Can an LPN work as a Surgical Tech?

Nurses LPN/LVN

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Hi, I am in the process of applying for different positions in my area (NW Indiana) I don't want to work in a LTC facilities, so I am trying to find positions outside of that. I was wondering if I am legally able to work as a Surgical Tech, this position is entry level? Also, what would be a recommendation for finding the right job and making sure the company is on the level? I want to work somewhere where I know I am working with a company that offers the best standards of quality care. I don't want to work in a bad company and end up jobless or worse having my license revoked. I am really nervous about this, as this would be my first job in my career field as a nurse. I want to be a good nurse and want to make sure I get the best experience possible. (I just got licensed last week!) Any advice?:confused:

Specializes in Mother-Baby, Rehab, Hospice, Memory Care.

You will need to find out for your individual state. As of September in Texas, anyone in the scrub role must be a Certified Surgical Tech (CST). LVNs or others trained on the job must have at least 1 year continuous employment in the surgical setting to be eligible. All others must graduate from an accredited program. My DH is a CST and he graduated from a year long program almost 3 months ago. He is yet to find a job. If your state does not have restrictions, technically you might be able to work as a Surgical Tech. However, it's probably unlikely considering employer's probably have their pick of trained Surgical Techs to hire. You can always apply, you never know...

Thank you, I appreciate your response, I just hope I find something soon.:confused:

I have worked as a Surg Tech in the state of NY. I had no prior experience, just a willingness to learn at the teaching hospital I was already employed at. The OR preceptor trained me to work in such areas as GYN, Urology, eventually gained competency in Kidney Transplant, Plastics, Burns, etc. It was invaluable on the job training. Because of this experience, I was able to find another job at another Hospital in Labor and Delivery as a LPN/ Scrub Tech! So I say go for it. Like the above poster mentioned though, different states have different laws. Also, know that you will be competing with those who are Certified and already trained in this area.

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.
I am really nervous about this, as this would be my first job in my career field as a nurse. I want to be a good nurse and want to make sure I get the best experience possible. (I just got licensed last week!) Any advice?:confused:
If you have an infinite amount of time and an unlimited amount of money, I would wait it out or enroll in a surgical tech program at your local school. However, being certified as a surgical tech will not guarantee a job because the field is highly competitive.

Otherwise, you are probably going to have to accept something other than your dream job in today's sluggish economy.

I am an LPN in the state of NY. I was trained on the job as a Surgical Tech and have been working in the operating room for over 17 years. I would like to be able to take the exam to become a Certified Surgical Tech. Can anyone offer me any leads or info or help in obtaining this goal?

1 Votes
Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development.
I am an LPN in the state of NY. I was trained on the job as a Surgical Tech and have been working in the operating room for over 17 years. I would like to be able to take the exam to become a Certified Surgical Tech. Can anyone offer me any leads or info or help in obtaining this goal?

From https://nbstsa.org/examinations-cst.html

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[TD=class: eligibiltytd, bgcolor: #ECF2EE, colspan: 2]If you have on-the-job training in surgical technology or are a graduate from a surgical technology program that did not hold CAAHEP accreditation during your enrollment, the Accelerated Alternate Delivery (AAD) Pathway will take into account the previous education and experience you have to determine which classes you must take to meet the requirements of a CAAHEP accredited program. Distance learning options are available. Upon graduation from an AAD Program, you will have a degree that makes you eligible for the CST Examination. Click here and choose "AAD Approved Programs List" to find a list of the schools that offer the Accelerated Alternate Delivery Pathway. Program details may vary. NBSTSA recommends contacting multiple schools to see which one will work best for you.[/TD]

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Looks like you might need to do some extra work to be able to take the CST exam.

Hi my name is rhye and I'm 24 years old. I'm really confused now, cos a i am a graduated of bsn in other country and I'm here and the U.S. now.. I'm trying to get my LVN License for now but I don't want to work as med passer .. I just took my exam and haven't heard the result yet.. and I'm applying to go to school for surgical technologist and I can't decide if I have to pursue it.. cos I think this is the easiest way to get to the hospital and especialy o.r. I have been wanting to work as an operating room nurse. But I think it'll take longer if I wait to be an r.n and there's no assurance that I could be in the hospital if that happens.. is anybody could advice me.. if I still have to pursue surgical tech degree even I have bsn degree already?thank you guys. The school for ST clas will start on oct 16 and its 32k for tuition I don't know it ita worth it..

I know this is an old thread... but I literally created an account just to answer this question. I was a military trained surgical tech (10+ years experience in the OR) and am now an LVN. I can only speak as to the nature of the climate in Texas regarding surgical techs... but, the only exception I have seen to hiring (new) non certified surgical techs has been those with previous military training. To add to that I think it's highly unlikely any hospital or surgical clinic would hire an untrained LVN vs a trained surgical tech to assist in surgery. Although I did, and still do, enjoy working in the O.R. I would still recommend choosing the LVN or RN program as opposed to the surgical tech program as there is more room to move laterally when the surgical schedule is slow as happens at smaller facilities and the beginning of the year. Just my opinion...

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Hopefully someone will read this:

I am currently in an Associate's Degree Nursing Program and know I want to be in the OR. I have observed the role of both the RN and the Surgical Tech during an operation and realize I want to be able to do both! I am thinking of immediately entering a Surgical Tech Program after I graduate but am wondering if I am legally able to work as both?

On another note...I am currently working as a PCN/CNA and was wondering if I am unable to find an RN job, am I legally allowed to continue working as an RN?

Thanks for any help!

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health.
Hopefully someone will read this:

I am currently in an Associate's Degree Nursing Program and know I want to be in the OR. I have observed the role of both the RN and the Surgical Tech during an operation and realize I want to be able to do both! I am thinking of immediately entering a Surgical Tech Program after I graduate but am wondering if I am legally able to work as both?

On another note...I am currently working as a PCN/CNA and was wondering if I am unable to find an RN job, am I legally allowed to continue working as an RN?

Thanks for any help!

You lost me here. Do you mean, in your current facility where you work as a CNA? If that's what you mean, you will only be able to work as an RN if your employer promotes you into an RN position. If they will not, yet asks you to perform any RN task, you should politely remind them that you haven't been hired in the role of an RN and cannot carry out that request.

Personally, I'd quit it that due to the legalities of being on the clock in any capacity while in the possession of an active RN license if an incident should occur. But that's a whole other thread once you become licensed as an RN.

I apologize...I meant: once I get my RN license , if I can't find a job as an RN, am I still able to work as a CNA/PCA until I do find work as an RN?

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