No doubt about it, leadership skills are a vital part of being a certified surgical technologist! The OR team and surgeon are relying on you to do a lot more than prepare a sterile environment for the patient; CSTs must also excel at delegating, working as a team, anticipating all the right instruments, and identifying potential hazards and emergencies during each procedure. Superior organization skills and attention to detail will help you move into a leadership role, putting you on course to becoming a Certified First Assistant (CFSA).
For surgical technologists looking to move up the ladder, becoming a CFSA is your next logical move; in the role of First Assistant, you are the surgeon’s right hand man/woman! This is an upper-level profession in the healthcare field, where most applicants (to CFSA programs) are already practicing surgical technologists. Visit CAAHEP to find accredited First Assistant programs. The program is approximately 1-2 years in length; some schools offer the curriculum online.
Up and coming CFSAs can satisfy the training and eligibility requirements by attending an accredited program offered at the certificate and associate’s degree levels; then sit for the certification exam. The Certified Surgical First Assistant examination is administered by the NBSTSA, and composed of 175 multiple-choice questions, of which at least 112 must be answered correctly. The test is described as difficult, yet considering the positive career outlook in this field, well worth the investment.
Future CFSAs Will Love These Employment Stats!
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, surgical technology careers are growing at a clip of 30% through the year 2022. The average annual income for starting CFSAs is $55,000, climbing to $75,000 with experience and peaking at $200,000, according to the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs.
Before applying to a CFSA program, applicants should consider criteria for acceptance:
- Have a bachelor’s or advanced degree in the Health Sciences.
- Be certified as a Certified Surgical Technologist or Certified Nurse-Operating Room (CNOP)
- Hold current CPR certification
- Be willing to complete hours of practical experience, as well as a clinical preceptorship
An Experienced Healthcare Staffing Agency Helps You Go Where You’re Needed Most!
A wise career path for surgical technologists is to advance in the field from CST I through CST IV. With proper training, you can advance to First Assistant, helping the surgeon with highly clinical procedures during surgeries. The majority of your healthcare employers are hospitals, and other facilities that perform outpatient surgery. An experienced healthcare agency can place you where your surgical technology skills are needed the most, maximize your potential, and help you achieve the leadership role you were meant to play! Call 310-436-3650 or apply online to learn more!