Healthcare is a growing industry. Qualified professionals in the field of medicine are always in demand, and the need for more trained professionals increases every year. It’s one of the best fields to pursue in today’s workforce, and the salary for medical related fields are usually high, and come with good benefits.
Surgical techs, also known as “scrubs” or operating room technicians, are specially trained workers who are knowledgeable in operating room procedures. The majority of surgical technicians are employed in state, local, and private hospitals, and many others are employed in outpatient care centers, special surgical offices, and dentists offices. Surgical technicians work directly under the supervision of a senior technician or technologist, a surgeon, or a registered nurse (RN). Procedures vary from hospital to hospital, and procedures are different depending on the country in which a surgical tech works.
You may be wondering how much do surgical techs make? The salary is quite good for this position. Considering the length of time spent in school preparing is usually only about 2 years at the most. The yearly salary falls into a range. Surgical techs make between $29,700 to $60,000 per year, with the average salary being about $43,000 a year. Surgical techs in California make the highest average yearly income of about $54,750 and workers in Nevada come in second highest at $53,990. As with any job, experience and time in the job is a very important factor in how much you will make as a Surgical technician.
Surgical tech Job Descriptions
So, what do surgical technicians do? Sterilizing operating room equipment and preparing the operating room for surgery are two main functions of the position. This is done before the surgery even gets started, but surgical techs do a lot more during the course of the surgery as well. They anticipate the doctors next move, and they supply any and all equipment the surgical doctor is going to need next. The surgical technician is responsible for providing the doctor with everything he needs, when he needs it, so all he has to do is concentrate on the surgery being performed, and nothing else. They prepare the patient for surgery which includes any necessary shaving or cleaning of the patient. Surgical technicians also help transport patients to and from operating rooms, and assist surgeons, doctors, nurses, and other technicians with their gowns and gloves. Stocking and inventory of equipment and supplies is another job duty of the surgical tech.
It is highly important that surgical techs are able to follow direction accurately and quickly. During the course of a surgical procedure, they are given directions that they have to follow through with by themselves, and in real time. The formal training to become a surgical technician is extensive, but it’s not that long. A certificate program can be completed in one year, and an associates degree in a surgical technologist program is two years. This includes classroom courses combined with hands on training. Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, Microbiology, and Medical Terminology are a few examples of the types of courses included in a surgical technician training program.
The work environment is usually an operating room in a hospital. Delivery rooms, special surgical offices, outpatient surgery centers, and dentist offices are other environments that surgical tech will work. It’s a very sterile environment, and the use of soap and other hand washing techniques are utilized on a very regular basis. The work environment is fast paced for a lot of the time, with doctors and nurses around them in close proximity. Standing for a long period of time is a requirement for the position. The work week is 40 hours, but can include some overtime. The schedule can be any day including weekends and holidays. Some surgical techs are on call for surgical emergencies. Lunch and breaks are included in the work day, and sick, vacation, and personal time along with excellent benefits are included.
You can never go wrong pursuing a career in the heath care industry, and becoming a surgical technician is an excellent choice. The amount of time preparing for the position and the salary you will receive as a surgical tech is well worth it. Surgical techs have extremely high responsibilities and they are an essential part of the operating room. The team work between surgeons and techs is like no other.