Surgical Tech

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What You Need to Take the CST Exam

Depending on state law, surgical technicians may require certification. Even if not required by state law, many health care employers do require their surgical techs be certified. As a result, most graduates of Everest's Surgical Technologist program choose to become certified.

What does it take to become a certified surgical technologist (CST)? Here are the surgical tech requirements established by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). To take the certification exam, you must:

  • Be a graduate of a CAAHEP ( or ABHES ( accredited program.
  • Provide one of the following:
    • A notarized letter (on institutional letterhead) from your campus's program director with your name, date of graduation and type of degree awarded.
    • A copy of your graduation certificate or transcript. Transcripts do not have to be official; however, the NBSTSA reserves the right to request an official transcript.
  • Submit the appropriate examination application form along with the correct fees. The NBSTSA does not refund processing fees for ineligible candidates.

Once you've been approved, the NBSTSA will give you an Authorization to Test (ATT) number along with a phone number and Web address to contact the testing agency to schedule your test.

Most Everest Surgical Technologist programs are CAAHEP or ABHES accredited. Contact the Everest campus you would like to attend to confirm its accreditation and that it meets all other NBSTSA standards.

What Can You Do as a Certified Surgical Technologist?

Certified surgical technologists (CSTs) are employed throughout the health care systems by hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, physicians' offices and in any other facility where surgical procedures are performed. As a key part of any surgical team, surgical techs are responsible for sterilizing the operating room before and after surgery, making sure the proper surgical instruments ready for the surgeon's use, and assisting the surgeon during the procedure.

To ensure their staff provides the highest quality care, most health care employers require their surgical techs pass the national certifying exam and become certified surgical technologists (CST).

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