PharmDr.

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Well....I am trying to find a new job in a health related field and I came across surgical technician. I researched a little and found out that you can become certified and become a CST. Then I found that you can take "formal educational programs" that are accredited by different national associations (I believe AST and NAFA?) and become a CFA or SA (certified first assistant and surgical assistant) Anyways, Is this even possible or have you guys heard of this that with a 1 yr. certificate program or 2 yr. associated degree that after becoming certified as a "scrub tech", and then taking a short assistant program that you can be first assistant during surgery? It said that suturing, wound closure can be performed with direction by surgeon. Also if this is true, would this be some good medical experience for PA school admissions?
 

sunnyjohn

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PharmDr. said:
Well....I am trying to find a new job in a health related field and I came across surgical technician. I researched a little and found out that you can become certified and become a CST. Then I found that you can take "formal educational programs" that are accredited by different national associations (I believe AST and NAFA?) and become a CFA or SA (certified first assistant and surgical assistant) Anyways, Is this even possible or have you guys heard of this that with a 1 yr. certificate program or 2 yr. associated degree that after becoming certified as a "scrub tech", and then taking a short assistant program that you can be first assistant during surgery? It said that suturing, wound closure can be performed with direction by surgeon. Also if this is true, would this be some good medical experience for PA school admissions?

Hello I am a surgical technician. Check out this site...

http://www.lcc-st.org/certifyingexam/eligibility.html


In order to become a CFA (according to AST guidlines) you have to be a CST, attend an CAAHEP accredited school for first assistants, perform a certain amount of cases first assisting, then take the exam. You can also take the exam if you complete 350 cases as a first assistant and submit two NOTARIZED Experience Verification Forms from two surgeons or surgical supervisors. You still have to be a CST first. There are a few other ways. That website will fill you in.

There are other titles First Assistants use (SA, for example) and other certifying bodies.

I only mention AST because being a CST myself, they are the one I am most familiar with.

Some folks in the surg tech community aren't too keen on that NIFA program. Some swear by it. Many people find that the "short" program to become a first assistant often takes awhile. The amount of cases you are required to complete can become a challenge in certain facilities.

The median salary for Surgical Technologist in the US (according to www.salary.com) is $35,525. First assistants obtain the right to bill insurance companies, so of course they earn more. The median salary for a Surgical Physican Assistant (again according to www.salary.com) is $71,124.

Here is the website for AST (Association of Surgical Technologist):
www.AST.org

Here is the website for CAAHEP:
www.caahep.org

Here is the website for ASA (Association of Surgical Assistants):
www.surgicalassistant.org

Here is the website for NSAA (National Surgical Assistant Association):
www.nsaa.net

If you are REALLY interested in Surgical Assisting, check this Program out:
http://www.evms.edu/hlthprof/surgasst/index.html

The program at Eastern Virginia Medical School is supposed to be the "Gold Standard."

Why not just go to PA school and take the surgical assisting classes there? It would save you time and put you closer to your end goal.

Good Fortune..

Agape