How Long Does it Take to Become a Surgical Tech Through an Accelerated Program?

As we all know, healthcare is a dynamic and growing field, thus very attractive to young learners.

Due to the aging of baby boomers and the constant need for health care coverage, many kinds of health care professionals are required and some hospitals even lack educated nurses and doctors.

Surgical technology is one such field as operating room technicians are in constant demand having in mind the fact that the number of surgeries is increasing on a daily basis.

Surgical technologists are allied health professionals who work alongside surgical care teams, assist the surgeon, the nurse, and anesthesiologist by ensuring the patient is prepared for surgery.

Their duties are to assist before, during surgery, and afterward.

What Does a Surgical Technician Do?

Getting acquainted with surgical techs duties is the first step, prior to deciding whether this career is for you.

He/she gets the operating room ready by setting up equipment, instruments, and supplies, including drapes, gloves, gowns, and suction tubing.

Furthermore, they need to assemble sterile equipment, ensure it is working properly, and have everything on hand that the surgical team needs.

A surgical tech is responsible for patient preparation, getting the patient into the operating room, and preparing the site of the incision.

Additionally, some of the routine duties of the surgical tech are to help the surgeon put on gown and gloves; places sterile drapes on the patient; pass sponges, instruments, and sharps; and count sponges.

Even greater responsibility is ensuring there are no breaks in the sterile routine, so as to prevent infection.

Their other tasks may include:

  • Replace full suction containers
  • Prepare and provide sterile dressings
  • Move the patient to the stretcher for transport

Working Conditions

The majority of surgical techs work indoors in clean, well-lighted conditions.

However, they are required to stand for many hours, endure warm conditions in the operating room, wearing latex gloves, a mask, and a sterile gown and head covering.

Plus, the surgical tech will also be exposed to unpleasant sights, odors, and substances and this job is considered very stressful, due to the life and death issues arising during surgical procedures.

The stress comes with the fact that these professionals need to be available for emergency situations.

So, their work involves weekend and late-night shifts, during which they help with traffic accidents, births, and other emergencies.


It is not too difficult to become a surgical technologist.

You will need to attend a college, university, or vocational school for training, and how long you will have to study depends on the level of education you want to reach.

You may earn an associate degree in two years’ time or you can enroll in an accelerated program which will be shorter, 1.5 years by attending college year-round.

Once you complete your program, you will need to take a test to become certified.

To enter this type of program, you will need a high school diploma or GED, while healthcare experience or knowledge is not necessary to get started.

Accelerated Programs

Accelerated programs are the most attractive among students, as they want to take advantage of fast-track learning to get their degrees in a shorter period of time.

The advantage of accelerated programs is obvious, meaning you will get your degree quickly so you can get started earning a salary in your profession, but on the other hand, this can be challenging.

Actually, while you attend school, life goes on and you will need to combine commitments to family, home, and a job with your studies.

You need to have a deep thought and figure out what your schedule is likely to be before you enroll in a college program.

You will need to ask yourself the following:

  • How many hours a week will I have to work to support myself (and family)? – You may find yourself in a situation that you will need to cut your work hours in order to accommodate school or talk to a manager to come up with a more flexible schedule for you.
  • How many hours a week will I have to commit to an accelerated program? You will need to have to devote a lot of hours to study and class projects.
  • How much help, such as babysitting, help with household cleaning, cooking, and maintenance, plus other obligations, should I expect from family and friends to get me through the time it will take to complete my degree? It is significant that you prepare the family on how to get along without you while you are in school.

In an accelerated program, your assignments will come quickly and you need to meet a deadline.

You will need to be organized and disciplined so as to manage to finish it.

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