Need Advice on my Upcoming Road to Becoming a Surgical Assistant (Moved from "General" by me..sorry)

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Mike in Camarillo, California

72 months ago

First of all this isn't meant to be a double post..I accidently posted this exact same thread in the "General Forum", realizing that it was the wrong place so I am re-posting it here.

Went through three year of high school and dropped out (and not because it was too hard). I am planning on becoming a Surgical Assistant but I am not too sure about the road ahead. I know the first thing I need to do is get my GED, but what classes do I need to take in college after that? I live about 5 minutes away from one of the best community colleges in all of California but I am not sure what I should take. Should I just get my GE (General Education) first? Do I only need an Associates Degree? What subject should I major in? Is there some special school or program that I need to enter into before I become a Surgical Assistant? Is it mandatory to become a Surgical Tech first?

The bottom line is that I need to know where to go after I get my GED. If someone who has experience in this field or just knows in general what I should do, then that would great if you could layout a simple little plan for me or at least give me some advice.

Oh yeah..and what is the average net yearly salary of a Surgical Assistant? I am talking about after the cost of insurance and everything. Do you still make a pretty good income on average?

Your comments would be EXTREMELY APPRECIATED!

Thanks,
-Mike

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STgirl in Tucson, Arizona

49 months ago

you should talk to an advisor at that college on the right path to take. I'd say become a ST to get a look at how the OR is, or maybe get an Associate's in Science that includes biological sciences, or do both depending on how long the ST program is. Unfortunately, SA's are not recognized in the state of california. you would have to become a registered nurse to get to this path. salaries vary lol.

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H-T- in Miami, Florida

48 months ago

STgirl brought up a good point. To work as a surgical assistant in California, you generally need to be a Physician Assistant or a Certified Registered Nurse First Assistant (CRNFA).

To become a Physician Assistant, you'll need to first complete a bachelor's degree which takes about 4 years of college. It doesn't matter what your major is, but most PA's majored in biology. After you finish your Bachelor's degree, you can apply to a Physician Assistant program which takes 2 more years of school and is very intense. PA programs are also fairly competitive. Most students have an A average in college. This process will take 6 years, although there are some programs that will let you do a bachelor's and PA degree combined in 5 years.

To become a CRNFA, you'll first need to earn a Bachelors degree in nursing and become a registered nurse. After that, you'll have to secure a job in the OR for at least a year. From there, you can be approved to take a course that will teach you how to assist in surgery. Then after working as a nurse surgical assistant for a considerable number of months, you can get certified. This process can also takes about 6 years.

A surgical technology is a bit different from a surgical assisting, but you can complete an ST course after finishing your GED by going to a vocational school. Then you can work in the OR and see if you really like it. If you decide to do this, try to do an ST program that also has an option that allows you to transfer your credits towards and associate or bachelor's degree.

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Cris28 in Upland, California

7 months ago

That was a great question... and answers, Now heres mine I am a certified ST as of 10/13 activly seeking an ST job. While in school i did hospice caregiving & currently do that. Anyhow I want to continue my education with the OR setting & am debating RN or PA? Whats the difference besides the title? Salery? Restrictions? and with so many schools out there where do u begin? I got the biology part. Any suggestions welcome

To Mike good luck in your OR career, Personaly I Love it!

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too true in Redmond, Oregon

7 months ago

Cris28 in Upland, California said: That was a great question... and answers, Now heres mine I am a certified ST as of 10/13 activly seeking an ST job. While in school i did hospice caregiving & currently do that. Anyhow I want to continue my education with the OR setting & am debating RN or PA? Whats the difference besides the title? Salery? Restrictions? and with so many schools out there where do u begin? I got the biology part. Any suggestions welcome

The RN field is saturated especially in California. Many experienced RNs with a BSN are having trouble getting work. New grads are unemployed 18 mo. out of their program. Only do RN program if you are willing to move. A PA can see patients in an office, depending on their state, is whether an MD needs to oversee them.

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