What Is an Operating Room Technician Certification?

Life of an Operating Room Technician

Other operating room technician certifications

Operating room technicians can obtain two additional certifications in addition to the CST. These are:


The “Tech in Surgery-Certified” (TS-C) certification confirms that the holder is knowledgeable in a variety of science and medical fields, surgical technician skill areas, and regulations. The National Center for Competency Testing, or NCCT, offers the TS-C certification. To be eligible, an applicant must have either graduated from an NCCT-approved surgical technology program, completed a non-NCCT-approved training program within the previous two years, been a surgical technician for at least seven years, or be a higher-level medical professional with experience as a surgical technic.

The TS-C exam covers the following topics:

Every year, TS-C holders must recertify through continuing education.


The National Healthcare Association, or NHA, awards the “Certified Operating Room and Surgical Technician” (CORST) certification. The CORST tests a surgical technician’s knowledge of both general medicine and surgery. To qualify for CORST, you must fulfill these requirements:

The CORST exam consists of 200 questions covering a wide range of surgical technician-related knowledge areas. These include anatomical knowledge, surgical knowledge and safety regulations.

What is operating room technician certification?

The Certified Surgical Technician, or CST, certification is the best one available for operating room technicians. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting has granted this certification, which is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. The CST credential attests to your proficiency in the primary duties of an operating room technician, including aseptic technique, patient care, and surgical procedures.

For first-timers, obtaining CST certification is a two-step process:

1. Complete an academic program

The standard requirement for CST certification is an associate’s degree from an accredited surgical technology or first assistant program. Coursework in English, mathematics, and science is a requirement for surgical technology programs. They also cover subjects like:

Community colleges, vocational schools, and some universities frequently offer these programs. A surgical technology program may take 18 to 24 months to complete. Military medical programs offer professional training that you can finish in 12 to 14 weeks as an alternative to college for service members.

2. Pass the CST exam

Passing the CST exam, which covers the following topics, is necessary to obtain CST certification.

The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions with scores, plus 25 pretest questions scattered throughout. Out of the 150 questions that were scored, 102 is the required minimum.

Career options with operating room technician certification

With certification as an operating room technician, you can strengthen your application for the following jobs:

Supporting the anesthesia teams’ doctors, nurses, and other members is one of anesthesia technicians’ main responsibilities. They are responsible for preparing, cleaning, and maintaining the machinery used to administer anesthesia during operations.

Surgical technologists’ main responsibilities include assisting surgeons with the planning and execution of surgery. As part of their responsibilities, they sterilize the operating room and surgical instruments, test medical equipment, get patients ready for operations, and hand instruments to the surgeon as needed.

Medical sales representatives’ main responsibilities are to market pharmaceuticals and medical equipment to healthcare professionals. They must speak with medical professionals in clinics and hospitals to explain the benefits of their products and respond to inquiries.

Primary duties: Surgical assistants provide assistance during operations. Prior to operations, they conduct health history interviews with patients, explain surgical procedures to patients, keep an eye on patients’ vital signs during surgery, and follow up with patients afterwards.

5. Physician assistant

Primary responsibilities: Under close supervision, physician assistants support physicians by handling a variety of physician tasks. They are responsible for conducting physical exams, gathering medical histories, ordering tests, interpreting results, diagnosing conditions, and writing prescriptions for medications.

Benefits of obtaining operating room technician certification

Being nationally certified as an operating room technician has advantages because it is a respected credential that attests to your high level of knowledge and expertise. Your certification can help improve your candidacy for relevant technician jobs by demonstrating to potential employers that you comprehend the requirements and processes of the position. Additionally, having a certification indicates a high level of commitment to your career because it is frequently optional.

Other benefits of obtaining certification include:

Continuing education to renew operating room technician certification

In the healthcare industry, continuing education refers to learning opportunities that help you keep your license or certification and develop your expertise. By earning continuing education credits, you can maintain your operating room certifications, such as the CST and TS-C. The requirements are as follows:


Every two years, starting from the date of initial certification, operating room technicians must renew their CST credentials. Every two years, technicians must obtain 30 continuing education credits to renew their CST certification. Advanced continuing education courses are required for four of these credits. College courses, conferences, and other live events are acceptable forms of continuing education. The Association of Surgical Technologists, or AST, must approve these educational events.

Once you’ve completed your continuing education requirements, you can submit a form to AST to report your credits. Submit a certification renewal application and any related fees with the reporting form.


Technicians with a TS-C certification must renew it every year. 14 continuing education credits are needed for renewal, and there is an annual fee of $77. These continuing education credits are available through NCCT as well as other recognized institutions. However, the NCCT must audit your credits if you decide to take non-NCCT courses to make sure they meet certification requirements.

Please note that Indeed is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned in this article.


What is ORT certification?

Operating Room Technician/Certified Surgical Technician (ORT/CST)

What is the difference between an operating room tech and a surgical tech?

Surgical technologists and surgical technicians both interact with patients throughout the course of the day, but their methods are distinct. Technical patient pre-operative and post-operative services, such as shaving, marking locations, or disinfecting the skin, are more directly handled by surgical technologists.

What is a tech in the operating room?

During a surgical procedure, surgical technologists—also known as operating room technicians—assist surgeons, nurses, and other members of the medical staff. The surgical technologist’s job is crucial because they maintain a clean and well-organized environment.

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