To qualify for graduation, surgical technology students must participate in the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) certification exam. NBSTSA certification as a surgical technologist provides evidence to employers, healthcare professionals, and colleagues that the student has been educated and trained to provide safe and competent care in the operating room and also demonstrates mastery of knowledge in the field of surgical technology. The designation “CST” is used after the technologist’s name during all periods of valid certification.

Graduates of a The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs-accredited program may take the NBSTSA certification examination. After passing the examination, the surgical technologist is certified for a period of four years and may recertify through continuing education or by sitting for the exam.

Membership in the Association for Surgical Technologists (AST) is encouraged. AST provides continuing education credits that are valid for the CST re-certification process. These continuing education (CE) credits are available through the AST website (www.ast.org) and monthly official journal, The Surgical Technologist, which also offers literature on current technological advances in surgery.

Each September, AST sponsors National Surgical Technologist Week to recognize surgical technologists in all fields and to educate the public. More information is available on the AST website, www.ast.org.