Hey what's up? I'm a Certified Surgical Tech at a level 1 trauma center in St. Louis, MO. I'm on the general, burn and plastic surgery team. I've been a CST for 2 1/2 years.
1. Oh no not the depends haha. If I know I'm going to be in a long case and there is a big chance nobody will get me out I'll always take a quick restroom break.
2. I went to CC and all they offered was a certificate. The for-profit colleges in the area all offered degrees. The job market here doesn't distinguish between techs that have a certificate and techs who have a degree. In St. Louis you can have your certificate and can work in the hospital, surgery center, private office and organ procurement. You can also become a sales rep (I was offered a position with Stryker and know a tech that works for Smith and Nephew). I would recommend doing research in your job market to see what most places prefer.
3. Yes. We usually get a break in the morning and lunch. If we are in a long case in the morning or our float team is swamped we skip break and get a hour lunch.
4. Nope. Once the patient is wheeled out we help turnover the room and get ready for the next case.
5. At my hospital we have an ortho/neuro specialty team that handles all of the ortho trauma and neuro trauma/emergencies. If its an emergency that affects any other part of the body than any other tech, whether you're general, GU, ENT, etc, can get reassigned to scrub the emergency. So far in my career I've been in about 5 emergent situations.