Help me decide LPN or Surgical Technician

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    I would appreciate any input here. I am starting my second career, I am wanting to go into health care. I was planning to go in to LPN school, but I am concerned about the lack of jobs available. I am not interested in long term schooling at this point, so I am looking for a career that I can begin with twelve to eighteen months of schooling. My first choice was LPN, but I am also interested in the Surgical Tech. program. In my area they earn about the same pay, and the Surg Tech program is about ten credit hours less. All of that being said, I believe that I would enjoy either career, but I wonder if there may be more opportunities for a surg tech than an LPN.
    If anyone has gone through this program, please let me know what you think. I appreciate anyone that can give me advice here.
  2. 11 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    I am currently enrolled in LPN program in GA, just finished my first semester. I also am a Certified Surgical Tech. I was out of the healthcare field for sometime, long story. I love the OR and scrubbing. The problem I had getting back into the OR was most hospitals want you to be 30 or minutes or less away for call. I live in a small town and the local hospital has there TECHS in place for now. Nearest other hospitals are an hour away so that screwed me there. I went into LPN as I need a job now I'm 43 and have a family to support. I want to get back into the OR as a First Assistant so I am looking at going further to get my RN then attend a FA program.
    The OR is AWESOME and after being a CNA for the past 6 months and doing my first clinical rotation in LPN program, I would take the OR anyday. Just thought I would reply.
    txnurstud likes this.
  4. 5
    I live in a very large metro area where the LPN opportunities outnumber the surgical tech jobs.

    Think about it. The surgical tech is limited to only a couple of areas of employment such as the OR and ambulatory surgery centers.

    Meanwhile, the LPN can work in long term care, psych, acute care, ambulatory care, rehab, hospice, home health, private duty, developmental disabilities, addictions, wound care, jail/prison nursing, and many more specialties.
    AM326, kkostelnikPN, Rose_Queen, and 2 others like this.
  5. 0
    Both are great careers however, there are more LPN jobs available verses Surgical Technician and also, Surgical Technicians only work in the OR and surgery settings and LPN's can work in some hospitals not many, prisons, long term care, some daycare centers, rehab centers, nursing homes, do home health care, etc. I am not telling you to do LPN, BUT, look at your opportunities and see which one is better for you good luck
  6. 0
    I appreciate the responses everyone. I agree that there are more LPN jobs. I think that is probably the more logical choice. I really don't want to work in a nursing home though. I saw ads that were hiring LPN or RN's at a big local hospital, but I just found out that they aren't really hiring the LPN's. I'm not sure why they advertise for them. So, I guess I will just do a little soul searching and go from there. Thanks guys.
  7. 1
    If you don't want to work LTC, then I'd go with the Surg Tech.

    Actually, sit back and imagine yourself doing both. They are quite different. Which excites you most?

    If working surgical really excites you, then that is what you should go for even if there are fewer job openings. Quite frankly, there are also less people to compete with for those jobs.
    sharonp30 likes this.
  8. 0
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I live in a very large metro area where the LPN opportunities outnumber the surgical tech jobs.

    Think about it. The surgical tech is limited to only a couple of areas of employment such as the OR and ambulatory surgery centers.

    Meanwhile, the LPN can work in long term care, psych, acute care, ambulatory care, rehab, hospice, home health, private duty, developmental disabilities, addictions, wound care, jail/prison nursing, and many more specialties.
    not to mention after all of these positives you can later choose to continue your education if you do a PN program... surg tech you cannot.
  9. 1
    In NY an LPN CAN work as a surgical tech. Only thing we can do in the OR. Check with your state first before u go taking a tech course to then find out LPNs would sufice.
    student forever likes this.
  10. 1
    I was a CST, and worked my way through nursing school. I agree that there is no other job like working in a surgery setting, and we passed our LVN colleagues in pay a lot faster. I have a good friend with 10 years experience as a scrub who makes over $30/hr. Are LVNs doing as well?
    txnurstud likes this.
  11. 1
    Quote from kguill975
    I was a CST, and worked my way through nursing school. I agree that there is no other job like working in a surgery setting, and we passed our LVN colleagues in pay a lot faster. I have a good friend with 10 years experience as a scrub who makes over $30/hr. Are LVNs doing as well?
    Was making $35/hr...working in Rehab, ortho pedi clinic/cast room...within 1.5 years after licensure.
    AM326 likes this.


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