Do I attend LVN school or Surg Tech school?

  1. I need help deciding between LVN school or Surgical (scrub) tech school. Betwen the two jobs, I'd rather be a Surg Tech after comparing the job descriptions, but feel I would be limiting myself in knowledge and advancement. If I go the LVN route, the idea would be to get licensed in one year instead of the 2 yrs required for RN school, then get a job on the weekends while in an LVN/RN transition program, (assuming I can find a job and program in the same town), then look for a hospital surgery internship if that's still the area I want to get into. It seems a waste to spend a year pursuing Surg Tech, only to have to start over in nursing school anyway to get where I untimately want to be. Then we're talking 3 years total! TOO MUCH! I'm already sick of school and not interested in a BSN to become 'management material' (already have an MBA), and don't need constant patient interaction to be happy. Knowing that I saved or improved someone's life is enough satisfaction. And with all the varied surgeries going on and my interest in pediatrics, I can't envision first assist ever being boring, but could easily see how Surg Tech might be if that's all anyone ever did. Other factors to consider...many major hospitals in my area aren't even hiring LVN's, just RNs. They use more surgical techs, but they aren't hired for weekend only work (the experienced ones get that).
    I heard today there may be scholarship money for the Surg Tech program. Is Surg Tech training worth a year of your life if it were free, delaying nursing school a year? Money is a factor. I need a paycheck NOW. Another factor - I can't say I'd never want to move out of OR down the road. With RN, you can go anywhere in the hospital. I have no healthcare industry experience. I'm in my 40s and would only do it for 20 yrs max anyway, retiring at 65. At my age, should I just do Surg Tech, look at it as just another job instead of a career, take my meager paycheck and do something else on the side for my happiness? Should I tolerate LVN duties as a means to an end and forget Surg Tech? I have to stay interested and challenged and don't need another boring dead end job. Had plenty of those. Thanks in advance for posting.
    P.S. - We hear the whine of a 'nursing shortage', yet there are several times as many applicants for schools as there are seats, and no one is willing to pay for more seats....not the govt., not the hospitals. Go figure.
    Last edit by hiotw75 on Jul 12, '04
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   cristinak
    i myself had this problem, but i decided to go to Surgical Tech school, yes its a year long which isnt really bad, but I like a challenge that the OR would give me, I am sure being an LPN is very challenging in its self. my aunt is an LPN she says it can be stressful at times and that she would have like to do the surg. tech school if she knew it was available at the time she took her classes. I guess its just really a matter of preference. I think being a surgical tech will be rewarding in its self, you get to help so many people everyday, and you get to learn new things along the way. I myself like the operations, i like to look at all that gross stuff as my husband says! I guess your best thing to do would be to talk to an lpn and a surgical tech and get the pros and cons of the jobs and then make your decision. if you want to talk to some surgical techs there is a post for them at www.ast.org the link is under AST discussion. These people are very friendly and helped me make my decision to go into surgical tech school.. good luck and happy decision making.
  4. by   nellie_nurse812
    As a LVN or LPN you can be a scrub nurse if you can get the training you need. At our hospital they make more money than the CST. I had this same dilemma years ago and thats the advice my dr. gave me. I did my LPN, worked in all areas, and finally ended up in the OR. Returned to school, got my RN. So............... good luck with your decision......

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