Surgical Tech

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Miss Michelle in Buena Park, California

77 months ago

I'm a 37 year old Woman, looking to go back to school to pursue a career as a surgical tech. I am very conflicted about choosing this career due to the fact I have heard so many negative aspects about the job. Can anyone tell me something positive? Can anyone give good solid information regarding schooling, pay and getting hired right out o school? Much appreciated, thank you.

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Terri in Columbia, South Carolina

77 months ago

I'm kinda in the same boat as you, I work in a hospital as a nursing assistant in the OR and I'm thinking of going to school to be an ST as well. I got some info from this web site: www.allalliedhealthschools.com/faqs/surgical_tech.php
Would you mind letting me know if you find any goo info. My e-mail is tla822002@gmail.com
Thanks

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drandall in Channelview, Texas

77 months ago

Miss Michelle in Buena Park, California said: I'm a 37 year old Woman, looking to go back to school to pursue a career as a surgical tech. I am very conflicted about choosing this career due to the fact I have heard so many negative aspects about the job. Can anyone tell me something positive? Can anyone give good solid information regarding schooling, pay and getting hired right out o school? Much appreciated, thank you.

I know what you mean. But, if it is something you are really waiting to do then do not let anything stop you. I can not go to school right now due to the fact I have a small child and do not qualify for any help for child care. I am currently trying to get a job at a day care so I can start saving to go back to school. Times are hard for me, but, my husband told me not to give up and one day I will be able to go back to become a ST. I can not wait. I do not care if it takes forever to get a job. I just want to do it. Don't give up and I would go for it. Everybody seems so negitive and that's really they own problem no ours....LOL good luck

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drandall in Channelview, Texas

77 months ago

I meant their own problem

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Karina in Riverside, California

76 months ago

Im 24 years old, and I've been a surgical tech for almost five years. I specialize in transplant surgery, and have at least a basic experience in just about every service (meaning peds, neuro, ortho, gyn, ent, plastics, urology and so on). This career has its good and bad things. Surgery is extremely exiting most of the time. Yes you get to see things that most human beings will never get to see in their lifetime, and you get to help people working as a team...for the most part. I really don't mean to sound negative, I really like surgery, but there are many very important things to consider before making the desicion to become a surg tech. Hours are really demanding if you work at a hospital. Eventhough most places can offer you a 3 twelve hour shift week and it sounds great... but try standing on your feet on a single spot for 99% of that time. Our job deals not only with the physical stress but also mental stress because you have to be able to adapt yourself to many different personalities, circumstances and moods at the same time in one single case. You also deal with the stress from surgery and stability of your patient. It really does not sound bad, but when you deal with it on a daily basis it takes a tow on you eventually. Another thing to consider is that you more than likely will be required to take call. As far as pay is considered, you can find places that can give you a "decent" pay. And I really mean it when I say the pay is not usually great considering the physical strain. I do not want to discourage anyone to better themselves through this career, but if you want my honest advice...get a nursing degree. You can still work in the OR doing the same as a teck, but making a lot more money for having a degree. If anyone would like further advice, feel free to e mail me keq6@hotmail.com

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Shelly in Chicago, Illinois

76 months ago

I have been a tech since Sep 07; I like the job, but the worst part is the nasty personalities in the OR. If you can take a lot of crap and not let it get to you, then you will be fine.
If you take things personally, you will be crying a lot. Also,
if you want to be a nurse in the OR, you might want to be a tech first...it will be easier for you and you will have a foot in the door. If I had to do it over again, I would do it again.
the pay is more than I expected, and taking call is not bad where I am. If you have to work for a living, you could do worse. I like working only Monday through Friday, with weekends off.

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rhonda

76 months ago

I am 40 years old and have been a certified surgical tech for 1 year and I love it! But I must say it is a very physical job and some days I barely get my breaks and lunches. I work 3 12 hr shifts and have to take call 4 times a month, sometimes my call shift falls after my 12 hour shift and I have worked 20 hours straight, OUCH! working with many different surgeons with god complexes can be emotionally demanding, so you must be very thick skinned to deal with all this. Its a great job, I get to see inside the human body everyday that I go to work! I love helping people through surgery! I knew from the first day I stepped into the OR that this is where I belonged! My one year has had many ups and downs but I wouldn't trade any of it. If you are considering a career in this field know from the start that it is much much more than passing instruments to your surgeon and that many people just aren't cut out for the OR. If you love one on one patient care this job is not for you, working in the OR we have very little patient interaction while the patient is awake. hope this gives you some things to think about.

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Felipe in Compton, California

76 months ago

Hi rhonda , i'm trying to get into this carrer but i dont know which school will be good with accreditation and everything,could you tell me something about it? or if someone else read this can help me? I live in Los Angeles area ca
Thank you for your help, my email is faamzalo@hotmail.com

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Marci in Fayetteville, North Carolina

75 months ago

I just finished a Surgical Tech program where I live. I absolutely love it!!! The pay averages around $15 or $16 an hour, but there is usually call pay, and shift differential and other incentives. I had two small children and no money. Look up FAFSA, which is for federal aid and apply. It paid for my school for 2 years and also gave me extra money each semester (a few hundred) to help with other stuff. It is federal aid and not a loan so you do not pay it back. Look into it, it may help. Some schools also have daycare assistance if you apply in time. Good luck.

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Joelle in Colo, Iowa

75 months ago

I'm 28yrs old and have been a ST for 8 yrs. I am on the general team. We cover general, p.v., thoracic, pediatrics, transplant, and surgical oncology. I specialize in surgical oncology mostly. Anyway, my advise to you is to investigate the program, usually there is an observation period within the first semester. During that observation you will get an idea as to whether or not you will enjoy the O.R. Yes you might waste the money on the first semester but you won't wonder what if. As for some of the other comments....yes the job is physical. You are on your feet for your whole shift, and if you work at my hosp. sometimes longer than your shift. There are high expectations of how long it should take you to "turn over" clean a room from one case to the next. Either you meet those expectations or you don't. If you don't, there will be meetings about it. The attitudes in the O.R. I believe are the same everywhere. I WILL NOT defend them and will not say that mine is the best all the time. It is the nature of the beast. When you are cooped up in a place with the same people day in and day out again, expectations are formed, an "off" day is looked at as lazy, even if it's just one every 6 months. Most techs take high pride in their jobs...just remember that if you take the program...they will help students if you take pride in your learning experience. Well I've said my piece. Hope it helped, Good Luck. Joelle
If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at..jo_hauk@yahoo.com

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Jeannie in Hayward, California

75 months ago

I have been a Certified Surgical Tech for over 30 years. There are many opportunities for surgical techs here, in California. The pay is great, often close to 25.00/hr to start and topping out close to 35.00. Although it is difficult to get hired without experience, it might be worthwhile to begin your career at a Multi-specialty, Ambulatory Surgery Center. These facilities, where the numbers of them are growing all the time, need staff in order to get up and running in a timely manner. Often they are willing to take on new grads to complement there experienced staff members. You will be exposed to all aspects of the facility because cross training is essential in order for the center to be cost effective and efficient. You will be doing ordering of supplies, preparing cases by picking supplies, assembling instruments and working in the sterile processing department as well as scrubbing on the procedures themselves. This is a great opportunity and it instills more of a sense of teamwork than work in a hospital oriented operating room. It also supplies you with different skills and oppportunities that you won't get in a hospital.
I would try to steer away from single specialty facilities like Eyes and Plastics. You will get stuck there and unable to venture out with such a limited experience. You could end up there if you choose but, it would be wiser to not begin there if you can avoid it.

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lindsay in Sacramento, California

75 months ago

thanks for the email. i actually start my program on sept 22nd...this month! i am very nervous number one to go back to school since i am 30, and have done sales and mortgage my whole career, but i am excited as well! i have one friend who is surgical tech and two best friends who are rn's so i hear alot, i really am interested in plastic surgery centers too, but i will work anywhere when i graduate, but your advice sounds right on!!!!i was worried about the whole"they won't hire you without any experience" thats whats really frecking me out!! some people on this forum have said don;t do it, that they couldn't get jobs after school!!! but everyone has a diff opinion

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Jeannie

75 months ago

I understand your fears regarding starting in this career. It is difficult but, there are jobs out there, especially since I see that you are from Sacramento, you should not have any problems.
I recently checked into a possible teaching position at a school in Concord. I might persue that direction at some point. If you have any questions during your training, please don't hesitate to write to me. I'll answer if I can. Also, if you have any other students in your class that need any questions answered, I would be happy to answer them as well.

Good Luck!
Jeannie

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lindsay in Sacramento, California

75 months ago

thanks so much!!! i am excited and scared...lol....so we will see....i just pray i find a great job after wards and my career goes well. i am right now in a inside sales position that i will stay at as long as i can through school, but i would love to start working in the medical field now,even if it's an admin position or recept position anything, but i have had no luck...

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kevin in Sunnyvale, California

74 months ago

Im a surgical tech student in miami and im starting my intrenship on the 13th of this month... I was wondering which is better to work at.. A hospital or a private practice

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Jeannie

74 months ago

A hospital. It would give you a better all around experience that you can take anywhere. If you begin at a single specialty surgery center such as, plastic or opthomology, you might get stuck in that and never branch out. If you go the surgery center (ASC)route, it should be multi-specialty and should always include orthopedics, GYN, laparoscopy and urology would be helpful too. These are all highly specialized and would enable you to get a good footing and help you get other jobs later.
Good luck,
Jeannie

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Jeannie

74 months ago

I think it is a great career, especially in certain parts of California where you can make up to or over 35.00/hr.
I was a tech for over 30 years, certified in 1973. When I started, surgery wasn't nearly as complex as it is now. A lot of new technology came along and I was able to learn it as it came. Now, you have a lot to take in at once and it is more difficult now. Surgical techs in hospitals tend to have specialties or are assigned to teams like Neuro/Ortho, Cardiovascular, etc.
If you work in a multi-specialty Ambulatory Surgery Center, you will have to do a little bit of everything including Sterile Processing and some Materials Management. This is the direction I would advise because it's fun, you get to do more and there is little sitting around time. There is more of a team approach and less personal conflict and competetiveness that can be found in larger hospitals. The downside of working in the O.R. is that there are a lot of strong personalities which you will need to survive there. However, it shouldn't be allowed to get to the point of conflict. If you aren't sensitive, have a backbone, know your stuff, you will do well. It will eat you up otherwise.
I would suggest learning SPD and Materials Management as well as obtaining computer skills in Excel, Word and a Preference List database. If you can learn a little about billing you will be on your way to a nice position in an ASC. There are a lot of start-up ASCs that look especially for techs who can do a little of everything. You will be in demand.

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Tena in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

74 months ago

to all of you surg techs out there: I started the program - have three semesters to complete - I want to be in the OR but, when I was in my clinicals, it was mentioned that it is very typical to get stuck with needles, sharps by the surgeons as many of the surgeons refuse to use the "neutral" zone to pass sharps back and forth. One of the surgeons I worked with was awesome and the other was absolutely nasty to those working with her. Several of the students and mentors routinely have to get blood pulled after a stick.. Do you find this to be true or did I just have bad experiences?

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Jeannie

74 months ago

You may have had a bad experience. I've been stuck only 3 times in over 30 years. Once, I had a glass ampule break and send glass into my eye along with the liquid to methylmerthacolate. Not fun. Anyway, as you work more with particular surgeons, you will sort of learn a choreography with them so that your hands move in a certain learned way and these incidents will lessen.

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Tena in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

74 months ago

Jeannie said: You may have had a bad experience. I've been stuck only 3 times in over 30 years. Once, I had a glass ampule break and send glass into my eye along with the liquid to methylmerthacolate. Not fun. Anyway, as you work more with particular surgeons, you will sort of learn a choreography with them so that your hands move in a certain learned way and these incidents will lessen.

Thanks so much for your reply. Do you mind me asking what the typical starting salary is where you are? I'm asking because I'm currently a vet tech at about $14.50 per hour but that's pretty much the glass ceiling and I have no retirement, etc. - I stopped the surg tech program briefly to adopt and now am looking at going back or pursuing RN but I really love the OR - salary will play a role in my decision. It sounds like you really enjoy your job. Do you mind also telling me the pluses and minuses that you have come across since you are so experienced. I appreciate your input very much,
Tena

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Ann in Los Angeles, California

73 months ago

UCLA hires new grad techs and trains for six months while rotating to all the facilities. Its a great program and a great place to work. The pay to start is lower than other places but you'll be able to put UCLA on your resume, its a great start. Get certified after graduation to open up your opportunities. I love being a Surgical tech. Its a lot of work but its fun.

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Ann in Los Angeles, California

73 months ago

14. something i cant remember what i started at but im only at 14.99 right now. I just got certified so i will get a raise soon and our contract is about to be settled so i should get a regular raise.

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liz in Los Angeles, California

73 months ago

Ann in Los Angeles, California said: UCLA hires new grad techs and trains for six months while rotating to all the facilities. Its a great program and a great place to work. The pay to start is lower than other places but you'll be able to put UCLA on your resume, its a great start. Get certified after graduation to open up your opportunities. I love being a Surgical tech. Its a lot of work but its fun.

hi ann my names liz and i live in the l.a area i was just wondering where you went to school? im currently looking for schools that offer surgical tech programs and ive found a few but they are very expensive (around 20,000) i'm not shure if this would be a good investment and if this is simply too much to pay for a school? any advice would be appreciated and verry helpful =)

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liz in Los Angeles, California

73 months ago

p.s feel free to email me @ unseenliz@yahoo.com

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Ann in Los Angeles, California

73 months ago

hi liz,
I went to Glendale Career College in glendale. I paid 20,000. Im glad that I went. I like my job. I originally went to the school to find out about the LVN program. later I found out that LVN start out making more money. try Concorde too its the same price forthe ST program and if you are interested in LVN they tranfer credits in case you want to move on to RN.
Ann

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liz in Los Angeles, California

73 months ago

i'm looking into concorde as well, im a bit confused though, i've been reading into the surgical tech programs and how every school offeres either a certificate, a diploma or u can go to a 2 year school that offers your associate degree is this correct? and i hear going for your associates is the best thing to do? or is this not true? i'm trying to find which schools offer what.

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Steve in Roseville, California

73 months ago

lindsay in Sacramento, California said: wow thats awesome. do you know how much lower they start you off at???i'm in school right now for surg tech and i love it

Lindsay,

Where are going to school, I graduated from Hightech in 2006. I got a job right out of school at my extern site. It is very important to get a good extern site. One you would want to work at. Your extern site is like a long job interview. Do your best. It is a tough job because there is so much that your school does not teach you. So much on the job training. And some of the doctors will not tolerate us as new techs. Some are nice and some are real a holes. You have to be able to take it, you need very thick skin. and the ability to learn and remember very quickly. Most doctors will tolerate you if you show you are trying. A few of the local hospital pay very good, but are the hardest to get into. Externing them is the best. Sutter, Mercy, Kaiser. UC davis is OK but they do not pay very well. Good luck in your schooling, and do well in lecture it is important.

Sincerely,
Steve

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Julie in Sacramento, California

73 months ago

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone in the Sacramento area can recommend High Tech or Western Career for the Surg Tech program? I noticed that Western was accredited and did not see if High Tech was....does this matter in finding a job? What kind of hours did you go to school and how were your teachers? I know its expensive to go to a vocational school but thats the only place I know of in the entire Sacramento area! Pay range for a newbie I am guessing is around $18-25? Just wondering for Sacramento.....Thanks=)

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Jeannie

73 months ago

I don't know about either. I do think Western tries to find instructors that also have degrees aside from the O.R.Tech experience. It is difficult for all of these schools to find good instructors. Accreditation matters when go to get certified. You can't take the exam unless you attended a accredited program.

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Tmama in Spokane, Washington

72 months ago

Felipe in Compton, California said: Hi rhonda , i'm trying to get into this carrer but i dont know which school will be good with accreditation and everything,could you tell me something about it? or if someone else read this can help me? I live in Los Angeles area ca
Thank you for your help, my email is faamzalo@hotmail.com

Felipe,
The best advice I can give you is to check with www.ast.org. They will give you a list of qualified schools.

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paul in York, Pennsylvania

72 months ago

Hi! i'm 36 years old,raising 3 kids on my own, and going back to school the end of january.I'm going part time, so it will take about 2 and a half years to complete.I'm very excited, but also nervous after being out of school for so long.I did some shadowing in the O.R. and loved it. I was juust wondering if anyone can tell me about the jobs available in P.A. Thanks for any information!

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Julie in Sacramento, California

72 months ago

lindsay in Sacramento, California said: thanks for the email. i actually start my program on sept 22nd...this month! i am very nervous number one to go back to school since i am 30, and have done sales and mortgage my whole career, but i am excited as well! i have one friend who is surgical tech and two best friends who are rn's so i hear alot, i really am interested in plastic surgery centers too, but i will work anywhere when i graduate, but your advice sounds right on!!!!i was worried about the whole"they won't hire you without any experience" thats whats really frecking me out!! some people on this forum have said don;t do it, that they couldn't get jobs after school!!! but everyone has a diff opinion

Hi Lindsey,

Did you look into western career and high tech? What are you thoughts about the program right now? I am deciding between the 2 schools....I wish you the best of luck and if you would be willing to email me with any specific advice I would be sooo appreciative...thanks!! jjfisher2099@sbcglobal.net
Take Care,
Julie

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Mrs- Douglas in Oregon

72 months ago

What instruments are considered sharps?

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Cynical Panic in Chattanooga, Tennessee

72 months ago

Mrs- Douglas in Oregon said: What instruments are considered sharps?

I assume you arent a surgical tech? Why in particular are you asking? Just curious why you are asking this obvious question. If you are a tech, you should know the answer.

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Mrs-Douglas in Portland, Oregon

72 months ago

You know what they say about assuming Cynical Panic.I have been a tech for 18 years and I do know the answer but I'm at a new job and what I consider sharps other tech there do not,plus I am the most experienced there,so there is resistance to everything I say,I'm pretty sure it's intimidation but a knife handle is not considered a sharp neither is a needle holder.So if you can not give your input without the sarcasm please keep your comments to yourself.

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Mrs-Douglas in Portland, Oregon

72 months ago

Ther are negative aspects to any job but what is it worth to you that is the question.Do you have a strong personality are you able to stand your ground,surgical technology is not for the shy or the weak.I ahve been a tech for 18 years. I have been a CNA and just recently I am also a Certified Medical Assistant.I leave and then I come back.I have tendonitis in all my fingers both wrists and both elbows.Sometimes I am standing so long at the end of the day my feet and legs hurt so bad I can barely walk.Here in Oregon school is 2 years I went in 1 year in Chi town.You need to ask yourself what do you want to do and how fast do you want to acomplish it?My advice is to take nursing more money and if you get hurt there are other areas in nursing you can work in.Being a tech you have to go back to school to be retrained because that's all you know how to do.Nursing there are so many oportunities and the money honey is nice.Nursing=2yrs vs. Tech=2yrs hmmmmmm Good luck.Mrs-Douglas

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Mrs-Douglas in Portland, Oregon

72 months ago

Jeannie said: You may have had a bad experience. I've been stuck only 3 times in over 30 years. Once, I had a glass ampule break and send glass into my eye along with the liquid to methylmerthacolate. Not fun. Anyway, as you work more with particular surgeons, you will sort of learn a choreography with them so that your hands move in a certain learned way and these incidents will lessen.

That is the first time I have heard someone say choreography.OMG I tried to explain what I do and I just to the motions and say it's like a flow with the surgeon sweet.Choreography, yes that is exactly what it is.

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bryan in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

72 months ago

Jeannie said: I think it is a great career, especially in certain parts of California where you can make up to or over 35.00/hr.
I was a tech for over 30 years, certified in 1973. When I started, surgery wasn't nearly as complex as it is now. A lot of new technology came along and I was able to learn it as it came. Now, you have a lot to take in at once and it is more difficult now. Surgical techs in hospitals tend to have specialties or are assigned to teams like Neuro/Ortho, Cardiovascular, etc.
If you work in a multi-specialty Ambulatory Surgery Center, you will have to do a little bit of everything including Sterile Processing and some Materials Management. This is the direction I would advise because it's fun, you get to do more and there is little sitting around time. There is more of a team approach and less personal conflict and competetiveness that can be found in larger hospitals. The downside of working in the O.R. is that there are a lot of strong personalities which you will need to survive there. However, it shouldn't be allowed to get to the point of conflict. If you aren't sensitive, have a backbone, know your stuff, you will do well. It will eat you up otherwise.
I would suggest learning SPD and Materials Management as well as obtaining computer skills in Excel, Word and a Preference List database. If you can learn a little about billing you will be on your way to a nice position in an ASC. There are a lot of start-up ASCs that look especially for techs who can do a little of everything. You will be in demand.

Jeannie, surgical techs make $35 an hour???? That figure doesn't sound very accurate. Is that for a travel first assistant with many years exp.? $35 an hour for a ST at a hospital (non-traveler) sounds a bit high. My best friend is a ST and has been one for 10years and makes several dollars less then that in Cali topped out!

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Jeannie in San Francisco, California

72 months ago

I disagree regarding the RN thing. By the time you take the pre-requisites to get into the 2 year nursing program, you have now spent close to 4 years. In that case, I would do the 4 year, BSN program which will allow you to go into management someday, if you choose.
O.R.Techs have many more opportunities than they did in the past. My CST has allowed me to work as a Cross Reference Specialist for a Surgical Instrument company, (from home part of the time at that). I consulted for an Ambulatory Start-up, was a Materials Manager and have managed a Sterile Processing department. I had nothing but my Surgical Tech experience, knowledge of surgical instruments and supplies and sterilization processes. Some of it was fly by the seat of the pants because that is how management is. You have no time for anything but, just to point out what other opportunities are out there. Coupled with a degree,lots of knowledge and some computer skills, you will have a lot to offer.
Also, to address the comment regarding O.R.Tech pay...I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and although, entry level at some places is mid to high twenties, it is not uncommon to make well into the 30.00 range, especially with private scrubbing for Plastic Surgeons or working for larger hospitals. Some private ASCs will pay this much as well however, you will have to be worth it to them which brings us back to your ability to perform in different areas. ASCs will want you to do a bit of everything well.

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Steve in Roseville, California

72 months ago

bryan in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma said: Jeannie, surgical techs make $35 an hour???? That figure doesn't sound very accurate. Is that for a travel first assistant with many years exp.? $35 an hour for a ST at a hospital (non-traveler) sounds a bit high. My best friend is a ST and has been one for 10years and makes several dollars less then that in Cali topped out!

It is true there are 5 techs that make over $30/hr at the hospital I work at in the Sacramento area. They are just techs with many years at the the same hospital. In the bay area the pay can be even higher.

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Cynical Panic in Chattanooga, Tennessee

72 months ago

The only person with sarcasm is you. I was simply asking a question. I didnt understand the reasoning for the question. Considering that there are many many people on this forum who are CONSIDERING going to school to be a tech, I thought maybe you were someone considering getting into the field but didnt understand the whole "sharps" thing. Another thought that entered my mind was maybe you were a student trying to get the correct answer for something that you should be looking up yourself. It happens. Didnt mean to offend you and sorry if I did.

I am sure that there are some techs where you are that are intimidated by you. After all, you have probably been doing it longer than most of them.

And I totally agree with you that NO, a knife handle and a needle holder are not sharps. Maybe they are thinking that once the knife handle has the blade it is a sharp and same with a needle holder when there is a suture in it. Just a thought??

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Cynical Panic in Chattanooga, Tennessee

72 months ago

the above was meant for Ms. Douglas...I forgot to hit reply. My bad! :)

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Winterhot in Houston, Texas

72 months ago

Hi, all,
If I pass the exam for surgical assistant-certified and been licensed in Texas, is it easy to find a job? and if I'm at the age of over 40's? I had experience on surgery outside U.S. but have not started the course work yet. Any suggestions here...?

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panta in Memphis, Tennessee

72 months ago

Miss Michelle in Buena Park, California said: I'm a 37 year old Woman, looking to go back to school to pursue a career as a surgical tech. I am very conflicted about choosing this career due to the fact I have heard so many negative aspects about the job. Can anyone tell me something positive? Can anyone give good solid information regarding schooling, pay and getting hired right out o school? Much appreciated, thank you.

The pay sucks!!! Max $19 to start!!!

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Jill in Eugene, Oregon

72 months ago

Terri in Columbia, South Carolina said: I'm kinda in the same boat as you, I work in a hospital as a nursing assistant in the OR and I'm thinking of going to school to be an ST as well. I got some info from this web site: www.allalliedhealthschools.com/faqs/surgical_tech.php
Would you mind letting me know if you find any goo info. My e-mail is tla822002@gmail.com
Thanks

Hi Terri, not sure if you're still looking at going back to school but I have some info that may help. I was a stay at home mom for 6 years and decided it was time to go back to school and get a career going. The program I found is entirely online! At least the didactic portion is and then I have been doing my clinicals at our local hospital. With pre-reqs and the program combined I will be done in March after 15 months in school. My hospital has been very flexible with my clinical hours and I am able to study while my kids are in school and in the evenings. The school is Southeast Community College in Nebraska (southeast.edu) and I will have an Associates Degree in Surgical Technology. I agree with most of the posts here, this job is not for everyone. It can be very intense at times. Most of that does have to do with personalities of the team members. I just remind myself why I am doing this and that I love it and I am making a difference in people's lives. So, if you are looking to get into the medical field within a relatively short time commitment, get decent starting pay, and have a rewarding career that has many opportunities to branch out, specialize, or move up, then I say go for it! Hope this helps!

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Barbara S in Maryville, Tennessee

72 months ago

Jill in Eugene, Oregon said: Hi Terri, not sure if you're still looking at going back to school but I have some info that may help. I was a stay at home mom for 6 years and decided it was time to go back to school and get a career going. The program I found is entirely online! At least the didactic portion is and then I have been doing my clinicals at our local hospital. With pre-reqs and the program combined I will be done in March after 15 months in school. My hospital has been very flexible with my clinical hours and I am able to study while my kids are in school and in the evenings. The school is Southeast Community College in Nebraska (southeast.edu) and I will have an Associates Degree in Surgical Technology. I agree with most of the posts here, this job is not for everyone. It can be very intense at times. Most of that does have to do with personalities of the team members. I just remind myself why I am doing this and that I love it and I am making a difference in people's lives. So, if you are looking to get into the medical field within a relatively short time commitment, get decent starting pay, and have a rewarding career that has many opportunities to branch out, specialize, or move up, then I say go for it! Hope this helps!

Hi Jill:
I read your post about the online ST program you are in? How did you find out about this school and how do you like it? I live in Tenn and am also looking for a online ST program since I work F/T but wanted to change careers (in my 40's) LOL. But I am very interested in this field. I also have a AA degree in Business.

Barbara

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Jeannie

72 months ago

Just wondering if the online program is accredited because you won't be able to sit for the certification exam if not.
I think anyone who can pass the certification exam should be able to take it regardless of what program. Still, some techs have the opportunity to be on-the-job trained. Why should they be procluded from taking the exam once they have attained enough experience that makes them feel ready to take it?

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Jill in Eugene, Oregon

72 months ago

Barbara S in Maryville, Tennessee said: Hi Jill:
I read your post about the online ST program you are in? How did you find out about this school and how do you like it? I live in Tenn and am also looking for a online ST program since I work F/T but wanted to change careers (in my 40's) LOL. But I am very interested in this field. I also have a AA degree in Business.

Barbara

I actually heard about it several years ago from the OR clinical educator. Apparently my hospital had recently signed a contract with SCC for a different program and the educator thought that we could put together a contract for Surgical Tech too. I love the program and after 6 months in clinicals I feel like it has really prepared me to do my job. The hospital used to have an OJT program which was 10 weeks and quite a few of our best Surgical Techs we have on the floor went through that program. The only drawback is that they can't sit for the cert exam and can't work at any other hospital. For most of them that is not an issue but at least one Tech that I know is looking at getting into my program so she can take the exam and be a CST (instead of an ST). For me, the distance learning was really my only option. I am 38, work part time, have two small children, and plenty of activities to keep me busy so being able to study on my own time and not travel to and from classes was a huge factor in being able to go back to school. I did have to do a few pre-req's at our local community college but I have a bachelor's degree from U of O so I didn't have to take too many classes. Take a look at their website, southeast.edu, and it lists out the pre-req's, the program, the costs... It is an accredited program and the cost of the exam is part of your tuition so once I am done with school I will be ready to take it. Hope this helps and good luck! I am very happy with my decision to enter into this field, it is intense but rewarding!

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Jill in Eugene, Oregon

72 months ago

Jeannie said: Just wondering if the online program is accredited because you won't be able to sit for the certification exam if not.
I think anyone who can pass the certification exam should be able to take it regardless of what program. Still, some techs have the opportunity to be on-the-job trained. Why should they be procluded from taking the exam once they have attained enough experience that makes them feel ready to take it?

Hi Jeannie, yes my program is accredited. I don't know why OJT ST's can't just sit for the exam but that's the way it is I guess. Most of our best and most experienced tech's are ST's! In fact they are the ones that I am learning from! One of my preceptors is actually looking into my program so she can sit for the exam. I am hoping that they will modify the program based on her experience. I don't think she should have to do 3 months of "labs" where she learns how to open and set up...

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Julie in Sacramento, California

72 months ago

Barbara S in Maryville, Tennessee said: Hi Jill:
I read your post about the online ST program you are in? How did you find out about this school and how do you like it? I live in Tenn and am also looking for a online ST program since I work F/T but wanted to change careers (in my 40's) LOL. But I am very interested in this field. I also have a AA degree in Business.

Barbara

Hello,

Since the program is accredited, would I be able to do everything online.. but just have to find a hospital that will let me do my clinicals? Hopefully here in CA, they would be willing to work with me? I always thought the college had to have a relationship with the hospital to schedule the clinical sites.....but if it's something I could do myself, count me in! The only school here in Sacramento thats accredited is 35K!

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