Surgical Tech - To Be Or Not To Be?

  1. [FONT=Lucida Console]questions for the surgical techs:

    [FONT=Lucida Console]what is your job like? i am interested in looking into going to school as a tech, but i am having second thoughts. i currently work in finance and it is a dead end job. i have a four year old that i would have to send my child to live with my mom in another country in order to go to school for about a year and then find a job. my question is: how much flexibility is there in the job if you have a child and severely limited backup. (think after school programs and days when the schools are closed)

    [FONT=Lucida Console]i just want to know if this is something i should put off or give a shot. any guidance would be appreciated.
    Last edit by mellonball on Oct 8, '07
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   underpaidrn
    Quote from mellonball
    [FONT=Lucida Console]questions for the surgical techs:

    [FONT=Lucida Console]what is your job like? i am interested in looking into going to school as a tech, but i am having second thoughts. i currently work in finance and it is a dead end job. i have a four year old that i would have to get rid of in order to go to school for about a year and then find a job. my question is: how much flexibility is there in the job if you have a child and severely limited backup. (think after school programs and days when the schools are closed)

    [FONT=Lucida Console]i just want to know if this is something i should put off or give a shot. any guidance would be appreciated.
    I REALLY hope I read this thread wrong. You have to get rid of your four year old for about a year?????? Before going to school, perhaps you need to work on your parenting skills. Family comes first and foremost. I really hope you just worded this wrong.:angryfire
  4. by   mellonball
    Quote from underpaidrn
    I REALLY hope I read this thread wrong. You have to get rid of your four year old for about a year?????? Before going to school, perhaps you need to work on your parenting skills. Family comes first and foremost. I really hope you just worded this wrong.:angryfire

    TAKE A BREATHER AND CALM YOURSELF DOWN. I GUESS MY WORDING WAS WRONG. I WILL HAVE TO GIVE MY CHILD OVER TO MY MOTHER IF I DECIDE TO START SCHOOL. WE HAVE NO FAMILY WHERE I AM AND NO BACKUP. SO MY MOTHER OFFERED TO TAKE HIM SO I CAN GO TO SCHOOL.
  5. by   underpaidrn
    Quote from mellonball
    TAKE A BREATHER AND CALM YOURSELF DOWN. I GUESS MY WORDING WAS WRONG. I WILL HAVE TO GIVE MY CHILD OVER TO MY MOTHER IF I DECIDE TO START SCHOOL. WE HAVE NO FAMILY WHERE I AM AND NO BACKUP. SO MY MOTHER OFFERED TO TAKE HIM SO I CAN GO TO SCHOOL.
    Glad to hear this. Do you live close to your mom where you could perhaps stay with her and be with your child while you go to school? Is the school in your area or would you have to move? I really feel for you. That's a pretty tough decision and I am glad to hear the your wording was off. Good luck in your search for a new career.:spin:
  6. by   mellonball
    Quote from underpaidrn
    Glad to hear this. Do you live close to your mom where you could perhaps stay with her and be with your child while you go to school? Is the school in your area or would you have to move? I really feel for you. That's a pretty tough decision and I am glad to hear the your wording was off. Good luck in your search for a new career.:spin:

    Unfortunately, my mother is in antoher country. i knew that i had to do this, but i kept on putting it off because i felt bad about leaving my son with someone else even if it was my mother. it hurts me to even think about what i would be missing, but my mother and my sister who is a nurse both encourage me to do it while he is still young that way he won't have a problem getting a handle of the language when he goes to school. i try to tell myself that this is to help make our life better. now i just have to suck it up and choose a field. only thing i am afraid of is what to expectonce i get a job. i know the medical field does not care if you have kids and there are no set hours. if i am off, someone let me know. i am 27 and will appreciate advice.
    Last edit by mellonball on Oct 8, '07
  7. by   underpaidrn
    I am so sorry that he will be so far away from you. It's a tough decision and there are no easy answers. My heart goes out to you. Just remember that you are doing this to make things better for you and him. Have you exhausted all possibilities for child care in your area? Do you have any close friends or neighbors you would trust to care for him while you are at school? Please know there is help out there. I'll be praying for you.:icon_hug:
  8. by   Crux1024
    Hello there:

    I am a surgical tech now, going through RN school. It can be flexible hours, dependant on where you get a job (think surgery centers vs. hospitals). Also, alot of jobs require "on call time" which is something else to think about, regarding your child care.

    Going through tech school, I had to send my 1 1/2 year old son off to live with his dad. It was hard and there were some hard feelings, but It had to be done. I know how hard it is and will be. Just remember that its not forever, and you will get through. Good Luck with ur decisions.

    Also check out AST.org, which is the Assoc. of Surgical Tech website. They have all sorts of info and forums also.
    Last edit by Crux1024 on Oct 8, '07
  9. by   mellonball
    Quote from underpaidrn
    I am so sorry that he will be so far away from you. It's a tough decision and there are no easy answers. My heart goes out to you. Just remember that you are doing this to make things better for you and him. Have you exhausted all possibilities for child care in your area? Do you have any close friends or neighbors you would trust to care for him while you are at school? Please know there is help out there. I'll be praying for you.:icon_hug:

    hey VIRGINIA!!
    i used to live in richmond! childcare is costly and end normally at about 6 pm. i already pay for school from 2:45 -6 pm. i thought of asking one friend to watch him, but she just got married and has a newborn, so i feel i can only ask for but so much. the school i applied to has night classes from 6:30 -10:30 pm. great hours for me, and the commute is 30 mins. by the time i get home, i will have to knock on her door to get him and that will only work for a few weeks or days before it becomes a problem and i want to commit to school one hundred percent without stopping, you know. rip it off like a band aid on a hairy arm.
  10. by   mellonball
    Quote from Crux1024
    Hello there:

    I am a surgical tech now, going through RN school. It can be flexible hours, dependant on where you get a job (think surgery centers vs. hospitals). Also, alot of jobs require "on call time" which is something else to think about, regarding your child care.

    Going through tech school, I had to send my 1 1/2 year old son off to live with his dad. It was hard and there were some hard feelings, but It had to be done. I know how hard it is and will be. Just remember that its not forever, and you will get through. Good Luck with ur decisions.

    Also check out AST.org, which is the Assoc. of Surgical Tech website. They have all sorts of info and forums also.


    Thanks! i will go look into it. I know something is gonna give and i will look back at all of this after making it through the fire.
  11. by   pagandeva2000
    I know it is a hard decision to leave your child even if it is with your mother, but at least, in most cases, being with the maternal grandmother is a responsible decision. And, you are doing it to pursue your education, not to be neglectful. I don't know about the surg tech position, but, I just wanted to acknowledge that I know it is a hard decision. If there is no help around, the child may become more anxious because he may be in unfamiliar surroundings, which will heighten your own doubts. Most single mothers have limited options, and most times, choose to work immediately, yet, may not have the education to have their pick of jobs. This way, you'll have more choices available to you, benefits for you and your son and a better life. I really wish you the best!
  12. by   sunnyjohn
    I'm a Certified Surgical Tech.

    I have no kids, but I can fill you in on the job details.

    Some of the places I've worked staff 24/7 hours with no calls and no weekends if you are not on that shift. Usually those are LARGE hospitals in big cities.

    Most techs do take call, but you know ahead of time when you will be on call and you can plan accordingly. It is just like a scheduled shift. OR people learn quickly to get caller ID and not answer the phone when they are not on call and away from work! LOL!!!

    If you have plans on going on the nursing school, I would recommend you go straight on to RN school.

    I LOVE being a tech. I have travelled, taught, made excellent money and learned loads. Even still, I recommend going straight RN for folks with those goals in mind. For you it would mean just one period of seperation from your son.

    Make sure whatever CST school you choose it is FULLY accredited by CAAHEP or ABHES (with CAAHEP being your first choice). It is important to ensure that a diploma/degree from your school will allow you to sit the certifying exam. You can work without certification, but it is a important extra that may make you more marketable.

    Talk to schools about clinical locations and guidelines. If it is a night program, will CLINCIAL be at night? Most hospitals prefer students during the day because the night shift is usually very slow OR full of "knife, and gun club" members. It is hard for a student scrub to learn in the middle of a trauma case. Additionally, you ideally want your clinical throughout your program and not tacked on at the end as an "externship".



    I admire your courage for going fo that better life.


    www.ast.org
    Last edit by sunnyjohn on Oct 8, '07
  13. by   mellonball
    Quote from sunnyjohn
    I'm a Certified Surgical Tech.

    I have no kids, but I can fill you in on the job details.

    Some of the places I've worked staff 24/7 hours with no calls and no weekends if you are not on that shift. Usually those are LARGE hospitals in big cities.

    Most techs do take call, but you know ahead of time when you will be on call and you can plan accordingly. It is just like a scheduled shift. OR people learn quickly to get caller ID and not answer the phone when they are not on call and away from work! LOL!!!

    If you have plans on going on the nursing school, I would recommend you go straight on to RN school.

    I LOVE being a tech. I have travelled, taught, made excellent money and learned loads. Even still, I recommend going straight RN for folks with those goals in mind. For you it would mean just one period of seperation from your son.

    Make sure whatever CST school you choose it is FULLY accredited by CAAHEP or ABHES (with CAAHEP being your first choice). It is important to ensure that a diploma/degree from your school will allow you to sit the certifying exam. You can work without certification, but it is a important extra that may make you more marketable.

    Talk to schools about clinical locations and guidelines. If it is a night program, will CLINCIAL be at night? Most hospitals prefer students during the day because the night shift is usually very slow OR full of "knife, and gun club" members. It is hard for a student scrub to learn in the middle of a trauma case. Additionally, you ideally want your clinical throughout your program and not tacked on at the end as an "externship".



    I admire your courage for going fo that better life.


    www.ast.org

    Thank you. that was very helpful insight and funny especially the knife and gun portion. The school i am looking at is accredited by CAAHEP. They informed me that i would spend half of the year going to my night classes from 6:30 - 10:30 at night, but for the other half of the time when i needed to get hands on training, it would have to be in the daytime from about 7 in the am to about 3 or 4 in the afternoon. I have no problem with that which is one of the reasons i have to send my son to my mom, since i would have to work at night to pay the rent. Thank you for the info.
  14. by   ERGirl83
    Quote from underpaidrn
    I REALLY hope I read this thread wrong. You have to get rid of your four year old for about a year?????? Before going to school, perhaps you need to work on your parenting skills. Family comes first and foremost. I really hope you just worded this wrong.:angryfire
    Whoa. Talk about insensitive and discompassionate. The harsh reality for some people is that in order to better the lives of their families, they have to make tough decisions, like letting someone else take care of their family while they are in school. Thankfully, I am lucky enough not to be faced with that decision, but if I were faced with such a tough decision, I would hope my family and friends and coworkers would be a heck of a lot more understanding than this.

    You don't know this person's situation. Perhaps this person couldn't afford daycare during school, and had no other choices. Do you even know how difficult it is to find an overnight daycare, if this person had to work in addition to school?

    As a mother, I can empathize with how difficult this decision would be, but sometimes, as a parent, you have to make tough decisions for the betterment of your family. In the BIG picture, one year with Grandma is a better scenario than a life of poverty and misery.

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