Healthcare is an ever-growing field, within which there are nearly endless allied health professionals and specialties. Surgical technologist, or operating room technician, is one such healthcare profession that is expected to grow by around 9% between 2020 and 2030. U.S. News and World Report observed that surgical techs are the 19th highest paying job without a degree. A 12-month certification program is typically what’s required to become a surgical tech.
As a company owned by healthcare professionals, we at TheraEx know what makes you tick and we’re driven to understand your specific goals, wants, and needs. We partner with some of the top hospitals and medical facilities nationwide and match them with highly skilled surgical techs. If that sounds like you, then we’d love to talk!
What is a Surgical Technologist?
A surgical technologist is an allied health professional who prepares an operating room before surgery and assists surgeons and other members of the health care team during surgery.
This is a crucial role because they ensure a sterile and organized environment for surgery to take place. Surgical technologists are also referred to as surgical assistants, operating room technicians, or scrub techs.
What Does a Surgical Technologist Do?
Surgical technologists are responsible for setting up surgical equipment in the operating room, prepping the patient for surgery, assisting the surgeon, as well as the anesthesiologist and nurses during the operation.
- Prepare operating room and patients for surgery
- Assist during and after an operation
- Set up surgical instruments
- Ensure all surgical equipment working properly
- Prepare any sterile solutions or medications that may be needed
- Bring patients into the operating room, make sure they’re comfortable, and apply sterile drapes
- Clean and disinfect areas where there will be an incision
- Pass instruments to the surgeon during the procedure
- Possibly assist in the surgery by holding retractors or holding organs in place
- Apply bandages and dressings to the surgical incision after surgery
- Transfer patients to the recovery room
How Do You Become a Surgical Technologist?
You might be interested in becoming a surgical tech if you are a detail-oriented individual looking to work in the healthcare field, but prefer not to go back to school for years. Working well under pressure, attention to detail and great communication skills are other three important skills/qualities to have in this profession. It’s important to assess whether or not you would thrive in this environment, because as a surgical tech working in the operating room, errors could be life-threatening to the patient.
Most surgical techs receive their education at a community college or vocational school where a surgical technologist training program is offered. These programs can be as short as 12 months to two years when the certificate is combined with an associate degree.
Entrance into a surgical tech program typically requires a high school diploma certificate and some prerequisite (or co-requisite) coursework, including anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and microbiology.
Most employers prefer that the surgical technologists they hire be Certified Surgical Technologists. This certification process is offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. Many surgical techs also choose to belong to the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST), the most widely-recognized professional organization for surgical techs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the work environment of a surgical technologist?
Surgical techs work in operating rooms of hospitals, doctor’s offices, and outpatient clinics. They work mostly in the operating room. The majority of the workday is spent prepping, assisting with, and cleaning up following surgeries. Surgical technologists stand most of the workday and need to stay alert during surgical operations. Most surgical techs work full-time. This can include nights, weekends, and on-call.
What is a surgical technologist’s salary?
In May 2020, the median wage for surgical techs was $49,710, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means that half of the surgical techs earned less and half earned more than this amount.
What other jobs can a surgical tech do?
A surgical technologist is a highly specialized profession. Unlike RNs as well as some other medical professionals whose work is more varied, surgical technologists work in the operating room. They can also choose to work in a specific surgical area, and many do specialize even further. Specialized surgical tech jobs can include but are not limited to areas such as cardiology, orthopedic, organ transplantation, pediatrics, plastic surgery, and neurosurgery.
Why Should Surgical Techs Choose TheraEx?
Being a surgical technologist can be demanding and stressful. It requires your focus so that things go according to plan behind the scenes. Why not consider relocating to a new environment with a travel position? Unwind off-hours while getting to know a new place, stress-free, with some of the best benefits and compensation in the business.
- Small Business Feel. You’ll have a single point of contact within the company, who wants to know your story, strengths, and goals.
- Flexibility. We staff per diem, so you have the flexibility to make your own schedule.
- Healthcare Professional-Owned. As a healthcare professional-owned agency, we have first-hand knowledge of the industry and can better anticipate your needs.
- Easy Credentialing. We make the credential process easy with our in-house credential staff.
- Bonus Opportunities. We offer many bonus opportunities such as sign-on bonuses, referral bonuses, loyalty bonuses, and completion bonuses on a case-by-case basis.
- Easy Payroll Management. Our smart technology makes logging in to view your payroll easy and efficient.
Let our focused and determined recruiters get to know you and your situation. They can take care of you and make sure things go right with this important life transition.
As a surgical technologist, you can relocate to a hospital in need of extra hands for contract or per diem work.
You’ll work closely with a recruiter who will get to know you, ease you through the paperwork and handle the behind-the-scenes work. When you’re in the OR, you have to be ready for anything – are you ready to start a career in a new place today? Give us a call today and see how working with TheraEx could be the welcome change you’re looking for.