I am an RN who works in the OR. I am also a certified surgical tech. I was an LPN, then LPN/tech, then got my RN. That aside--you asked about risks. The most common risk is a needlestick or a blade cut. You also asked if there are jobs--from what I understand there are about 50% more jobs than there are techs to fill them. The wages vary depending on where you live. I live in West Virginia and our wages are rather low compared to everyone else. The techs at my hospital start out about $10-11.00/hr. When I started in the OR 4 yrs. ago we had 1 tech. Now there are 18-20. You (very basically) set up the sterile field, pass instruments/suture to the Doc, and sometimes first assist the Doc. Hope this helps! It's a great job, but your have to have a lot of confidence and backbone because some people can be rough on you. Good luck.
Yes, I would recommend this profession. It is a high demand and forcasted to be in high demand. I am a lecture instructor for an accredited junior college program, and worked in the operating room for over 22 years. From our website-
"Surgical Technology Certificate Program:
The purpose of the Surgical Technology Program is to prepare graduates for employment as Surgical Technologists, to demonstrate entry level competencies as surgical technologists, to perform satisfactorily on the Surgical Technologist Certification exam, and to provide a foundation for continued learning.
Many skills are required of a Surgical Technologist. You will be knowledgeable in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, biology, pharmacology, wounds and healing, disinfection, sterilization, environmental safety, patient care and emergency procedures. After successful completion of the Surgical Technology Program, you will understand the role of hte Surgical Technologist in relation to other members of the surgical team, apply concepts of surgical technology to patient care during the perioperative period, and participate as a team in a wide variety of common surgical procedures. It will be necessary to demonstrate self direction when interacting with patients, hospital staff, and physicians. You will be able to utilize surgical technology concepts and principles to identiy problems, analyze solutions, and then make decisions."
I think that being a surgical technologist will be rewarding for you! I am not an OR nurse however, I was a surgical tech for seven years and I loved it! You will learn a lot and scrubbing is very rewarding especially when you first assist. I have been cut with a blade, and stuck with a needle, these are real hazards but, the blade was my fault. The surgeons will teach a lot and you will really get a better understanding of how the body works and be on the cutting edge of technology. You will also encounter many challenges at the field because no two people have the exact same anatomy. There can be strong personalities in the OR but, you will find this in all areas of the medical field. I am now getting ready to work in an ER and they were pleased to see that I had OR experience.
I wish you the best of luck in your new career, I also worked in West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia and never had a problem finding a job as an OR tech.
For 11 yrs, I worked as a Scrub Tech and loved it. Then due to personal problems, was forced to leave. When the time came to go back to work it was for part-time and I couldn't get those hrs at the hospital, so I worked a CNA. I am now in LPN program and will finish up in March. I can't wait. I am an older student(shhhh 42)lol, and felt that going back to school for one yr was something that I could do. I still miss scrubbing though. So, though they don't let LPN's scrub here, I am still an or tech so maybe, I'll go back to it. I know that here in CT, there are many opening for scrub techs. I don't know exactely what you mean about risks involved, but needle sticks would be a risk. As for hiv/aids hep etc...aslong as you follow universal precautions, you're alright. It's very rewarding and very interesting work. I have learned so much and seen so many new procedures(was on board in the 80's with our first heart transplant, liver etc). It's a whole new world in the OR. You can't really explain it to those who don't work in that field. As for pay scale, in CT, I believe that the pay scale is higher than other places. I believe that they are starting at 15-21 an hr. I can't get over(by reading other posts)the pay in some parts of US. Especially the ones for LPN's. I was making just over 13 as a CNA. I suppose with the cost of living differenting, that's to be expected. Good luck and I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Originally posted by Freebird I am considering becoming a Surg Tech? Can u tell me what to expect? Is this position in demand? What are the risks involved? Starting salary? Thanks for your time.
I personally was a Surg Tech for a year. The schooling was easy and the course prepared you for the real world. But it didn't prepare you to have a thick hide. I didn't care for the doctor's attitude's I worked with. And I tried a different hospital, too.
Why the question's about Surgical Tech's? Are you planning on going into it instead?
I am new to this board so "Hi" to everyone. About surgical technology; I also am interested in this field. I wanted to get into the health careers field, in nursing. Then I came across surgical tech. in our comm. college catalog, and it sounded interesting. What appealed to me the most is that the hours seem more "normal"-day shifts, @ 40 hours with weekend, holiday, and night on-call several times a year. With two young kids (3 1/2 & 5 1/2) that sounds more appealing than the grueling schedules I hear about for nursing. Here where I'm at in my part of Michigan (Kalamazoo), pay is from $11-15.00 an hour starting.
Have you been to the Association of Surgical Technologists website? Very informative. If not, it is at www.ast.org
It seems to be a worthy career choice; I learn alot from their discussion board. It's a great site worth checking out.
I love scrubbing! Check out the websites for AST, ARC-ST, and LCC-ST. Click onto the student newsletter and one of them has a chart of the salary for each state. Check into your local hospital for a job shadowing program. This may have become strict because of the September incident. As far as risks, just remain alert and careful with your technique. The risk is high because of the presence of needles and blades. But follow standard precautions, you will eliminate or decrease the risk of getting stuck.
You go girl. Get your LVN then finish your RN while your at it.
I loved being an LVN but love being an RN even MORE. Especially
when I see my paycheck and the opportunities. Keep going. I too
am the same age as you and hope to finish my BSN by the time I
hit the big 5-0!
Research Surgical Technology at the websites I previously mentioned. Also, PLEASE, check out the schools that offer these surg tech programs. This field is changing so much and now only those graduates of CAAHEP accredited schools can take the CST exam. There are schools out there that claim that they are accredited but PLEASE ask if they are CAAHEP and check with LCC-ST if they are telling the truth. Some of these schools that offer 18 month training or less or alittle bit more are NOT accredited and probably don't have the chance to be. Also, check that the school has established clinical sites. You can check the education department of the hospital if they are affiliated and are accepting students at the time you are expected to hit clinicals.
Warning: there are schools out there that claim they are accredited because they offer the NCCT-OR exam. This is an entirely different accrediting agency and the title that you will legally be able to use is only ORT. If you do not take the LCC-ST exam you cannot use the CST title. These titles show what kind of schooling you hold and CST is what I see in the job ads. Watch these "schools(?)". They prey on persons for their money only! Make sure you get what you pay for. Even if they are in the process of getting their CAAHEP accreditation, the hospitals usually will not want to grant clinical affiliation. Ask yourself, if I had emergency surgery, who do I want to scrub in with the surgeon? Yes, the surgeon is the "captain" of the ship but sometimes he can be blindsighted and small errors b/c of lack of better schooling can become a costly error with your life or quality of life. Does anyone remember the 20/20 about the peds case and the fatal med error? No, the scrub doesn't administer meds but I feel that they should know all about pharmacology and know what they are passing to the surgeon. Hope this all helps b/c it's long and a dear subject to me. You can PM me if you want to know more.
I'm a surgical tech., I love scrubbing. The problem I find is this. It's a dead end job! In order to make more money or have more options I have to get back in school. I'm now in school for nursing. I want to have more marketable skills. I love surgery. I love scrubbing!