NBSTSA Surgical Technology Board Review Questions and Practice Tests

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“You will get a better score... Some questions are very similar to the actual examination.”

Danie
CST

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Surgical Technologist Board Review Topics Covered:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Pre-Operative Preparation
  • Surgical Instruments
  • Equipment Sterilization and Maintenance
  • Intra-Operative Procedures
  • Surgical Pharmacology
  • Post-Operative Procedures
  • Administrative and Personnel

Medical Editor

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Karen L Chambers, CST, FAST, MHA/Ed

Karen works as a professor at Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke, VA for the AAS in Surgical Technology. She has published numerous scholarly articles, authored an educational textbook and just this past June 2016 was awarded the highest recognition given by the Association of Surgical Technologist, the FAST (Fellow of the Association of Surgical Technology) credential.

About the CST Examination

As stated by the NBSTSA, "the National Certifying Examination for Surgical Technologists covers the knowledge and skills common to competent entry-level Surgical Technologists in varied settings and geographical locations.

What is covered on the CST Exam?

According to the CST Examination Content Outline, the following topics are covered:

I. Peri-Operative Care (105 items)

  1. Pre-Operative Preparation (29 items)
  2. Intra-Operative Procedures (66 items)
  3. Post-Operative Procedures (10 items)

II. Additional Duties (20 items)

  1. Administrative and Personnel (10 items)
  2. Equipment Sterilization and Maintenance (10 items)

III. Basic Science (50 items)

  1. Anatomy and Physiology (30 items)
  2. Microbiology (10 items)
  3. Surgical Pharmacology (10 items)

How long is the CST Exam?

The CSA exam is comprised of 200 questions, 175 of which are scored. The remaining 25 questions are pretest questions that are unscored.

About the CSFA Examination

As stated by the NBSTSA, "the National Certifying Examination for Surgical First Assistants (CSFA) covers the knowledge and skills common to competent entry-level Surgical First Assistants in varied settings and geographical locations."

What is covered on the CSFA Exam?

According to the CSFA Examination Content Outline, the following topics are covered:

I. Peri-Operative Care (80 items)

  1. Pre-Operative Preparation (15 items)
  2. Intra-Operative Procedures (50 items)
  3. Post-Operative Procedures (15 items)

II. Additional Duties (15 items)

  1. Administrative and Personnel (6 items)
  2. Equipment Sterilization and Maintenance (9 items)

III. Advanced Science (80 items)

  1. Anatomy and Physiology (60 items)
  2. Advanced Principles Of Microbiology (12 items)
  3. Surgical Pharmacology and Anesthesia (8 items)

How long is the CSFA Exam?

The CSFA exam is made up of 200 questions. Out of the 200 questions, 25 are unscored pretest items that are randomly distributed throughout the exam.

Surgical Technology Careers

Surgical technology is a great career that’s growing fast – over 30% the next ten years according to the bureau of labor statistics. The median pay is $42,000 annually. For those of us that do it, it’s been a really rewarding career helping others. In general, it’s a low paperwork job… you’ll spend a significant amount of time in the operating room. Once you pass the exam, there are significant opportunities. But, the test is a significant milestone. Many (but not all) positions require a technical certification.

CST and CSFA Exam Tips

Intra-operative procedures are an important part of the exam, and you will find that the BoardVitals question bank focuses heavily on this subject area.

Suggested Reading

We suggest using Mosby’s PDQ for Surgical Technology. This is a go-to book for tables, images, and your general reference type materials. We suggest using it alongside our Surgical Technology question bank when practicing, and then also being able to complete our exam (in test mode conditions) without the reference guide. Another good book is Differentiating Surgical Instruments, if you need specific review and you are a visual learner.

The NBSTSA exam is computer-based, and our format follows very closely. You can change your answers, skip questions, and mark questions for review (in both our platform as well as actual exam conditions)

BoardVitals is an excellent resource for CSFA questions and CST questions