Best Route to Surgical Career

  1. Hello everyone,

    I'm new here and this is my first post. I am very interested in surgery and I'm trying to decide which career path I should take. I am considering going to school and becomming certified as a Surgical Tech first then take the Surgical RN route. Ultimately I would want to go to a PA school that focuses on surgery. Here are my questions:

    1) Does an OR nurse work only in the OR?

    2) How does the role of the Scrub Tech and the OR Nurse differ?

    3) Have any of you taken similar career paths or would you recommend something different?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   Rezidentura
    Don't waste your money on Surgical technology if your going to PA school anyways. Get a BA in Nursing or something. I learned all my scrub experience OTJ. Get an internship in OR nursing from a hospital that encourages Nurses to scrub.

    You may realize that the real "money" is CRNA.

    If I had to do it over again. I'd go to Anesthesia school I've never seen an unhappy CRNA. On the other hand almost all the PA's I've worked with are highly stressed and less than happy.

    If your truely intersted in surgery. RNFA is a possible role you could try. It wouldn't require as much schooling either.

    Just my buck fifty's worth.
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    The OP didn't even discuss money. It sounds like the OP is more interested in a job that they will love.
  5. by   Rezidentura
    Read my post!

    Money is in quotations. I'm using that word's idiom . As I stated at the end of my post CRNA's seem to be HAPPY and PAs not so much.
  6. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I read your post.
  7. by   Rezidentura
    So why did you flame me?

    MY post said nothing about money or salary. It was directly ON topic.

    Perhaps rather than just commenting on my opinion it would have been more helpful to the OP for you to give your insight on the topic.
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Already gave insight, it's just not public.
  9. by   ewattsjt
    phillipus_rex,

    here is the scoop. if you go to ojt for surgical technology, you may be left out of the loop in the future because more and more facilities are going to csts for the techs (scrub role). their certification body nbstsa has already made exceptions for the grandfathering clauses. if you go to school for an aas for surgical technology, it is the same prerequisites, time in school, and expense as asn (nursing). the difference is in when you get out. the pay and advancement opportunities are more geared toward nursing. you would be limited in pay as a surgical technologist and the advancements would also be limited to central, some management positions and surgical assisting (in most states). the rn role would allow for advancement into almost anything and the pay is a lot better.

    once you have the nursing degree and pass the boards for rn, you can continue your education to bsn, msn, cnor, rnfa, crnfa, crna, etc…

    within the same token, especially here, there is a growing trend to use csts instead of rns or lpns in the scrub role. the reasons are purely financial for the hospitals, so “pay” does have something with the whole scheme of things.
  10. by   sunnyjohn
    Quote from ewattsjt
    phillipus_rex,

    here is the scoop. if you go to ojt for surgical technology, you may be left out of the loop in the future because more and more facilities are going to csts for the techs (scrub role). their certification body nbstsa has already made exceptions for the grandfathering clauses. if you go to school for an aas for surgical technology, it is the same prerequisites, time in school, and expense as asn (nursing). the difference is in when you get out. the pay and advancement opportunities are more geared toward nursing. you would be limited in pay as a surgical technologist and the advancements would also be limited to central, some management positions and surgical assisting (in most states). the rn role would allow for advancement into almost anything and the pay is a lot better.

    once you have the nursing degree and pass the boards for rn, you can continue your education to bsn, msn, cnor, rnfa, crnfa, crna, etc...

    within the same token, especially here, there is a growing trend to use csts instead of rns or lpns in the scrub role. the reasons are purely financial for the hospitals, so "pay" does have something with the whole scheme of things.
    yeah all that.:yeahthat:

    i'm a cst and love my work. if you are needing to maximize your time, go straight to nursing school. then find a good new grad or internship that will teach you how to circulate and scrub.
  11. by   jejch1214
    Hello. My name is Jeff and I graduate in May from an ADN program. Tons of advice that I've gotten so far is to work at least one year on a med-surg floor before persuing any specialty. My goal is to go into the OR to work there, and Only one other person besides these posts said go directly to the OR. Her reasoning was a study she had read that said that new grads had better retention if they went directly into a specialty. Any advice for the new guy? Thanks!
  12. by   Crux1024
    Just my 2 cents worth....I have been a CST for 5 years and while I LOVE my job, I am going absolutely NOWHERE!!! There is no advancement for a CST at the hospital where I work. Also the salary cap for CST's is basically where $$ for RN's start, so it all depends on you. That is why I start nursing school this summer! Woot!

    There are tons of CST turned RN's and they are THE BEST RN's in the OR because they know everything from all standpoints. Its helpful to have some experienceand/or knowledge before coming into the OR, I have seen way too many people come into the OR and leave just as quickly. Not everyone can hanlde the type of environment that is the OR.

    Where I am, the OR nurses Usually work in the OR, although they can Help in Post Op or Pre op.

    A "Scrub" Tech (Surgical Tech) is just that. They scrub. They can co circulate. They do not do paperwork. RN's can scrub depending on your facility. Some places just have an all RN OR, although it is more cost effective to use ST's.

    Hope this helped!!!

  13. by   JHRN2BE
    i am graduating next month (5/07) from an adn program and have accepted an internship in the or at a local hospital. my professors have told me that i am 'boxing myself in' by going into the or after graduating. have never heard of someone being stuck in any one position, but i understand what they are saying - it is highly specialized. -- this is an amazing opportunity and i'm very excited!! as far as advice goes....just follow your gut. depends on how fast you want to get to the or. i have talked to many nurses in specialty areas that have started out in med/surg and feel really good about their experiences.



    best of luck to you!! j
  14. by   luvs2readlotsRN
    I'm looking to follow the same path J. I'll be 46 years old when I graduate next year and know that the OR is truly where I want to be. So...straight there is where I plan to go. 2 local hospitals have fellowships that hire GN's.
    I can't wait to graduate!

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