Operating Room Technician Certification and Diploma Program Info

Get an overview of the training needed to become an operating room technician. See options for professional certification, topics of study, prerequisites and employment projections.

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Essential Information

Surgical technology certificate or diploma programs are available through hospitals, vocational schools and community colleges and take approximately one year to complete. Applicants - who should be graduates of a high school program and pass a background check - become familiar with operating room equipment and procedures. In addition to classroom work, they typically include a clinical element. Graduates have the option to pursue certification in the field for personal advancement and/or to seek more job offers.

Educational Prerequisites

Aspiring operating room technicians must have a high school diploma or GED for admission. Applicants must also submit to a criminal background check and drug screening.

Course Topics

Many courses in a surgical technology program focus on actual operating room procedures; however, students also learn through lab studies and internships in hospital operating rooms. Examples of course topics include these:

  • Patient care techniques
  • Anatomy & physiology
  • Surgical procedures
  • Aseptic techniques
  • Infection and immunology

Popular Career Options

Operating room (OR) technicians, also called surgical technologists, assist surgeons, nurses and physicians before and during surgical procedures. They prepare the operating room, manage equipment and perform basic surgical tasks.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that jobs for surgical technologists were expected to increase by 25% between 2008 and 2018 (www.bls.gov). This growth is mainly attributed to an anticipated increase in surgical procedures as the population ages. Popular career options include the following:

  • Surgical technologists
  • Surgical technicians
  • Operating room technicians
  • Scrubs

Continuing Education Information

The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) offers voluntary certification for operating room technicians through its Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam. Eligible candidates must have earned a minimum of a certificate or diploma from an accredited program and must pass a certification examination. To maintain certification, candidates must complete 60 hours of continuing education.

The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) also offers certification to individuals who meet the requirements. Surgical technology programs also are available at the associate's degree level. Graduates of 2-year programs in the field may find more and better job opportunities.

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Certification Options for Operating Room Attendants

Popular Schools

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
        • Clinical Nursing
        • Critical Care Nursing
        • Mental Health Nursing
        • Neonatal Nursing
        • Nurse Anesthetist
        • Nurse Midwife
        • Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner
        • Nursing Administration
        • Nursing for Adults and Seniors
        • Occupational Health Nursing
        • Operating Room and Surgical Nursing
        • Pediatric Nursing
        • Registered Nurse
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Michigan include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
        • Mental Health Nursing
        • Neonatal Nursing
        • Nursing Administration
        • Operating Room and Surgical Nursing
        • Public Health Nurse or Community Nurse
        • Registered Nurse
      • Nutrition Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Illinois (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southern Illinois University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Nursing Professions
        • Mental Health Nursing
        • Nurse Anesthetist
        • Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner
        • Nursing Administration
        • Operating Room and Surgical Nursing
        • Public Health Nurse or Community Nurse
        • Registered Nurse
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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