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A surgical technician is a health professional who is in charge of surgical care. Before being a surgical technician, you must first get a certification. To attain that Surgical Tech Certificate, it is best to get a degree in surgical technology through an accredited program first. These programs can be taken at colleges and universities which are taken from approximately nine months to two years.

There are two types of Surgical Tech Certificate, and have different titles. One is known as a certified surgical technician (CST) and the other is called Technology in Surgery - Certified (TS-C). Although the titles are different depending on who offers the exam, the certifications are also accepted and respected.

The CST examination is offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Care (NBSTSA). It is available to anyone who received a degree from a CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Education Programs Related to Health) or ABHES (Accrediting Bureau of School Health Education) program. It's a computer test, always in a multiple choice format. The TS-C test is offered by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). This test is open to anyone who has completed a program accredited surgical technology degree or a training program of two years of the hospital.


After accomplishing and receiving the surgical tech certificate, you must maintain it. You must continue taking educational classes or re-take the CST exam every four years for the renewal of the certification.

After working for the surgical tech certificate, you can choose to be a professional in the field and become a first assistant, also known as surgical assistant. To become a first assistant, a CCT should get higher education, training and pass an exam.