How to Become a Surgical Tech in North Carolina

How to Become a Surgical Tech in North Carolina

In North Carolina, operating rooms are staffed with a dedicated team of healthcare professionals who are ready to respond swiftly, particularly during emergencies.

This team comprises various specialists, including:

  • Surgeons
  • Anesthesia specialist
  • Surgical nurse
  • Surgical technician

Their collaborative efforts begin before the surgical procedure starts and continue until its conclusion.

It’s worth noting that the surgical techs are also known by other names, such as operating room (OR) techs and scrub techs.

Roles and Responsibilities of Surgical Technologists

Surgical technologists in North Carolina perform a wide range of critical duties during their shifts, including:

  • 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’s important to recognize that the list of responsibilities mentioned here is not exhaustive, as these medical professionals have a broader scope of duties.

Training and Education for Surgical Technologists

Individuals aspiring to become surgical technologists in North Carolina should embark on a structured journey, beginning with a high school diploma or equivalent, like a GED.

The subsequent steps in this process include enrolling in a specialized training program.

It’s crucial to understand that this occupation requires both formal education and hands-on clinical training.

Several educational institutions throughout North Carolina offer training programs tailored to surgical technology.

While specific enrollment criteria may vary, there are common core courses typically required:

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

Let’s take a closer look at some of the institutions in North Carolina that offer such programs!

Sampson Community College

Sampson Community College offers a Surgical Technology program aimed at producing highly qualified professionals.

The curriculum covers various aspects of the field.

These are:

  • Surgical procedures
  • Sterilization techniques
  • Surgical equipment

Students gain practical experience through clinical rotations.

Admission requirements typically include:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Completion of prerequisite courses
  • Meeting health requirements
  • Criminal background check

Upon completing the program, students are well-prepared to pursue a career as certified surgical technologists.

Miller-Motte College

The Miller-Motte College offers a Surgical Technology program that can be completed in just 18 months.

This Associate of Applied Science degree is available through the CampusFlex track.

The track allows students to attend classes both on campus in a traditional group setting and online.

Coastal Carolina Community College

Before applying to the Surgical Technology Diploma program at CCCC, students need to meet or exceed minimum score requirements in:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Mathematics

Having completed equivalent courses within the last three years is also acceptable.

Placement tests can be taken at CCCC, and students must pass with a grade of “C” or higher.

Once accepted into the accredited Surgical Technology Diploma program, students can expect to finish it in as short as three semesters.

College of the Albemarle

The Surgical Technology program at the College of the Albemarle is accredited by CAAHEP.

Completing this associate’s degree program in as little as 18 months makes students eligible to sit for the NBSTSA exam.

Students can take the exam within four weeks before or after graduation.

School Name Address
Miller-Motte College  2205 Walnut St, Cary, NC 27518,
Coastal Carolina Community College 444 Western Blvd, Jacksonville, NC 28546
Sampson Community College 1801 Sunset Ave, Clinton, NC 28328
College of the Albemarle 1208 N Road St, Elizabeth City, NC 27909

Certification for Surgical Technologists in North Carolina

While certification is not legally mandated for surgical technologists in North Carolina, many employers seek candidates with certification.

Some certifying entities in this field are:

  • 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

Among these certifications, the one provided by the NBSTSA holds the highest reputation and is nationally recognized.

Testing centers for these certification exams can be found in several cities in North Carolina.

The certification exam consists of 200 questions, and a minimum of 119 correct answers is required to pass.

It’s essential to note that there is an associated fee for taking the exam, with different rates for Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) members and non-AST members.

Certified surgical technologists are required to renew their certification every four years.

This renewal can be accomplished through either retaking the certification exam, which necessitates re-payment of the exam fee or by completing continuing education classes.

During this period, 60 education credits must be earned within the renewal period.

Certification renewal also requires payment of a renewal fee.

Surgical Technologist Salary in North Carolina

While this profession may not be the most glamorous, it’s important to consider the potential income when pursuing a career as a surgical technologist in North Carolina.

On average, an operating room (OR) tech in North Carolina can earn an annual salary of $49,400.

This next table will show you the cities where these employees earn more compared to the rest of the state.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Alexis $50,500
Waxhaw $50,500
Waco $50,300
Valdese $50,100
Cary $50,100
Davidson $50,000
Washington $49,800
Wilsons Mills $49,700
Winston Salem $49,300
Albemarle $49,000

Regional Salary in North Carolina

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Asheville, NC170$49,090$23.6$59,120$38,330
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC800$51,320$24.68$61,340$39,840
Fayetteville, NC100$48,750$23.44$60,180$38,160
Greensboro-High Point, NC160$49,140$23.63$58,500$38,320
Greenville, NC110$50,650$24.35$63,080$36,590
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC150$45,410$21.83$57,810$37,010
New Bern, NC40$45,630$21.94$49,850$38,120
Raleigh, NC420$52,090$25.04$63,380$39,990
Rocky Mount, NC30$47,770$22.96$50,490$38,570
Wilmington, NC140$49,790$23.94$56,660$39,560
Winston-Salem, NC320$49,410$23.76$60,110$39,440
* 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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 Skills Do I Need To Work As A Surgical Tech in North Carolina?

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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