Am I actually "certified" after Surg Tech course?

Specialties Operating Room


I graduated from a Surgical Technologist Training Course and recvd a certificate. Does that mean that I am a Certified Surgical Technician? Or do I have to sit for an exam to become certified and/or licensed?


2,450 Posts


You have to sit for the exam in order to use the title Certified Surgical Technologist, CST.

For example, I graduated from an accredited program at college that gave me a certificate when I finished all the requirements and graduated. I had the college's "certificate" but I could not call myself a "CERTIFED SURGICAL TECH" until I took the exam offered by AST.

Graduates who have not taken the exam are often called ST, Surgical Technologist (no CERTIFIED in front).

Of course, it is possible to work as a scrub tech without taking this exam. Many facilities will hire you if you finish an accredited program. Taking that exam DOES open more doors. Nowadays many facilities are insisting that all their scrub techs take the AST exam for certification. A few hospitals may not hire a new graduate without it. This is all apart of a new and positive trend to make sure all healthcare workers have the skills needed to safely and effectively perform their jobs.

IMHO, taking the exam proves that you take your education seriously and ensures that you are willing to give quality patient care within your scope of practice.

Here is the AST website:

Here is the website to the AST certifying body that administers the exam:

You can find out how to sign up for the exam at either sites.


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