Licensure and Certification
Successful completion of the program does not itself insure certification. Graduates are required to apply for the national certification examination awarded by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. Successful candidates become Certified Surgical Technologists (CST), having demonstrated a commitment to maximum performance and quality patient care.
Certification as a surgical technologist provides evidence to employers, other health care professionals, and the public that the certified individual has met the national standard for the knowledge that underlies surgical technologist practice. Certified individuals demonstrate mastery of a broad range of knowledge of surgical procedures, aseptic technique, and patient care by successfully completing the surgical technologist certifying examination.
Because certification is voluntary, the choice to become certified demonstrates individual pride in the profession, the desire to be recognized for mastery of the principles of science and patient care unique to surgical technology, and an ongoing commitment to quality patient care. Certification can be a means for upward mobility, a condition for employment, a route to higher pay, and a source of recognition nationwide.
Surgical technologists who take and pass the CST certifying examination are certified and authorized to use the initials CST to designate their status as Certified Surgical Technologists so long as their certification remains valid. Currently, CST certification is valid for four years and may be renewed by meeting NBSTSA CST recertification requirements.