Are you seriously considering a career as a surgical technician? If yes, then you’re not alone. Surgical tech jobs are some of the hottest openings in the job market today. A lot of fresh high school graduates are enrolling at surgical technician schools. A lot of people with otherwise established careers in other industries are switching to this field, too. No one can blame them for doing so, really. A surgical technologist is highly in demand today, and health care facilities pay very generously for their services.
Job Outlook and Salary
Just why are operating room technicians so highly sought-after these days? The answer to that question is simple: The baby boomer generation is growing old. As they age, these people who were born immediately after the Second World War, their medical needs increase as well. Right now, the health care industry is hard put to meet the growing baby boomer demands, and so medical facilities need more trained people to man the posts, surgical technologists included.
To attract the best and the brightest people to work for them, these medical facilities are, naturally, more than willing to pay well for the services of trained technicians. The surgical technician salary you can expect to receive varies from state to state and depends on the type of medical facility, but on the average, you can look forward to taking home around $32,000 a year at entry level. You can get more if you work in a specialized health care center or diagnostic clinic located in a highly urbanized city. Experienced operating room assistants can command at least $40,000 annually, perhaps even more.
Job Description and Requirements
The salary that a surgical technician can look forward to getting is indeed very attractive. But they do deserve to earn that much. The primary responsibility of an operating room assistant is to take care of the operating theater. It’s definitely not an easy job. They have to make sure that the room is completely disinfected, the surgical tools sterilized and the operating machines in perfect working order at all times. Failure to do so can cost the hospital the health, and even the life, of the patient.
The surgical technician is also required to assist during operations. They are called upon to make the patient comfortable and ready them for surgery. During surgery, they assist the surgeon by helping them prepare for the procedure, keeping their tools at ready and handing these tools over when needed. After the surgery, they may be asked to accompany the patient to the recovery room to see to their comfort. And then they clean up the operating room and prepare them for the next operation.
So, if you want to become a surgical technician, you need to have the strength and the stamina for heavy lifting. You also have to have the forbearance to withstand messy situations without being squeamish or lightheaded.
Training and Certification
After learning all these details, do you still want to work as a surgical technician? If your answer is still yes, then you need to undergo the required training. After you complete your training, you need to pass your certification exams.
There are a lot of schools out there that offer surgical technologist training. You can either take a nine-month diploma course or a two-year associate degree. Completing a diploma course will help you get your feet in the door quickly and have you started with your career immediately. But if you opt for the associate degree, you’d have access to better job opportunities with better compensation packages.
Additionally, you have the choice to study full time or part time. Studying full time is ideal if you’re a fresh high school graduate or if you can afford to take a break from work. If you can’t become a full-time student, you can study part time and take regularly scheduled classes. Or you can enroll in online courses that you can easily fit in your busy schedule.
After you’ve completed your training, you need to get certified. You can’t work as a surgical technician if you’re not certified. Here, all you need to do is to apply to take the certification examination with the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Pass the certification exam and you’re all set to work as an operating room technologist.
These are all the details you need to know about working as a surgical technician. It takes time and effort to be able to qualify for this line of work, but once you start building a career as a surgical technician, you’ll find it to be a very rewarding job indeed.