Typical day as a ST

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Ryan in Richmond, Virginia

76 months ago

I was just wondering what the work day is like as a ST? I'm considering getting in to this field. My only concern is that I am a bodybuilder and I require at least one large meal in a 8 hour shift and a fair amount of pee breaks. Do STs get a solid lunch break? What happens if you need to pee during a surgery? Thanks in advance!

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Jenifer E in Fredericksburg, Virginia

76 months ago

Of course you can always count on ample potty breaks and a nice lengthy lunch/dinner and snack breaks throughout your work day in the OR, surgeons are especially pleased to make sure that all of your nutritional and bodily functions are properly maintained so that you can tweak your physique.

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Jeannie

75 months ago

I thought you might like an intelligent reply to your question.
In California, I'm not sure if it's the same everywhere, by law you must have a lunch break by your 6th hour of working. We also have unions here and their requirement is a 15 minute break in the morning and another in the afternoon to go along with that lunch break.
Now, in reality, there will be surgeons who prefer that there are no personnel interruptions during a long case but, that may be their preference, the law and the union requirements superscede that request. Now, you won't be able to run out to the potty whenever you feel like it and you will need to develop a stronger bladder or, not go into the O.R. in this capacity.

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Browneyed in Ashland, Kentucky

74 months ago

Wow!! I want to work where you all work because I go quite often in an 8 hour shift only pottying one time and that is on my 30 minute lunch break. We are supposed to get a 15 minute break also on an 8 hour shift. Does that happen? NO!!! I have also went days with no lunch break and no pee break. Its not very pleasant sometimes.

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jeannie in Oakland, California

74 months ago

You should report them to the labor boards in your state. They take these things seriously. It's not like we're helpless in this situation. In fact, out here there are rules that your pay increases exponentially when these violations occur.

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helpful in Somerset, New Jersey

74 months ago

Ryan in Richmond, Virginia said: I was just wondering what the work day is like as a ST? I'm considering getting in to this field. My only concern is that I am a bodybuilder and I require at least one large meal in a 8 hour shift and a fair amount of pee breaks. Do STs get a solid lunch break? What happens if you need to pee during a surgery? Thanks in advance!

Depending on where you work the law requires that you get a lunch break. Typically you will be relieved for lunch or break between cases. Until you get more experienced you'll probably not scrub any 8 hr cases. But if you do, I have seen surgeons pee on themselves. Surgery centers tend to be more fast paced than hospitals in the amount of surgerys performed in a period of time. So that would allow you to run to the restroom from time to time. The problem with surgery centers is some you don't get a full lunch break you just kind of snack in between cases. That's my experience anyway I work for both a hospital and surgery center. Good luck!

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Cynical Panic in Chattanooga, Tennessee

73 months ago

Jenifer E in Fredericksburg, Virginia said: Sounds like we've worked in the same ORs Browneyed. The best experience I have is the day that I was 24 weeks pregnant. I was in a case for over 6 hours without any sort of break, oh and if it matters, it wasn't a sit down case. Sure there are laws that employers are supposed to follow, but that does not guarantee that they will. Almost always, staffing is the issue and lack of relief is often the biggest reason disgruntled employees have. Resulting in them either quitting their job or their coworkers wishing that they would.

I have NEVER been in a case that was a "sit down" case.

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Cynical Panic in Chattanooga, Tennessee

73 months ago

Ok, if you seriously want to know what a typical day is like (for me anyway) here goes:

get to work, change into my hospital provided scrubs, head to the board. See what cases I have, find my carts and make sure I have all instruments I need. Go do my 10 minute scrub. take my case cart into the room and start opening. I try to time my opening of my case where I will be ready when the doc comes in the room. Doc arrives, he goes to scrub, I start draping patient after he has been prepped. I throw off my cords and put on my light handle covers. Doc comes in, get him gowned and gloved. Bring my mayo to the field and my back table and away we go. Tell the nurse what station the doc likes to listen to and we are now doing our thing. Many hours later, we finish the case. I pack my instruments back into my case cart (after the patient has been extubated and left the OR room) and take it to decontam. go pee real quick then head back to the board to see the next case. repeat as often as is required.

there ya go!

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Jenifer E in Fredericksburg, Virginia

73 months ago

Cynical, you've never had a sit down case? Ever since I started doing this in 1994, we've had cases where we sit for the procedure. All of our hand cases are done sitting, all of the AV shunts were done sitting, micro ear cases...sitting. ~confused~

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Cynical Panic in Chattanooga, Tennessee

73 months ago

The doc and 1st assist sit...we stand the entire time.

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Jenifer E in Fredericksburg, Virginia

73 months ago

That is insane, what is the rational behind that practice? Not being nasty, just curious. I've worked in a few ORs over the years and I've never been expected to stand when everyone else is sitting for a procedure. I wonder what would happen if you asked for a stool? Not you, but a general you.

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Cynical Panic in Chattanooga, Tennessee

73 months ago

The rationale is that we are not near as important as the CRNA, the RN, the FA or the Doc and WE can stand while the rest sit.

None of us would ever ask for a stool. We know better. The ONLY ones allowed to sit are the techs who do the Davinci. I had the opportunity to learn it...I should have. Oh well.

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MichelleCST in Newark, New Jersey

73 months ago

Cynical Panic in Chattanooga, Tennessee said: Ok, if you seriously want to know what a typical day is like (for me anyway) here goes:

get to work, change into my hospital provided scrubs, head to the board. See what cases I have, find my carts and make sure I have all instruments I need. Go do my 10 minute scrub. take my case cart into the room and start opening. I try to time my opening of my case where I will be ready when the doc comes in the room. Doc arrives, he goes to scrub, I start draping patient after he has been prepped. I throw off my cords and put on my light handle covers. Doc comes in, get him gowned and gloved. Bring my mayo to the field and my back table and away we go. Tell the nurse what station the doc likes to listen to and we are now doing our thing. Many hours later, we finish the case. I pack my instruments back into my case cart (after the patient has been extubated and left the OR room) and take it to decontam. go pee real quick then head back to the board to see the next case. repeat as often as is required.

there ya go!

That's what I do, i do go often but not bad, although a student, I know when it is smart to go to the bathroom. Before and after every case, even if you don't have to go, something will comeout LOL

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Cynical Panic in Chattanooga, Tennessee

73 months ago

MichelleCST in Newark, New Jersey said: That's what I do, i do go often but not bad, although a student, I know when it is smart to go to the bathroom. Before and after every case, even if you don't have to go, something will comeout LOL

Amen!

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bob in Stony Brook, New York

72 months ago

Im told our one 15 min break is added to our half hour lunch/dinner giving us 45 mins for lunch and thats all. The nurses however (different union) get a 15min break in the morning usually right as the case is starting, and 45 min for lunch. fair...I think not.

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bob in Stony Brook, New York

72 months ago

But we do get to sit in hand and av fistula cases

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jermot34 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

71 months ago

am not sure were you guys work at but in florida in a 8 hour work day you are due a 15min break and 30min lunch. if your fecility is not offering that they can be reported. But on the other hand understaffing and lack of exp. of co-workers can lead to some problems in the OR when it comes to lunch and breaks. most cases you just cant get out of a tough case to use the bathroom. If you need that many breaks honestly the OR is not for you my friend.

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Ava in Bronx, New York

71 months ago

jermot34 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida said: am not sure were you guys work at but in florida in a 8 hour work day you are due a 15min break and 30min lunch. if your fecility is not offering that they can be reported. But on the other hand understaffing and lack of exp. of co-workers can lead to some problems in the OR when it comes to lunch and breaks. most cases you just cant get out of a tough case to use the bathroom. If you need that many breaks honestly the OR is not for you my friend.

Hi- I live in New York- I am at a crossroads in my life.....is the slary for the Surgical Teck at leas0K to start?

Thanks!

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Ava in Bronx, New York

71 months ago

Ava in Bronx, New York said: Hi- I live in New York- I am at a crossroads in my life.....is the slary for the Surgical Teck at least 40k to start?

Thanks!

Pardon , the last line..I meant 40K to start?

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Angelica Newcome in Lexington, North Carolina

71 months ago

I am getting ready to go back to college. I am in sales and I do really well but like so many companies we are having a layoff. There are 5 employees and they are cutting it to 2. I'm the last in so I am on the lookout. Anyway I plan to go back to school. I was looking at nursing and getting a 4year degree but I heard about this positon through a friend of someone who does it. I was told she makes roughly $28 an hour and works 50 hours a week. Does this sound right? My best friend in highschool's mom was an operating nurse. Whats the difference aside from years in college?

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Angelica Newcome in Lexington, North Carolina

71 months ago

I live in North Carolina. Can someone tell me if they know of a school here. I've been looking and can't find one less than an hour and a half away.

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jermot34 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

71 months ago

Ava in Bronx, New York said: Pardon , the last line..I meant 40K to start?

yes you can make 40k+ plus

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jermot34 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

71 months ago

Cynical Panic in Chattanooga, Tennessee said: Amen!

preach preacher!!

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jermot34 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

71 months ago

Angelica Newcome in Lexington, North Carolina said: I am getting ready to go back to college. I am in sales and I do really well but like so many companies we are having a layoff. There are 5 employees and they are cutting it to 2. I'm the last in so I am on the lookout. Anyway I plan to go back to school. I was looking at nursing and getting a 4year degree but I heard about this positon through a friend of someone who does it. I was told she makes roughly $28 an hour and works 50 hours a week. Does this sound right? My best friend in highschool's mom was an operating nurse. Whats the difference aside from years in college?

that friend is probably a R.N. and if there making $28 a hour for scrubbing there ethier private working with a surgon excsulive, harvest team, travelin, first assist, or got like 25 years experince! you decide my friend.

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Jeannie

71 months ago

You can make over 30 an hour here in Northern California, (San Francisco and surrounding Bay Area). That would be after being on the job for awhile. You would probably start around 22.00/Hr and top out at 37.00 to 30.00/Hr. There is a lot of money to be made if you take call. You get half time to be available and time and a half when you get called in. It they call you for a 2 hour case, you get paid for 4...that's pretty much standard with unions.
I recommend specializing in the more intricate procedures, Ortho, CV or Spine.
There are always a need for that and it would make you valuable to the hospital. A lot of people don't like Ortho because they are intimidated by the power tools and all of the hardware...which I think, makes it fun. If you like tools, have good hand eye coordination, you will love Ortho.
BTW RNs out here make over 50.00/hr at the top. They're all rich!

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bob in Stony Brook, New York

71 months ago

you wont make 40k for a few years in NY. Im here and no one is makeing what I would call decent money. but then I dont feel that I should be driving a hundye wile the people who do less with the same level of education get paid a lot more and seem to be smiling all the time. Look into x ray tech or sonography in NY.

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bob in Stony Brook, New York

71 months ago

Hey I am a tech an I am married to a nurse and have lunch with my close friend nurses every day and to be honest Nursing sucks. It just pays a lot better then scrub tech which also (you guessed it) sucks too. but if your going to hate going to work everyday you might as well get paid well for it. otherwise go to some electronic tech school and fix computers or do websites for $50 an hr. at least you can give your coworkers the finger when you want to.

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Rick in Lansing, Michigan

71 months ago

bob in Stony Brook, New York said: Hey I am a tech an I am married to a nurse and have lunch with my close friend nurses every day and to be honest Nursing sucks. It just pays a lot better then scrub tech which also (you guessed it) sucks too. but if your going to hate going to work everyday you might as well get paid well for it. otherwise go to some electronic tech school and fix computers or do websites for $50 an hr. at least you can give your coworkers the finger when you want to.

Trust me, electronics and IT sucks just as bad. I make good money as a Broadcast Engineer/MIS but my job SUCKS! I have sent out 31 resumes in the last year and a half, interviewed 17 times had 7 second interviews, 5 third interviews, and not one offer. I have over 12 years in this field. I will be starting my career change this summer, not because the health industry is supposed to have jobs, but to do something different. I will get a CST position somewhere. It may suck too, but at least it will be a different kind of suck, and at least I will be helping people as opposed to now.

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bob in Stony Brook, New York

71 months ago

Ok, helping is good but pick something that is hiring now. cst is almost impossible to get a job in right now. X ray tech too but the work is easier. I would consider sonography, nuclear med tech, hell anything elce- this job just isnt hiring now. Also try health care admin.

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Rick in Lansing, Michigan

71 months ago

Not looking now. I'm not worried. In three to four years when I get done with whatever path I take, it will pay off.

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Miss Jane Doe 67 in Des Plaines, Illinois

71 months ago

Any of you having student loan issues need to check out this site

www .studentloanjustice.org/

The founder of the site has been screwed by the student loan system, and is trying to get the laws changed as far as the ability to discharge student loans via bankruptcy.

There are so many people out there who have had their lives completely ruined by the student loan scam, anyone who is considering taking a loan out needs to read up on what happens to people who can't find a job, or who can't earn a high enough salary to pay for their living expenses, and pay their loans.

Good luck to all of you.

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tula in Budd Lake, New Jersey

71 months ago

OMG..... well is a job, that is way we get pay doing it.Just make sure that we got to go home to our family the end off the day and got the check that should be good.

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star38cod in Wenatchee, Washington

63 months ago

Everyone here has a different opinion about a CST career so here id mine. I am a new grad (06/09) and I looked for work for 3 weeks and found a wondeful job that pays very well and has great benefits. My class had 12 grads and all of us got jobs within 2 months. I as well as the rest of the class were offered multiply jobs and we could be picky as to where we wanted to go. Maybe it is the schools history of turning out good CST's. My school was a 2 year program with a A.A.S degree upon completion, we had over 700 hours of clinical experience upon graduation. This may seem a bit of over kill but we were all recruited for work right from the start. I find my eduacation second to none and enjoy my time in the O.R.

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niamh2739 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

59 months ago

jermot34 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida said: yes you can make 40k+ plus[/
IAM IN PBG ALSO AND JUST GRAD FROM ST SCHOOL PLEASE TELL ME WHERE THEY ARE PAYING THAT MUCH. BECAUSE SO FAR EVERY ONE I KNOW IS MAKING LESS THAN $16.00 PH
THANKS

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jermot34 in Lake Worth, Florida

59 months ago

niamh2739 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida said:

anywhere that can give you a oppurtunity to work! Its all overtime and call pay!

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niamh2739 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

59 months ago

I HEAR YOU! ALTHOUGH, I CAN'T FIND A JOB ANYWHERE I JUST FINISHED SCHOOL AND CANNOT FIND ANYONE WILLING TO HIRE SOMEONE STREIGHT OUT OF SCHOOL.THEY ALL WANT AT LEAST 6 MONTHS TO A YEARS EXPERIENCE. ALL OF MY CLASS MATES THAT FINISHED BEFORE ME A FEW MONTHS AGO STILL HAVE NOT FOUND JOBS AS SCRUB TECHS.
EVERYONE THAT I WORKED WITH AT MY CLINICAL SITE WANTED ME TO APPLY THERE SO THAT I COULD WORK THERE. THIS WOULD BE GREAT IN THEORY HOWEVER,MY CLINICAL SITE IS IN HIALEAH AND THEY PAY $11.00 PH. I LIVE IN PALM BEACH! DURING MY WHOLE EXTERNSHIP I DROVE FOREVER BACK AND FORTH AND SPENT A SMALL FORTUNE ON GAS AND HAD TO WAKE UP AT 3AM IN ORDER TO GET THERE BY 7AM.
NEEDLESS TO SAY THAT I LOVE THE PEOPLE AT THE HOSPITAL AND IF I LIVED THERE IT WOULD BE AN OPTION BUT I CANT AFFORD TO WORK THERE OR TO LIVE IN MIAMI OFF OF $11.00 AN HOUR. PLEASE IF ANYONE HAS ANY SUGGESTIONS PLEASE LET ME KNOW.

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duh in Raleigh, North Carolina

58 months ago

Angelica Newcome in Lexington, North Carolina said: I live in North Carolina. Can someone tell me if they know of a school here. I've been looking and can't find one less than an hour and a half away.

Duke, UNC, ECU... they're all around NC pick one

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Muddie in Raleigh, North Carolina

57 months ago

There are so many variables that fall into play that I would say it isn't fair to say yes or no. Federal laws state that only children 17 and under have to have a 15 minute break for every 4 hours worked. With that said, several states (CA being on of them) who have added their own addendum to the laws which require breaks for adults, X amount of break time for every Y hours worked. Surgery length, staffing and work place rules all vary. I work in NC, formerly in HR, now in the OR and there are no state rules stating that I have to have a break at all. So, there are days when I could work for 6 hours before a bio-break. Lunch might not happen but most often it does if I can eat in 30 or less. You may want to check your state labor laws.

All my best,

Muddie

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Surgitech207 in Middletown, New York

57 months ago

Muddie in Raleigh, North Carolina said: There are so many variables that fall into play that I would say it isn't fair to say yes or no. Federal laws state that only children 17 and under have to have a 15 minute break for every 4 hours worked. With that said, several states (CA being on of them) who have added their own addendum to the laws which require breaks for adults, X amount of break time for every Y hours worked. Surgery length, staffing and work place rules all vary. I work in NC, formerly in HR, now in the OR and there are no state rules stating that I have to have a break at all. So, there are days when I could work for 6 hours before a bio-break. Lunch might not happen but most often it does if I can eat in 30 or less. You may want to check your state labor laws.

All my best,

Muddie

I'm not sure what the Labor Laws in NY State say, but working in a Union hospital means we (most times) get a 15min break and a 30min lunch. When we don't it's because someone called out and now we are short staffed. But even then a nurse can open for you while you grab a quick cup and a pee before your next case. We usually fiqure it all out.

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ljjjalison4@aol.com

53 months ago

I am going to college to become a Surgical tech and I do have a Interview Assignment for school of 12 questions and I wan wonder if anyof you guy can help me.please e-mail me at ljjjalison4@aol.com
Thanks LP

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ljjjalison4@aol.com

53 months ago

tula in Budd Lake, New Jersey said: OMG..... well is a job, that is way we get pay doing it.Just make sure that we got to go home to our family the end off the day and got the check that should be good.

I see you are a Surgical tech I do need help please I am attending school to become a S TECH and I do have a Interview assignment and I dont have anyone who can help me with that can you please help me e mail me if can do it thanks LP ljjjalison4@aol.com

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Jenn401 in Oak Hill, West Virginia

53 months ago

MichelleCST in Newark, New Jersey said: That's what I do, i do go often but not bad, although a student, I know when it is smart to go to the bathroom. Before and after every case, even if you don't have to go, something will comeout LOL

Wow! I just realized that all scrubs live the exact same life!!Sounds like my day!

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farmgirl in Pinconning, Michigan

38 months ago

Jenifer E in Fredericksburg, Virginia said: Sounds like we've worked in the same ORs Browneyed. The best experience I have is the day that I was 24 weeks pregnant. I was in a case for over 6 hours without any sort of break, oh and if it matters, it wasn't a sit down case. Sure there are laws that employers are supposed to follow, but that does not guarantee that they will. Almost always, staffing is the issue and lack of relief is often the biggest reason disgruntled employees have. Resulting in them either quitting their job or their coworkers wishing that they would.

I know this blog is "old" but I just came across this site . . . wanted to put in my 2 cents and I have to agree. I too must work in the same O.R. as well because we never get the 15 minute breaks (we do if we are lucky) and also sometimes we are lucky if we even get a lunch and when we do get lunch often it is inhale and go!!! You don't get a full 1/2 hour, your doc and the rest of the staff are pushing for fast turn over and they don't care if you've ate or not! Right now I'm 32 weeks pregnant . . . and I went 5.5 hours one day with no relief, no potty break, no lunch until and when I finally finished my case and could go take a quick break I had to hurry to be in another room for another case and was even asked to stay over to finish that case that would be starting.

Oh and I'd just like to add where I work the doctor's don't care if you've ate or not. Because chances are they haven't either.

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