* Join the military and training to become a surgical tech through the institution that invented the occupation * Finding a hospital that runs an on-the-job surgical tech training program (usually for existing staff) and trying to get hired in an entry-level position so that you can apply * Completing a post-secondary surgical technology program (understanding that it should be CAAHEP or ABHES-accredited in order to provide you with the best training and a chance at recognizing professional certification) Educational criteria:
* Accredited surgical technology programs that award a certificate or diploma are generally designed to take anywhere from nine to 15 months. Programs that offer associates degrees usually last two years and there are about 450 programs nationwide, according the the Better Business Bureau * Total costs (including tuition and other fees) can range from about $3,500 to $25,00 * There are two types of accreditation 1. School accreditation and 2. Program accreditation. Ideally, you want both. * Certification is preferred by most employers. There are two different councils that certify surgical technologists.
One is the Liaison Council for the Certification of the Surgical Technologists, which awards the CST designation (Certified Surgical Technologists) upon passing the exam. One must graduate from an accredited surgical technologist program to be eligible for the exam. The other certification is the TS-C (Tech in Surgery, Certified) which is awarded by the NCCT (National Center for Competency Testing) * These certifications have continuing education requirements that surgical technicians must meet. The CST credential gives individuals the option of earning 60 credits or retaking the certifying exam over 4 years.
Duties and responsibilities: * Before surgery: * Preparing both the surgical room and the patient for surgery * Set up the operating room by sterilizing and laying out the necessary surgical equipment, hanging clean curtains and sheets, and prepping solutions for the surgeons * Assemble any of the equipment that will be used during surgery, check for any malfunctions, and make any needed adjustments * Prepare the patient by washing, shaving and sterilizing the site of the surgery * Move the patient to the operating room and position them correctly on the operating table * During surgery:
* Hand instruments and other supplies to the surgeon, as well as helping the surgeon into fresh gowns and gloves * May be asked to assist the surgeon in suturing wounds, applying dressing, handling tissue, or cutting stiches * Any specimens taken from the patient for later study will be cared for by the surgical technologist * Responsible for keeping an eye on the patients’ vital signs and other charts * After surgery: * Transports the patient to recovery and cleans the operating room.
Continuing education requirements: * There is no requirements to continue the education * With extra education, some surgical technologists can work their way up to become surgical first assistants. A surgical first assistant is trained to perform duties under the surgeon’s direction. Normal work schedule and compensation: * Surgical tech hours, shifts, and days are extremely flexible and the shifts available and days will vary depending on the type of hospital or facility you decide to work in. * Salary:
* The bottom 10 percent earn $28,100 or less * Median wages (50th percentile) are $39,920 * Top 10 percent earn $57,330 or more Specific jobs in the chosen profession: * There are three main roles a surgical technician can perform: ( 1. ) scrub surgical technologist (“scrub tech”) (2. ) circulating surgical technologist, and (3. ) second assisting surgical technologist * a surgical technician can also chose to specialize in a specific area such as neurosurgery, cardiothoracic surgery, or orthopedic surgery.
Three reasons to work as a surgical technician: * It can be deeply rewarding to have a direct impact on patient outcomes and to know that you make a positive contribution to society every day through your work * Being a part of an operating room can be thrilling, particularly when a patient is saved from a negative outcome * Boredom is rare since there are new cases and new challenges every day * Experienced surgical technologists generally have pretty stable job security due to high demand for their services.