Top Surgical Technician Programs in New Hampshire: Your Path to the Operating Room

Are you looking to pursue surgical technician programs in New Hampshire? This article cuts straight to the chase, offering an essential guide to the best programs in the state. Discover the paths to accreditation and certification, the practical training involved, and the career opportunities that await you in New Hampshire’s healthcare sector.

Key Takeaways

  • New Hampshire’s surgical technology programs, such as the one at Great Bay Community College, offer comprehensive and accredited education aligning with current best practices, emphasizing specialized training for the surgical setting.
  • Surgical technicians in New Hampshire are critical members of the operating room team, fulfilling a wide variety of duties that ensure patient safety and the success of surgical procedures.
  • The pathway to certification for surgical technicians involves graduating from an accredited program and passing the CST examination administered by NBSTSA, with opportunities for career growth and specialization post-certification.

Exploring Surgical Technician Programs in the Granite State

Surgical technology program in New Hampshire

New Hampshire boasts a robust educational framework for surgical technology. The state’s accredited surgical technology programs are known for their comprehensive approach, aligning with the Association of Surgical Technologists Core Curriculum 7th Edition. This alignment ensures that the education offered is up-to-date and relevant, preparing students to excel in their future roles.

CAAHEP, a key accreditation body, confirms the high standards of education for surgical technologist programs in the state, thus affirming the quality of these programs.

Accredited Schools and Their Offerings

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA) are the accrediting bodies for surgical technology programs in New Hampshire.

Great Bay Community College

Great Bay Community College, in particular, stands out as the only institution in the state offering an Associate of Science degree program for surgical technologists.

  • Program Overview:
    • The program is designed to equip students with the necessary tools to become skilled surgical technologists.
    • Students will learn the latest procedures, pharmacology, anatomy and physiology, sterile techniques, instruments, and supplies needed to assist during surgery.
    • Emphasizes professionalism, organization, emotional stability, and teamwork.
  • Why Great Bay?:
    • The only Associate of Science degree program of its kind in the area.
    • Highly competitive with only 20 students accepted, ensuring focused and personalized training.
    • Collaborations with several local and regional hospitals for clinical experiences.
  • Career Options:
    • Graduates can work in hospitals, surgical centers, and private practices.
    • Surgical technologists are key members of the surgical team, working closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses to provide the highest level of care.
    • Career advancement opportunities include becoming first assistants in complex surgeries, operating room nurses, physician assistants, instructors, or management roles in hospital education and sterile-supply services.
  • Key Features:
    • Accreditation: The program is accredited, ensuring it meets high educational standards.
    • Hands-On Training: Students gain practical experience through clinical practicums at partnered healthcare facilities.
    • Comprehensive Curriculum: Covers essential topics such as sterile techniques, surgical instrumentation, and patient care.
  • Program Specific Requirements:
    • Details about specific admission requirements, curriculum, and accreditation can be found on the program’s webpage.

The Surgical Technology program at Great Bay Community College offers a rigorous and comprehensive pathway to becoming a certified surgical technologist. With a strong focus on hands-on training and real-world clinical experience, the program prepares students for successful careers in the rapidly growing field of surgical technology.

Specialized Training for the Surgical Setting

Surgical technology programs in New Hampshire focus on delivering specialized training tailored to the demands of the surgical setting. These programs emphasize the importance of sterile techniques, and training students to maintain the highest standards of cleanliness to prevent infections during surgical procedures. Schools such as Great Bay Community College and Manchester Community College go beyond theoretical knowledge, preparing students to proficiently handle surgical instruments and supplies. This hands-on approach ensures that students become integral members of the operating room team.

The curriculum includes a variety of operative procedures, from general to specialized surgeries, as well as diagnostic procedures. This diverse training enhances students’ knowledge of surgical techniques and patient care across different medical settings, setting the stage for a well-rounded career in surgical technology through mastering various operative procedure techniques.

The Role of a Surgical Technician in New Hampshire

Surgical technician maintaining a sterile environment

Surgical technicians in New Hampshire undertake critical roles within the operating room. Their duties include:

  • Performing the 1st and 2nd scrub roles
  • Providing exposure of the operative site using retractors, suctioning, and sponging as necessary
  • Maintaining a sterile environment by applying principles of asepsis, infection control, and sterile technique

These responsibilities are a critical aspect to maximize patient safety through safe and effective conduct.

Surgical technicians have several important responsibilities, including:

  • Recognizing surgical hazards and taking appropriate actions to prevent complications
  • Working effectively in stressful and emergent situations
  • Acting as a resource person for staff
  • Suturing tissues with appropriate materials and techniques
  • Providing hemostasis during surgery

These hands-on contributions are crucial to the success of surgical procedures and demonstrate the collaborative role of surgical technicians in the healthcare team.

Pathway to Certification: Becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist

Graduates from an accredited surgical technology program or those with current national CST certification are set on the path to becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST), making them eligible to sit for the CST examination. Proof of education such as a graduation certificate or transcript is required to establish their eligibility. The certified surgical technologist exam is administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). This exam is a requirement for those seeking certification in this field. This comprehensive exam assesses knowledge and skills in core concepts and terminology, consisting of 175 questions, with a minimum passing score of 98 out of the 150 questions.

Candidates are required to submit an examination application form and a fee of $290 to the NBSTSA. This process is meticulous, limiting candidates to three attempts at passing the CST exam within a calendar year. Military applicants stationed overseas have the option to request testing through their base education officer if located more than 100 miles from a testing center.

Prerequisites for Entering a Surgical Technology Program

Certain prerequisites are required to qualify for a surgical technology program. Applicants must have an Associate’s degree or a higher-level degree to be eligible for the program. The prerequisite courses typically include a surgical technology course, covering topics such as:

  • Biology
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical ethics

These prerequisites are mandatory at institutions like Great Bay Community College, ensuring students have a solid foundation before entering their surgical technology program.

Technical skills are another critical prerequisite for program applicants. These include:

  • Visual acuity
  • Sufficient hearing
  • Effective written and oral communication skills
  • The ability to wear surgical gear
  • Work with complex equipment
  • Perform fine motor functions
  • Maneuver within a sterile environment
  • Handle the physical demands and stress of the surgical setting

Given the competitive nature of admissions into surgical technology programs, a solid academic foundation is vital.

Hands-On Experience: Clinical Rotations and Internships

Surgical technology student in a clinical rotation

A surgical technology student’s journey significantly involves clinical rotations and internships. These hands-on experiences allow students to function as a members of the operating room team, providing them with the opportunity to master the skills necessary for the role. During their internships, students gain experience in a range of surgeries, including orthopedic, general,l and vascular surgery, and obstetrics and gynecology. This diverse exposure prepares them for the various scenarios they may encounter in their future roles.

Clinical rotations and internships expose students to various operating room environments, patient care scenarios, and roles within the surgical team. These hands-on experiences also help students overcome imposter syndrome, building their confidence and competence in surgical assisting. To progress in the program, students are required to:

  • Maintain a C average
  • Pass assessments related to clinical practicum competencies
  • Document all procedures through written case reports and a case summary log.

Future Prospects: Career Opportunities and Growth

Surgical technicians in New Hampshire can anticipate a promising future. The employment of surgical assistants and technologists is expected to grow by 5 percent from 2022 to 2032, surpassing the average growth rate for all occupations. Approximately 8,600 job openings are anticipated each year over the next decade. This growth is partly due to the need to replace workers who transition to other roles or leave the workforce, such as through retirement.

Furthermore, surgical technicians in New Hampshire can expect a 12 percent job growth by 2026, with an average annual salary of $51,850. Cities like Nashua, Merrimack, and Derry offer the highest wages, making New Hampshire an attractive place for aspiring surgical technicians.

Educational Advancement in Surgical Technology

Ample opportunities for further specialization and career advancement are available within the field of surgical technology. Great Bay Community College offers an Associate of Science degree in Surgical Technology, a stepping-stone to advanced certifications and degrees. After completing a surgical technology program, professionals can further specialize in roles such as first assistants or advance their education in areas like operating room nursing or physician assistance.

Surgical technologists may also progress to become:

  • Surgical assistants, which require additional education and certification
  • Managers or instructors, by pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field
  • Administrators in medical facilities, with a basic understanding of business or administration
  • Educators, leveraging their clinical background to instruct upcoming students in the field

After obtaining an Associate’s Degree, surgical technologists have various career paths to choose from.

Admission Insights: Application Process and Deadlines

Applying to surgical technology programs in New Hampshire necessitates a thorough process and meticulous attention to deadlines. You can submit applications for the September 2024 class from November 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024. Make sure to complete your application before the deadline. The application process requires the submission of health insurance proof, documentation of minimum liability insurance coverage, and a completed criminal background check.

Applicants must closely adhere to the given deadlines to ensure consideration for admission. However, it’s important to note that completion and submission of all application requirements do not guarantee acceptance into the program. This reflects the program’s competitive admission standards.

Aligning with High Standards: Program Accreditation Details

The accreditation of programs attests to the high educational standards maintained by surgical technology programs in New Hampshire. The Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA) is the only CAAHEP-recognized Committee on Accreditation for educational programs in surgical technology and surgical assisting. ARC/STSA offers resources to accredited programs and presents scholarship opportunities to educators and students within the surgical technology field, providing additional support and resources for those in the field.


New Hampshire presents a multitude of opportunities for aspiring surgical technicians. The state offers accredited surgical technology programs that align with high educational standards and provide specialized training for the surgical setting. Graduates have the opportunity to sit for the CST examination, opening the pathway to becoming certified surgical technologists. Clinical rotations and internships provide valuable hands-on experience, while the job outlook and growth opportunities in the state are promising. With further educational advancement opportunities, the career of a surgical technician is not only rewarding but also full of possibilities for growth and specialization.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a certified surgical technologist make in NH?

A certified surgical technologist in NH can expect to make an average salary of around $65,957 per year, with total pay estimated at $73,922. Experienced professionals may make up to $134,111 per year, while entry-level positions start at $72,150.

What is the highest-paying surgical tech?

The highest-paying surgical tech jobs offer competitive salaries and benefits. Orthopedic surgery and cardiovascular surgery are among the highest-paying specialties in surgical technology.

What is the best major for a surgical tech?

The best major for a surgical tech is medical technician, with nursing and business also being common choices. Consider pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, exercise science, nursing, pre-health, or a health-related area for entry into a master’s program in surgical technology.

What are the prerequisites for entering a surgical technology program in New Hampshire?

To enter a surgical technology program in New Hampshire, you need an Associate’s degree or higher and must have completed prerequisite courses in biology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, and medical ethics, along with certain technical skills. Good luck with your application!

What is the job outlook for surgical technicians in New Hampshire?

The job outlook for surgical technicians in New Hampshire is positive, with an expected 5 percent growth in employment from 2022 to 2032 and around 8,600 job openings annually. This indicates a strong demand for professionals in this field.