Online surgical tech programs provide students with the opportunity to complete a significant portion of their surgical assisting training at their leisure in a distance-learning environment. Not only does this present an ideal option for single parents and those who must work while going to school, but it also can be of particular benefit to those who do not live near a physical campus that offers the classes they want.
It is important to point out, however, that no program is offered completely online. There are still elements of the training that will require you to attend a physical location at different points throughout your education.
How to Compare Online Surgical Tech Programs
Choosing the right program can be challenging, but it can also be relatively easy if you know what to look for. In the following section, we’ll take a look at the important things to consider when comparing online surgical tech programs.
Probably the most-important thing you should look for when comparing one program against another is its accreditation status. Accreditation for online surgical tech programs and campus-based courses alike is the jurisdiction of the following two national bodies:
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
Accreditation by one, or both, of these organizations indicates that the school you are considering has met all of the professional criteria required to qualify its students for the NBSTSA certification exam.
Type of Credential
Type of Credential
You’ll also want to consider the type of credential you’ll want to pursue in the field of surgical technology. This will have a direct impact on the type of jobs you’ll be qualified for (surgical technician vs. surgical technologist), as well as the amount of time it will require for you to complete your training.
The two types of credentials awarded by most online surgical tech programs are:
- A.S. in Surgical Technology
- Surgical First Assisting Certificate
In general, the associate’s degree is necessary for those interested in becoming surgical technologists, while the certificate is preferred for working as a surgical first assistant or surgical technician. Obviously, earning an A.A.S. requires much longer (about two years on average) than a certificate (six months, give or take).
A final thing to consider when comparing programs is whether or not they offer financial assistance, and the type they provide. Financial aid comes in the form of scholarships, student loans, and grants.
Eligibility for financial aid depends on a variety of criteria, and is determined by each school. For this reason, it is a good idea to speak directly to someone from the school’s admissions office to find out more.
Accredited Online Surgical Tech Training
Accreditation is a status that programs will gain and lose over time. At the time of this publication, there were only two CAAHEP-accredited online surgical tech training programs. These programs are highlighted in the table below.
|Name of School||Address||Phone||Credential Offered||Accrediting Body|
|Madisonville Community College||Surgical Assisting Program|
750 North Laffoon Street
Madisonville , KY 42431
|Meridian Institute of Surgical Assisting||Surgical Assisting Program|
1507 County Hospital Road
Nashville , TN 37128