How to Become a Surgical Tech in Illinois

How to Become a Surgical Tech in Illinois

Illinois boasts a wealth of opportunities for those seeking a fulfilling career in surgical technology.

Within the state, various institutions offer training programs that equip aspiring surgical technologists with the skills needed to thrive in a surgical setting.

The surgical room is a hub of activity, housing a dedicated team of professionals ready to respond swiftly, especially during critical emergencies.

This team comprises key personnel, including:

  • Surgeons
  • Anesthesia specialist
  • Surgical nurse
  • Surgical technician

The seamless teamwork among these professionals begins well before the surgical procedure commences and continues until the surgery’s successful completion.

Surgical technicians are also referred to as operating room (OR) techs and scrub techs, highlighting the diversity of their roles.

Surgical Technologist Job Description and Duties

Surgical technologists play a pivotal role in the surgical environment, with a range of responsibilities during their shifts, such as:

  • Preparing patients for surgery
  • Transporting patients to and from the OR
  • Preparing the OR with surgical equipment and supplies
  • Monitoring the instrument count throughout surgery
  • Handing the surgeon medical instruments
  • Closing wounds and bandaging patients

It is essential to note that this list represents just a fraction of the myriad duties undertaken by these healthcare professionals.

Surgical Technologist Training and Education

Becoming a surgical technologist is an attainable goal in Illinois, and the path to this career involves several steps.

Your journey commences with graduating from high school or obtaining a General Educational Development (GED) credential.

Subsequently, you must enroll in a specialized training program tailored for surgical technology.

This educational process comprises both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical training.

Various institutions throughout Illinois offer these training programs, each with slightly different enrollment prerequisites.

Many of them share common coursework, with subjects like:

  • Microbiology,
  • Pathophysiology,
  • Pharmacology,
  • Anatomy,
  • Physiology,
  • Medical terminology.
  • CPR and/or BLS and/or AED

Discovering the path to a rewarding career in surgical technology in Illinois is an exciting journey.

A few different educational institutions within the state offer comprehensive programs that equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in the dynamic healthcare field.

Elgin Community College

Elgin Community College presents a focused opportunity for students to complete a surgical technology certificate program.

This program is designed to not only prepare students for national certification but also to equip them with the expertise required to excel in healthcare roles.

The program typically spans a year, ensuring that students acquire in-depth knowledge and skills in a concentrated timeframe.

It encompasses a diverse range of subjects, including foundational science and healthcare courses.

Additionally, students engage in several tiers of hands-on surgical technology practices.

Malcolm X College

Located on the Malcolm X campus of the City Colleges of Chicago, this institution offers an associate degree program in surgical technology.

This comprehensive program extends over a two-year period, providing students with a well-rounded education.

The program’s duration of two years allows students to delve deeply into the nuances of surgical technology, ensuring they are well-prepared for the field.

Students embark on a journey that spans 61 credit hours of coursework.

This comprehensive curriculum includes two vital components of hands-on clinical work experience, enhancing their practical skills.

Parkland College

At Parkland College, aspiring surgical technologists have the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills through a combination of classroom learning and hands-on clinical work.

The excellence of the program at Parkland is exemplified by its recognition, having received the NBSTSA’s Merit Award.

The program’s curriculum strikes a balance between theoretical and practical learning, giving students a comprehensive foundation.

School Name Address
Elgin Community College 1700 Spartan Dr, Elgin, IL 60123
Malcolm X College 1900 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60612
Parkland College 2400 W Bradley Ave, Champaign, IL 61821

Becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist

Certification in Surgical Technology is not a legal requirement in Illinois, but many employers actively seek certified surgical technologists.

Some of the certifying bodies for this profession include:

  • National Surgical Assistant Association (NSAA)
    • Provides the Certified Surgical Assistant (CSA) qualification
  • National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA)
    • Provides the Certified Surgical Technologist/Certified First Assistant credential
  • National Center for Competency Training (NCCT)
    • Provides the Tech in Surgery Certification

The NBSTSA certification holds the highest recognition and is widely accepted across the nation.

To maintain certification, surgical technologists must renew it every four years.

This can be accomplished through either retaking the certification exam or completing continuing education courses, which require 60 education credits during the renewal period.

Furthermore, renewal incurs a fee.

Salaries for Surgical Technologists in Illinois

While the role of a surgical technologist might not be the most glamorous in the medical field, it is valuable and financially rewarding.

In Illinois, surgical technologists can earn an annual salary of approximately $52,900.

The following table provides insights into specific cities within Illinois where surgical technologists can potentially earn more than the state average.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Cicero $54,300
Chicago $54,300
Mount Prospect $54,100
Streamwood $54,000
Aurora $53,800
Winfield $53,600
Bloomingdale $53,500
Woodridge $53,100
Shorewood $53,200
Barrington $52,700

Regional Salary in Illinois

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bloomington, IL60$53,100$25.53$61,880$39,880
Carbondale-Marion, IL110$49,960$24.02$60,370$44,450
Champaign-Urbana, IL110$53,360$25.66$60,940$40,830
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI2,520$58,320$28.04$72,990$44,800
Kankakee, IL30$49,190$23.65$60,370$39,830
Peoria, IL240$49,700$23.9$59,190$37,740
Rockford, IL150$55,350$26.61$75,920$45,170
Springfield, IL130$51,210$24.62$60,420$38,470
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Surgical Technologists, OCC Code 29-2055, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Surgical Tech From Illinois Choose a Specialty?


Just like surgeons can choose to operate on a specific body part, so can these techs.

Here are the most commonly chosen surgery niches:

  • General surgery,
  • Ob/gyn,
  • Urology,
  • Plastics,
  • Neurology

Where Do Surgical Technologists from Illinois Find Work?

These technologists usually work in a hospital’s surgery wing.

Furthermore, these other places also hire such specialists:

  • Children’s hospitals
  • Cosmetic surgery centers
  • Specialty clinics for surgical procedures

What Sills Do I Need To Work As A Surgical Tech in Illinois?

Here are the most important skills this profession requires:

  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Detail-oriented
  • Take direction
  • Understanding medical terms
  • Understanding medical methodology
  • Good communication skills

USA Surgical Tech Programs by State

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