Courtney Davis English 111 –CML 02-09-12 Essay #2 – informative Do You Want to Be A “Scrub”? Have you ever considered entertaining the idea of establishing a career in Surgical Technology? Many people are not thoroughly familiar with the job duties, educational requirements, earnings, job outlook, and potential downsides. Exploring these five areas will assist you in making a more informed career decision. Surgical Technologist can also be referred to as “Scrubs” (Occupational Outlook Handbook, p. ). A Surgical Technologists’ duties before an operation is to help prepare the Operating Room by setting up instruments and equipment that are used and needed by the Surgeon performing the procedure. Cynthia Davis, RN/ CST states her duty “I prepare and maintain highly complex sterile environments. ” They get the patients ready for surgery by washing and shaving the necessary parts of the body that the surgeon will be focusing on. They also observe the patients vital signs and check charts.
During surgery a surgical technologists assist the surgeon or their assistant by passing and holding instruments, cutting sutures, counting needles and other supplies that are essential to the surgery being performed at the time. Sometimes the surgical techs even operate suction machines, sterilizers, adjust lights to a specific area, and help operate diagnostic equipment that is in the surgical room. .Cynthia describes her position as “the primary surgical tech responsible for handling instruments, supplies, and equipment during all surgical procedures. These procedures range from minimally invasive biopsies to highly complex surgeries”.
After an operation Scrubs may help the patient to recovery. They also clean and restock the operating room so that it will be ready for the next operation. Jennifer Davis, NP . , says, “My responsibilities as a surgical technologist are to set up, maintain a sterile field during surgery, assist the surgeon if needed and clean up and start all over again”. Most Scrubs work a regular 40hour week, but also will remain on call to work nights, weekends, or whenever needed just depending on how many surgeries are scheduled throughout the week. Usually, holidays are on a rotating basis. (Bureau of Labor Statistics,U. S.
Department of Labor. ) Most employers prefer to hire certified technologist. Training programs last 9-24 months and lead to a certificate, diploma, or associates degree (Occupational Outlook Handbook, p. 1). Technologist may obtain voluntary professional certification from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting by graduating from a CAAHEP-accredited program and a passing a national certification examination In order to maintain certification they must earn 60 hours of approved continuing education over 4 years or retake and pass the certifying exam at the end of 4 years (Occupational Outlook Handbook, p. 3).
The wages of surgical technologist can vary with their experience, education, responsibility of the position, working hours, and the economy of a given region of the country (Occupational Outlook Handbook). The benefits that are provided by most employers will include paid vacation and sick leave, health, medical, vision, dental, life insurance; and a retirement program. A few even provide tuition reimbursement and child care benefits. Cynthia Davis reports she organizes her own schedule that must consist of four twelve hour shifts , says she is always on call but that the excellent benefits and health insurance make up for it. . On average surgical technologist made $38,740 in May of 2008 according to Occupational Outlook Handbook. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U. S. Department of Labor the employment is expected to grow much faster than average. Job opportunities will be the best for those willing to relocate (ooh) in 2008, surgical Technologist held about 91,500 jobs, with 71 percent of the jobs being in hospitals. Other positions were held in offices of physicians’, dentist, and ambulatory surgical centers (Occupational Outlook Handbook). Industries employing the largest numbers of surgical technologist were Specialty hospitals $40,880 and Out patient centers $39,660. (Bureau of Labor Statics, U. S. Department of Labor) “Technologists must respond quickly and must be familiar with operation procedures in the order to have instruments ready for surgeons without having to be told to do so” (Occupational Outlook Handbook, p. 3). Scrubs need manual dexterity to handle instruments quickly. They must be conscientious, orderly, and emotionally stable to handle the demand s of the operating room environment.
Potential downsides are standing for long periods of time, being exposed to communicable diseases and unpleasant sights, odors and materials. Jennifer describes this job as high stress but very rewarding. The worst part of the job is losing a patient. ” In conclusion, the thought of establishing yourself in a surgical technology career can consist of knowing the duties, educational requirements, earnings, job outlook, and the potential downsides to the job.
The relatively short amount of time it takes to obtain a degree or license needed to start a career, the joy of doing something different everyday, and the substantial earnings you can make each year are all good reasons to pursue nursing as a career, as long as the downsides are tolerable for you. If you are thinking that the downsides don’t seem so bad then you should check into pursuing a career in surgical technology and you can be a “Scrub”.