Question about nurse and Surgical tech

  1. What exactly do the RN and Surgical Techs each do in the OR? I'm trying to choose between them both and I can't find anything online that really describes either of them. and can LPNs work in the OR?
  2. Visit cherryclassic profile page

    About cherryclassic

    Joined: Nov '06; Posts: 10

    30 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    LPNs do work in some ORs. There's a very frequent member here by the username of Marie_LPN who is an LPN in the OR. Half of the scrub technicians were LPNs when I was doing my clinical rotations at Kaiser Hospital in the Los Angeles area.
  4. by   sunnyjohn
    www.ast.org

    The official website of the Association of Surgical Technologists!
  5. by   mikethern
    Scrub techs have about a year of training or are trained on the job. RN's spend at least 3 years in college to become an RN.

    RN's earn about twice as much as scrub techs.

    Scrub techs wear a sterile gown and gloves and hand sterile instruments to the surgeon.

    RN's can do what scrub techs do, but they usually circulate, which means they run the room in which the surgery takes place.

    For more info...

    http://www.aorn.org/default.asp

    Click "about AORN", then click "what is perioperative nursing."
  6. by   cherryclassic
    Thanks.
  7. by   cherryclassic
    Sorry to bring this up again and also sorry if this has been talked about in another thread, but I had already been to all those websites and was hoping for some replies about personal experience. but now I'm kinda wondering if some of you could explain why you switched from one to the other? I've read on this board about LPNs going to school for CST or the other way around and CST going to school to become to RNs. Is their a certain reason for the change? Does one make more money? Is one harder than the other? Or after working did you just decide it wasn't what you wanted to do? Sorry for all the questions.
  8. by   sunnyjohn
    Quote from cherryclassic
    Sorry to bring this up again and also sorry if this has been talked about in another thread, but I had already been to all those websites and was hoping for some replies about personal experience. but now I'm kinda wondering if some of you could explain why you switched from one to the other? I've read on this board about LPNs going to school for CST or the other way around and CST going to school to become to RNs. Is their a certain reason for the change? Does one make more money? Is one harder than the other? Or after working did you just decide it wasn't what you wanted to do? Sorry for all the questions.

    First let me start by saying I LOVE being a CST.

    I went to surg tech school knowing I would use it as a path to career advancement. I had wanted a career in healthcare in fifth grade and had worked in a hospital in many capacities. I got "sidetracked" for a few years after undergrad. Being a scrub tech was a way for me to get back in and be 100% SURE it was what I wanted before I commited a great deal of money and time.

    I made an excellent decision. Being a tech I have worked with wonderful people (nurses, doctors and other techs). Many people work as techs forever and are very happy. More money is just a small part of it. In truth, if you are very curious, you will learn so much in this job that you will naturally want to further your education and experiences. The Association of Surgical Technologist knows that out job attracts curious people and encourages CST to seek further education!


    Someday I plan to become a DO/MD or CRNA or a Phd in Physiology for nurse education.

    Seach for a few of my posts about CST's. Good luck!
  9. by   cherryclassic
    Thanks for the reply!Is it true that CSTs can become a first assistant? I know RNs can but I wasn't sure about Techs.
  10. by   sunnyjohn
    Quote from cherryclassic
    Thanks for the reply!Is it true that CSTs can become a first assistant? I know RNs can but I wasn't sure about Techs.


    Yes, I am also a first assistant (CFA)
  11. by   ewattsjt
    cherry,

    i might add that around here (central indiana) the difference in pay is an rn does make about 1/4 higher wage. the schooling is about the same; 2 years of college for asn or aas surgical technology.

    i am returning to school for asn. it will take me approximately 1 year because all the prerequisites for nursing and surgical technology are the same and because they are both college courses; the credits transfer. it is the core classes that are different. i am returning for the pay difference only!

    i am also currently completing a first assisting program.
  12. by   mikethern
    Quote from ewattsjt
    i might add that around here (central indiana) the difference in pay is an rn does make about 1/4 higher wage. the schooling is about the same; 2 years of college for asn or aas surgical technology.
    in my area of california, rn's earn 85% more than techs. in many cases, you don't even need schooling to become a tech. some operating rooms will train you on the job.

    a nursing degree takes more than 2 years because you need to take prerequisites before you get accepted into the nursing program. most students take at least 3 years to get their rn degree.
  13. by   ewattsjt
    wow. there is a big difference in going from state to state. while some techs are still ojt here, most facilities will only use a cst. our facility has a policy that states a st must sit for the certification administered by the nbstsa within 6 mths of hire and pass the test within 1 year of hire. the ojts are the ones who have been there and never left that place of employment and are grandfathered.

    here the prerequisites for aas in surgical technology and for asn are exactly the same. the difference here is in the core classes. there are three semesters of core classes for surgical technology and four semesters of core classes for nursing. so time wise it is about the same. that’s what makes it so easy for csts to go back for nursing. it is only 4 semesters of the core classes left.

    does nursing in ca really pay that high? my online friends that work in cali make 18 to 28 per hour (mainly sf, la and san diego). the ast national survey gives 18.68 as an average wage in ca. which would mean the average nurse making 85% more would earn about $124.50 per hour or $257,920 per year! if that is true....i know where i am going as soon as i graduate my nursing program!!!!!!!!!!!! the pay difference here is only 25%.
  14. by   mikethern
    Quote from ewattsjt
    does nursing in ca really pay that high? my online friends that work in cali make 18 to 28 per hour (mainly sf, la and san diego). the ast national survey gives 18.68 as an average wage in ca. which would mean the average nurse making 85% more would earn about $124.50 per hour or $257,920 per year! if that is true....i know where i am going as soon as i graduate my nursing program!!!!!!!!!!!! the pay difference here is only 25%.
    actually, your math is off. 85% of your figure of $18.68 is only $15.88, which when added to $18.68 becomes $34.56 an hour.

    here in central california, rn's earn between $31 and $43 an hour.

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