How to Pass the NCCT TS-C Surgical Technologist Exam - MedCerts

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How to Pass the NCCT TS-C Surgical Technologist Exam

Do you dream of playing a vital role in the operating room, assisting surgeons and ensuring the highest level of patient care? If so, earning your NCCT Surgical Technology certification is the first step toward turning your dreams into reality. Surgical technologists are crucial members of the operating room team. They work alongside surgeons, nurses and other healthcare professionals to ensure surgeries go smoothly and safely. Surgical techs help prepare the operating room by sterilizing equipment, assisting the surgeon by passing instruments and cleaning and restocking the operating room for future procedures. With a faster-than-average job growth of 5% expected over the next ten years and an average salary of $56,350, seeking certification as a surgical tech is a wise professional investment in your future. But before you can wield scalpels in the operating room, you've got to pass the Tech in Surgery (TS-C) exam. Here's what you need to know to pass the exam on your very first try.

    What Is the NCCT TS-C Surgical Tech Exam?

    The NCCT Surgical Tech certification examination is a comprehensive test designed to assess your knowledge and skills in the operating room.

    Offered through the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), this examination covers job-relevant topics, such as surgical procedures, aseptic techniques, patient care, operating room management, medical terminology and legal and ethical considerations.

    The exam consists of 175 scored items and 25 unscored pretest items, totaling 200 items. Candidates have four hours to complete the examination.

    The majority of the exam (95-98%) comprises standard, 4-option multiple-choice items. Additionally, 2-5% of the exam includes the following question types:

    Hotspot Items

    With hotspot question types, you can interact with a graphic that contains clickable areas, or "hotspots," as answer choices and select the correct spot on the figure by clicking on it.

    Drag and Drop Items

    Drag and drop questions mean you are tasked with arranging items from one column into another in sequential order. To answer, you'll click and drag items from the left column to their correct position in the right column.

    Multi-Select Items

    These questions prompt you to select all responses that are correct for a given question. The question specifies the number of correct answers to choose.

    NCCT Surgical Tech Exam Registration & Eligibility

    You can qualify for the NCCT Surgical Tech Exam through five different pathways.

    Pathway #1 - Current High School Student

    To qualify, you must be enrolled in a Surgical Technology program from an NCCT (authorized) school as a current high school student in the United States. A provisional certification will be granted upon obtaining a passing score on the Tech in Surgery certification exam.

    Candidates must provide a copy of the Surgical Technology diploma, certificate of completion, or transcript within 60 days of graduation. Completion of a Tech in Surgery TS-C (NCCT) Critical Skills Competency form is required within two years of graduation.

    Pathway #2 - Current Non-High School Student

    For this route, you must be a high school graduate or hold equivalent credentials (e.g., GED). Candidates should also provide documentation of completing a Surgical Technology program within 60 days of graduation.

    Submission of a Tech in Surgery TS-C (NCCT) Critical Skills Competency form within two years of the exam date is necessary.

    Pathway #3 - Graduate of an NCCT Authorized School (within the last five years)

    Pathway #3 requires that you provide documentation of completing a Surgical Technology program. Submission of a Tech in Surgery TS-C (NCCT) Critical Skills Competency form within two years of the exam date is required.

    Pathway #4 - Experienced Surgical Tech

    This pathway requires three years of verifiable full-time experience as a Surgical Technology practitioner within the past five years. You must provide a copy of your high school diploma (or equivalent) and a completed Tech in Surgery TS-C (NCCT) Qualification by Experience form from the employer.

    Additionally, you must have accumulated 6240 hours of full-time employment as a surgical technologist within the past five years under the direct supervision of a Certified/Licensed Physician, Primary Care Provider and/or RN.

    Pathway #5 - Military Experience

    You must have completed Surgical Technology training or its equivalent during U.S. Military service within the past five years.

    You must provide a copy of a SMART transcript or DD214 indicating the successful completion of a formal medical services training program relating to the tested discipline. Finally, plan to submit a Tech in Surgery TS-C (NCCT) Critical Skills Competency form.

    NCCT Surgical Tech Exam Sections & Content

    The surgical tech exam covers aspects of surgical technology and patient care across four main categories:

    The detailed test plan for the TS-C (NCCT) certification examination outlines various learning targets across critical job competencies in surgical care. These learning targets are structured around the phases of surgical care: preoperative, perioperative, intraoperative and postoperative. Here's a breakdown of the learning targets within each competency area:

    Preoperative Care and Preparation

    • Set up for surgical procedure: Arrange sterile instruments and supplies, inspect and assemble equipment and instruments.

    • Execute patient safety: Anticipate needs of special patient populations, explain surgical Time Out, understand safe patient transfer and placement of safety measures and verify counts with circulating nurse.

    • Apply sterile technique: Use personal protective equipment, explain aseptic technique principles, describe surgical hand scrub, gowning and gloving techniques and outline patient draping sequence.

    Perioperative Care and Preparation

    • Assess integrity and sterility of items: Differentiate sterilization methods, determine liquid sterilants and disinfectants, verify package integrity and biological and DART air removal tests.

    • Utilize preference cards: Modify the surgeon's preference card, prepare the supplies listed and utilize cost-saving measures.

    • Document unusual events: Identify required information for incident reports and define reportable incidents.

    • Understand environmental safety: Initiate actions in hazardous situations, perform emergency actions, explain RACE & PASS, utilize laser safety, biohazard spill actions and Safety Data Sheets, understand standard precautions.

    • Prepare the operating room: Ensure proper setup according to the surgical procedure.

    • Facilitate proper documentation: Handle specimens, report medications and solutions used.

    • Understanding of basic sciences: Apply anatomy knowledge, principles of asepsis, distinguish microorganism transmission modes, understand drugs and solutions, execute medication administration rights and appropriate fluid utilization.

    Intraoperative Care and Preparation

    • Support the needs of the surgeon: Assess need for retraction, determine necessary instruments, anticipate assistance needs (sponging, suctioning, etc.), apply indirect cautery, prepare and cut suture materials.

    • Execute end of the procedure tasks: Assist with skin closure, understand dressing materials, explain application of casts, splints, braces.

    • Preparation of supplies: Distinguish among stapling devices, confirm implantable devices, outline surgical device preparation steps, identify appropriate sutures/needles.

    Postoperative Care and Preparation

    • Recognize possible postoperative complications: Identify potential issues like bleeding or hematoma.

    Execute end of case procedures: Complete room turnover, maintain sterility of back table and mayo stand, prepare instruments for decontamination and sterilization.

    Take An Online NCCT Surgical Tech Training Course

    The MedCerts Tech in Surgery – Certified (TS-C) course is a standout option for those looking to enter the surgical field. Here's what you need to know.

    Tuition is affordable.

    With monthly payment plan options as low as $346 per month, MedCerts is a cost-effective route into the healthcare industry. This price covers the tuition, exam fees, books and materials, making it a comprehensive package without hidden costs.

    Enrollment is easy.

    To enroll in the MedCerts Surgical Technologist program, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

    • Possess an Associate's degree or higher.

    • Be enrolled in a college/university-level degree program related to the medical field.

    • Hold current certification in Sterile Processing or a related field.

    • Have a minimum of two (2) years of related experience within a clinical/medical/healthcare environment. Direct patient care experience is required.

    • Obtain Employer Sponsorship (a Sponsorship Acknowledgement form signed by a prospective employer agreeing to host the graduate for post-program surgical cases as a full-time/part-time employee, extern, or apprentice is required to attain TS-C certification).

    This program is not available to residents of certain states.

    Everything you need is included.

    With MedCerts, your tuition covers all of your course materials—including your exam fee. The course is designed to be completed within 3–6 months, offering flexibility with 24/7 on-demand access to learning materials. Learning is engaging, with 3D animations, immersive environments, interactive activities and game-based learning to appeal to a variety of learning styles.

    NCCT Surgical Tech Exam FAQs

    How many questions are on the NCCT Surgical Tech Exam?

    The exam consists of 175 scored items and 25 unscored pretest items, totaling 200 questions.

    What types of questions are included on the (TS-C) exam?

    The exam primarily features standard, 4-option multiple-choice items (95-98%) and a small percentage of alternative item types (2-5%), such as Drag and Drop, Multi-Select and Hotspot questions.

    How long do I have to complete the NCCT Surgical Tech Exam?

    Candidates are allowed four (4) hours to complete the examination.

    What are the main content areas covered by the exam?

    The exam covers critical job competencies in areas, such as Preoperative Care and Preparation, Perioperative Care and Preparation, Intraoperative Care and Preparation and Postoperative Care and Preparation.

    What is the passing score for the NCCT Surgical Tech Exam?

    You must earn an overall passing score of 70 on the NCCT surgical tech exam.

    Can I retake the NCCT Surgical Tech Exam if I don't pass?

    Yes, candidates who do not pass the exam on their first attempt are eligible to retake the exam up to four times.

    Take the First Step Toward Your NCCT Surgical Tech Certification Today

    Ready to start your journey to becoming a certified surgical technologist? Enroll in MedCerts' Tech in Surgery – Certified (TS-C) course today and take the first step towards a brighter future in healthcare. Join the ranks of successful MedCerts graduates who have passed the NCCT Surgical Tech Exam.

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    Published on February 22, 2024