A Certified Surgical Technologist works under the supervision of various surgical personnel, including the surgeons themselves, registered nurses, and even anesthesiologists. The need for qualified Certified Surgical Technologists is on the rise, owing to an impressive expected growth rate of 25 percent by the year 2018 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ estimates.
What is a Certified Surgical Technologist?
A Certified Surgical Technologist is a specially trained technician that assists physicians during surgical procedures. They may prepare the operating room for surgery by sterilizing the room, obtaining the appropriate surgical equipment, and taking inventory of all of the surgical items. They might help to prepare the patient for surgery by cleansing, shaving, and disinfecting the site of the incision. Some Certified Surgical Technologists may keep written documentation of the procedure. Others may restock and clean up the operating room after the surgery. Many Certified Surgical Technologists will do all of these duties and more.
Misc Surgical Technology Job Duties
In addition to those duties detailed above, a Certified Surgical Technologist may be responsible for:
- Assembling and inspecting surgical equipment, both sterile and non-sterile, to ensure it is functioning properly
- Transport of the patient to the operating room, including the transfer from the hospital bed to the operating table
- Observing and recording patients’ vital signs and researching charts for required information
- Helping scrubbed nurses, surgeons, and other surgical personnel put on their sterile gloves and gowns
- Perform minor surgical tasks such as cutting sutures and holding retractors
- Select and give specific surgical tools to the surgeon when asked for
- Keep a constant inventory of all items in the immediate surgical area so as to ensure no item is inadvertently left inside a patient
- Handle any specimens or samples taken for analysis in the laboratory and ensure their proper disposal
- Assist in the application of dressings or bandages
- Operate select surgical equipment
Certified Surgical Technologist Working Conditions
Certified Surgical Technologists must be able to handle the strain of standing on their feet the entire day. When in surgery, the environment will be cool, brightly lit, and sterile. When performing other misc surgical technology duties, Technologists will encounter conditions like one would expect in any hospital or physician office. A Certified Surgical Technologist will spend much of their time walking, but most of them work a typical 40 hour per week schedule. There will sometimes be risks of exposure to infectious diseases, so it is important that all Certified Surgical Technologist is aware of the proper procedures for protecting themselves against infection.
Becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist
Students must complete an accredited Certified Surgical Technologist training course prior to taking the National Certification Exam. These courses will cover the obvious classes of anatomy, surgical procedures, and microbiology, as well as many other misc surgical technology classes. Programs are available both on campus and online, although the selection of accredited online programs is slim. Anyone interested in becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist should first explore what options for training are available in their area.
There are a lot of things that will determine what your wages and or salaries will be if you decide to go into the field of becoming a surgical technician.
First and foremost you must be sure that this is what you want to do. In order to make money, you are going to have to invest some time and some of your own money.
The first step is to look to what degree you want to receive. You can go through a quick nine month course that can cost you as little as $1000, but are you going to come out qualified? Most employers are looking for someone with at least a two-year degree from an accredited university or tech school. Some universities and degree programs can cost up to $30,000, but there are many options out there. You can look into scholarships or maybe you already have a job that offers tuition reimbursement for advancement. The need for technologists is on the rise, so it’s a wise decision to look into an accredited program where you will leave with a certificate with advanced standing.
Now onto salaries. Surgical technician pay scale can vary greatly. On the average, technicians can make $40,000. Salaries depend on your specialty, location of your job, such as town or state, experience, and your certification status. Surgical technology is a great field to get into now. Employment is growing, and many opportunities are available.
Most jobs will offer a benefits package, which may include some of the following benefits. Most will include paid vacations, sick leave, health, medical and retirement benefits. Some may even provide tuition reimbursement and child care arrangements. The key is to do your homework and find the right job for you.
Pay scale can also depend on what field you specialize in and how far your education and training may take you. Some surgical technicians have been known to make over $100,000 and more! If you specialize in fields such as neurosurgery or open heart surgery you are bound to make more money. With additional training, you can become what’s called a first assistant where you can earn even more money.
Being a surgical technician can be a great job. You can become a well paid surgical professional while doing a job that you love. You will become an important part of a team of medical professionals who provide comfort and care to those in need.
Surgical technology is a rapidly growing field in medicine. Due to the demand for more surgeries, the demand for qualified surgical technicians is on the rise. New technology is being introduced and more and more training needs to be implemented. The scope of work has changed drastically. More cooperation is needed between the engineers and computing departments as technology advances.
The objective of Msc Surgical Technology is to guide technicians to more knowledge of the technology they will come across in their field of medicine. Technicians need to gain knowledge in areas of application and development of new technology. The training they will receive will be connected to other fields, such as Engineering and Computers. They will be expected to conduct research in this field and connect their research to the field of clinical medicine and surgery.
Different courses that are offered are courses such as, Endoscopy and New Technology, The Computer Age-Information Technology, and Imaging and Visualization. The role of Surgical Technician is ever evolving.
Requirements for entry into an MSc Surgical Technology course is to have a medical degree or at least a degree in a science or a relevant subject. If you have a medical degree you need at least 2 years of clinical experience preferably with surgical training. For non-medical degrees, you must have at least 2 years experience in your chosen field related to surgery or surgical equipment. You also need basic experience in computing.
The courses are generally offered over a 36 month period, part-time. You usually take 3-course modules during a 3-year cycle with 3 modules per year. Each module is an intense 5-day course equal to 15 credits. There is a total of 35 hours of instruction which includes tutorials, case studies, and distant learning.
A research paper is also assigned. A topic is selected in the first year. A thesis is written which is required to be 10,000 to 15,000 words. The thesis is submitted in the final year.
You must receive a passing grade in at least 7 out of the 9 modules. You must also pass written examinations and receive a passing grade of 50%-70% on your thesis.
Taking this route to obtain an MSc in Surgical Technology is an invaluable endeavor to your goal of working in a surgical career. You will be afforded a higher level of academics. You will develop your abilities to progress further in your field of choice.
If you want to get started in the right direction in becoming an operating room technician, your best bet would be surgical technician schools. This is where your knowledge and skills in surgical technology will be developed and honed to its fullest; so that once you start your career you will be able to perform your duties and responsibilities as a member of the operating room team. Keep in mind that this occupation requires a high level of proficiency and competency considering that lives are on the line during an operation. Therefore it is vital that you find a school that will best fit your needs and guides you towards the road to success.
It is critical that you take your time when it comes to choosing a surgical tech school. What you want to look for is one that has an excellent reputation and track record. You can take advantage of the internet to do an online search for schools in your area – those listed on the first page of search results would make a good starting point. Make sure you browse through their websites thoroughly so that you can find out as much information as you can about them. One of the things you should go through is the type of degrees or programs they offer and what courses are included. It is very important that their course outline includes some sort of hands-on or clinical training.
As with any other school, you should also verify if the training programs they are offering are duly accredited. Accreditation for surgical technician training programs is granted by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). This is important not only to ensure the legitimacy and quality of the program you are enrolling in but also to make you eligible for advancement opportunities in your career. Many employers nowadays choose to hire applicants with the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) title, which is acquired by passing a certification exam. You can only take this exam if you have undergone an accredited training program.
Since the internship is an important part of any surgical tech curriculum, you must verify which schools offer placement as interns. This will make sure that you won’t have any problems acquiring the much-needed work experience that is required by virtually every employer these days. Of course, you would also have to make inquiries about the tuition fees and the admission requirements of the school you want to get into. Often times, schools with bigger reputations and better success history will have higher tuition fees and have stricter admission requirements so as to maintain their education quality and reputation. Location of the school is also a factor worth considering.
If you are worried about your financial capacity in getting to quality surgical technician schools, you may want to find institutions which offer financial aid or scholarship programs. This is where enrolling in CAAHEP-accredited programs become beneficial – you may be able to qualify for a scholarship offered by the Foundation for Surgical Technology. There are also some schools which offer online training programs – these are relatively more affordable as compared to their offline counterparts and allow those with time constraints to still pursue their dreams of becoming an operating room technician. Just make sure that the online training program you will enroll in is also duly accredited by the CAAHEP.
Before you can become a surgical technologist, you first need to go through a comprehensive training program which will give you the skills necessary to effectively assist surgeons in the operating room. As an operating room technician, you are a vital part of the surgical team responsible for prepping up the operating room and the equipment to be used. Patients will also be relying on you to get them ready for surgery and assist them once the procedure has been completed. You will also be holding and passing instruments to surgeons during surgeries. To become proficient in your profession, there are certain skills/qualities you need to have or learn as you progress through your training.
There is always a great deal of pressure and stress in the shoulders of OR techs and they must be able to handle or manage them properly so that it does not affect their quality of work. Proper physical conditioning is therefore important in order to overcome the daily ordeals that technicians face on a daily basis. OR technologists must have a keen eye for details and be thorough when it comes to accomplishing their duties and responsibilities – there is simply no room for error.
It is not uncommon for you to be witnessing the sight of blood and organs during an operation and you have to be able to stomach all of this if you are to take on the role of a surgical technologist. During emergency situations, you must also be able to demonstrate calm and effective responses. Since you will be working with a team during an operation, you must also have the capability to work well with others and be able to follow instructions carefully. Good communication skills will, therefore, be beneficial for any candidate of this occupation.
You will also be working closely with patients as you prepare them for surgery and assist them after the procedure, so having a sense of empathy and genuine concern is important to help make them feel secure and comfortable. Operating room technicians must also have good memory especially when they need to track surgical supplies mentally. The capacity to settle on fitting choices at basic occasions is likewise required of any OR technologist.
Anyone who is looking to pursue this lucrative occupation may think that there are a lot of skills and qualities needed in order to be successful. The truth is, there are just a few of them that you need to have naturally in you – other skills can be learned as you go through your training program. Of course, you will have to put in some perseverance and dedication so that you would be able to maximize your success in this career. Remember that you will become a part of the medical team dedicated to saving people’s lives, and this is a very honorable and fulfilling experience that no amount of money can ever match.