How to Become A Surgical Tech

Overview Of The Surgical Tech Career

Surgical technologists, or “surgical tech” has been a dominant part of medical related profession catering mainly to surgical assistance before, during the surgical procedures and after. A Surgical tech functions closely with registered surgeons, surgical assistants and nurses making sure that all surgical operations are done smoothly and properly. Surgical technologists are also in charge of preparing patients for surgery and assisting them up to the time the procedure is completed.

One of the main reasons students are starting to choose surgical technology instead of nursing is the length of the program. Although the average surgical tech program takes 24 months to complete, there’s rarely a waiting list. There also aren’t any prerequisites. Nursing programs often have waiting lists, as well as prerequisites.

A career in surgical technology is very promising. That is why many students are now attending classes, trainings and programs in order to become a surgical technologist. Aside from the great opportunities, many of these individuals are obviously attracted to the desirable surgical tech salary. In fact, the pay is higher than the average LVN salary.

It isn’t difficult to qualify for a fully accredited program. All you have to secure a spot is your diploma in high school or its GED equivalent. A clearer understanding about biology, anatomy, physiology, and chemistry is necessary to help you study and gain mastery in this field. These science concepts are taught during the program.

There are various surgical technology programs offered all over the country Each program varies in content, cost and duration. However, similar fundamental skills, knowledge and abilities are taught to students. If you are really interested to pursue a career in this field, you have to be aware of the educational requirements. Upon completion of the course or program, you can now prepare yourself to function and serve others based on your accumulated skills and expertise. Click Here for a complete surgical tech overview.

Job Description

One of the responsibilities of a surgical technologist includes handing surgeons the needed surgical tools as the procedure progresses. A good surgical tech is has also the capability of anticipating what particular tools a surgeon needs during the conduct of surgical procedure or operation. He/She must be prepared with all the necessary equipment so that he can hand this to the surgeon anytime needed. Highly experienced surgical technologists are those who are assisting doctors and surgeries during major operations like open-heart surgeries and other complicated and risky procedures.

If you decide to embrace a career in the field of surgical technology, you will surely be doing the following duties:

  • Preparing and transporting from pre operation staging areas up to the designated operating rooms. Preparation may include sterilizing and shaving patients’ incision points. They are also tasked to monitor the vitals of patients while the surgery is in progress.
  • Sterilizing operating rooms after any surgical procedure and making sure that all the important tools and equipment are in place and prepare for the next scheduled operation.
  • Ensuring that all surgical tools and equipment are functioning well.
  • Restocking and stocking operating rooms before and after surgical procedures.

Working Environment

Surgical technologists work in varieties of locations including physicians’ offices, dentists’ offices, hospitals, outpatient clinics or field hospitals. Most surgical tech works in these facilities most of their time. Some of them work in outpatient hospitals and clinics assisting surgeons and doctors during the conduct of outpatient surgeries. While in their working environment, surgical techs are seen wearing their sterile clothing. Their works seem to be physically demanding and are always required to be on their feet most of the time.

Skills Required

Lots of skills are required in order to become an effective surgical tech. One of the skills significantly required is good communication skills. You need to understand what exactly patients, doctors and nurses tell and ask you. As a surgical tech, you also need to follow instructions given to you appropriately.

Surgical technologists need to be alert at all times. Aside from alertness, you also need to have an excellent problem solving skills because there are instances that complications arise during surgery cases. Critical thinking is also required in order to become an effective and functional surgical tech.

You have to note that these skills requirements are highly imperative especially in saving other peoples’ lives. Aside from these skills, you must also possess an ideal science and math base. It is apparent that solving common problems regarding dosages and medicines involve mathematics.

As a surgical technologist, you also need to completely understand the magnitude of a given dosage required by patients depending on their cases and the symptoms displayed. Knowledge in biology and chemistry can also be of great help. Understanding the implications of recent developments in patients for present and for future problem-solving is also important.

Career in surgical technology is very simulating and satisfying provided if one knows how to facilitate the job and fulfill the primary duties well. It is therefore necessary that these skills must be acquired. Surgical technology is a field that is open for those individuals who wanted to take their essential part saving other people’s lives utilizing the best of their knowledge and expertise. Of all the fields to choose from, a career in surgical technology can provide an individual a room for efficiency and stability.

2019 Surgical Tech Salary

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wage for a surgical technician was $47,300 in 2018. Salaries continue to grow, giving surgical technicians certain stability and room to grow as they accrue experience and specialization.

It may come as no surprise that the average surgical tech salary can vary greatly depending on the setting where they are found. The following are a few of those options and their most recent average salaries for surgical technician positions:

  • Hospital: $51,780
  • Physician’s office: $47,690
  • Dentist’s office: $42,470
  • Outpatient Care Centers: $46,480

Pay rates for surgical technicians have been steadily rising, and this trend is expected to continue. For example, in 2010 the average salary for surgical technicians was $38,740, compared to $47,300 in 2018. A growth of over 21% in only eight years is perfectly respectable.

The really good news is that the demand for surgical technicians is expected to rise and that will most likely force salaries higher. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment opportunities for surgical technologists will be highest for techs who are properly certified. It is expected that the need for certified surgical technicians will grow faster than other healthcare professions, and will accelerate MUCH faster than non-healthcare occupations.