Surgical technologists have many titles: surgical technician, surgical technician, scrub technician or surgical assistant. But regardless of what you call them, they all play an integral role in the operating room team. How much do surgical techs make?
What does the surgical technique do?
You may have a vague understanding of what a surgical technologist’s position is, but let’s take a closer look at the details. Just as job titles differ, the duties of surgical technicians cover a wide range of responsibilities. Their duties include preparations for surgery, tasks during surgery and postoperative tasks.
Usually, it is the surgeon’s responsibility to prepare the patient and operating room (OR) for surgery. This includes sterilizing the equipment and ensuring sufficient supplies in the operating room prior to surgery. They also help prepare patients by cleaning and disinfecting any incision areas.
During surgery, a surgical technician helps the surgeon, handing him the tools at their request. They can help by keeping organs in place or using retractors during surgery. After the surgery, the surgical technician will help dress the wound and move the patient to the recovery room.
Where can surgical techniques work?
Most of these related health professionals (70%) work in hospitals, but certified surgical technicians can find positions in clinics, outpatient surgical centers and private practices.
Because they are trained to assist in everything from routine operations to saving lives, many surgical technicians work in emergency departments, which allows them to be an important part of emergency services.
If you work in a hospital, surgical tasks are often rotated. This may mean that you will spend part of the shift working in the ER, while you can help with replacing the hip for the next hour. On-call work schedules can mean moving from dead sleep to the operating room in less than a minute in the event of a major accident.
Is there room for a career in surgery?
Due to the ever-growing ladder of surgical technique, you can expect your salary to increase over time. Seventy-five percent of surgical technicians earned a healthy average salary of between 33,000 and 58,000. This means that this is one of the best-paid related health careers!
However, 10% of the highest paid earners in 2018 earned over USD 69,000. Not very shabby for a position that does not require medical school!
How to become a surgical technologist?
A degree in surgical technology is required for basic surgical positions. After completing the ST Associate Program, they must take the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assistance.