What Is A Certified Surgical Technologist?
As a surgical technologist, or operating room technician, you will prepare the operating room for procedures, providing direct support and assistance to the doctor or surgeon performing the surgery.
You’ll sometimes hear surgical technologists referred to as “scrub techs” because they’re involved in ensuring that all equipment for surgery is present, as well as preparing the room itself.
What Do Surgical Techs Do?
A typical day for a surgical technologist includes checking your assignments for that day, and ensuring that all the necessary equipment is ready for the 4 – 5 cases you’ll typically handle.
Once the room is prepped for surgery you might then gown and glove the surgeon before surgery, and then during the procedure your role is to anticipate what surgical instrument or material the surgeon will require next, passing them to the surgeon when asked.
In a post-operative capacity you will help the surgeon close up, removing any unneeded wound or surgical dressings, and clothing the patient before they leave the operating room. You would then prepare the room for the next procedure, including cleaning it.
Most surgical technologists will need to live quite close to the Oklahoma hospital or healthcare facility they work in because you will typically be on call during the day.
Medical Assistant vs. Surgical Technologist
Although medical assistants and surgical technologists may sound quite similar in terms of their overall job description, what they actually do on a day-to-day basis is quite different.
A medical assistant will work as part of the medical team in a healthcare facility, but their work can be more focused on administrative tasks rather than directly supporting a surgeon. In terms of clinical tasks an MA might be asked to perform duties ranging from taking blood samples, to performing ECG tests, all the way through to assisting a doctor with minor medical procedures.
A surgical technologist, on the other hand, will spend their entire day either inside an operating room assisting a surgeon, preparing that room for the next surgical procedure, or providing break relief to other surgical technologists during a given day.
Scrub techs do also have some administrative duties, but not to the extent of a typical medical assistant. Their focus instead is on providing direct support to the surgeon or doctor they’re working with.
Are There Employment Opportunities?
It’s always important to consider whether or not you’ll be able to find gainful employment after completing any training course, or diploma. This is even more important in the current jobs market, where different qualifications might not be as in demand as they once were.
The good news is that demand for surgical technologists is predicted to grow year-on-year by 10% – 12% up to 2025. This is a clear indication of higher than average growth in demand for skilled scrub techs over the next decade, making it an ideal long-term career.
How Much Does A Surgical Technologist Make?
According to the United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook the median annual wage for surgical technologist was $46,310 in May 2017.
How to Become a Surgical Technologist
At Central Oklahoma College we can prepare you for an exciting and rewarding career as a Surgical Technologist, thanks to our 50-week surg tech program, comprised of 1250 hours of training in total.
You will receive training in all aspects of the role, including anatomy, medical terminology, aseptic technique, creating a sterile field, and providing pre, intra and post-operative care for patients.
Upon successful completion of this comprehensive course graduates will be prepared to take the Surgical Technologist (CST) Examination – the exam costs are included in your tuition fees.
We also have a medical assistant program available. Contact one of our enrollment representatives today for further information.