The employment rates for surgical technologists is growing very fast, and there are training programs that last between 9 and 24 months that will lead to a certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree. Although most jobs will still be found at hospitals, it is expected that more jobs will be opening in other healthcare industries as well.
Surgical technologists are there to help surgeons, nurses, and other people involved in the surgical procedure. They work in operating rooms with surgeons, circulating nurses, and anesthesiologists.
Surgical techs work before the surgery takes places by making sure that the operating room is set up properly with all needed surgical equipment and instruments, sterile solutions, and sterile drapes. They are responsible for putting together both sterile and non-sterile equipment, and have to be certain that it is in good working order.
Often, surgical technologists also get the patient ready to have surgery by disinfecting places where incision will be made, and also shaving and washing the surgery site. They also take the patient to the operating room, place them on the operating table, and make sure they are covered with the right sterile drapes. They also make certain that the patient’s vital signs are good, look over charts, and assist the surgical team in putting on surgical Examination gloves and gowns.
There are several different places in which people can earn their degree to be a surgical technician. These can be in community colleges, vocational schools, hospitals, universities, and the military. As I said above, there are also accredited programs that take between 9 to 24 months that can lead to a diploma, associate’s degree, or certificate. Usually, high school graduation is needed to enroll in such courses.
Programs such as these give both clinical experience, and classroom training. Courses taken are physiology, anatomy, microbiology, professional ethics, medical terminology, and pharmacology. Students, in addition, learn how to properly sterilize instruments, learn ways to prevent and check infection, as well as learn how to handle special supplies, drugs, solutions, and equipment.
For the best chance at getting a surgical technologist job, you should be a certified technologist. These certifications can be obtained through the Liaison Council on Certificate for the Surgical Technologist after graduating from a program that has been CAAHEP accredited, and they have to pass a national certification exam. Surgical technologists must either take the recertifying exam after four years, or take 60 hours of approved education that is used to continue their learning.
Salaries for surgical technicians vary by region and expertise, but average wages were about $38,000 in May of 2008. The middle 50 percent made between $32,000 and $46,000. The most money was made in specialty hospitals, and dentist’s offices were the lowest. The actual wage a graduate makes will be dependent on where they work, what area of surgery they work in, and their experience in the field.
Pursing a job as a surgical technologist can be an excellent choice if you feel like this could be a job that appeals to you. However, it is not for everyone, since if you do not like your job, you are quite certain to eventually begin to hate it, and wish you had chosen some other line of work. Before deciding on a career, make sure that it is something that you have a passion for, and then reap the rewards of a good job with great pay. Your next step should be to visit websites that cover the surgical tech career in more detail.