparation, recognizing the differences between instruments, adjusting the lighting according to surgeon requests and keeping track of instruments during operations. You can expect to take courses in human physiology, pharmacology, surgical procedures, microbiology, patient care techniques, human anatomy and physiological pathology. If you are planning on enrolling in an associate's degree program, you might need to complete general education courses in speech, communications, English composition, mathematics, general psychology and human relations.

How Can I Earn Certification?

Certification can be found through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, (NBSTSA) and the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). The NBSTSA offers a designation for Certified Surgical Technologists (CST), and the NCCT offers a designation for Tech in Surgery - Certified (TS-C).

To qualify for the CST exam, you will need to have graduated from a program that has been accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

The CST designation requires you to pass a written exam covering topics in pre-operative care, intra-operative care, post-operative care, administrative and personnel duties, and equipment sterilization and maintenance. You might also need to know basic science knowledge in anatomy, physiology, microbiology and surgical pharmacology. If you intend to renew your certification after four years, you can choose to retake the certification exam or complete continuing education courses.

If you want to take the TS-C exam, there are three means of qualification. To qualify, you will need seven years of surgical technologist experience, receive two years of on-the-job training or graduate from an accredited program.

The TS-C designation requires you to complete a written exam that might cover medical terms, definitions, anatomy, physiology, asepsis, infection control, pharmacology and safety. A majority of this exam will cover instruments and sterilization, surgical environments and perioperative procedures. You will need to renew your certification every year by completing continuing education courses.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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