Becoming a Surgical Technician in Georgia
Surgical technicians provide a vital service in the modern American healthcare system. By assisting doctors, nurses and other professionals during surgeries, they help ensure that the operations are successful and that the patients make the best possible recovery. Especially in today’s economy, a surgical technician can enjoy a well-compensated and secure career.
The Duties of a Surgical Technician
Surgical technicians assist the surgeon and the rest of the surgical team during all stages of the surgical process. Their primary duties include the following:
- Before the operation, the surgical technician will verify that all supplies and equipment are present and in proper condition.
- The surgical technician will verify that all equipment is sterile, in order to reduce the chance of a postoperative infection.
- The technician will assist the doctors and nurses and donning their surgical garb.
- The technician will assist in moving the patient to the operating table, and position the patient in a way to make the surgical procedure easiest.
- During the surgery, the surgical tech will assist the surgeon by passing him or her tools and dressings.
- After the surgery, the surgical tech will help transport the patient to the recovery room, and prepare the surgery for the next operation.
In addition to these duties, the surgical tech must remain aware at all times, and be prepared to immediately respond to the surgeon’s requests for tools. This requires a great attention to detail, in addition to excellent communication skills. Finally, in some areas, such as emergency or trauma care surgical centers, the technician will have to be prepared to work with his or her team during stressful operations, while remaining professional at all times.
Where do Surgical Techs Work?
In today’s healthcare sector, surgical technicians work in a wide range of facilities. While the majority is still employed in a traditional hospital setting, the rise of elective surgery has resulted in an increasing number of surgical technologists finding employment in clinics offering weight control or cosmetic surgical procedures. Additionally, many urgent care clinics perform minor surgical procedures that will require the assistance of a surgical technician. Finally, other medial fields, including dentistry and optometry also perform surgical procedures with the assistance of surgical techs.
Becoming a Surgical Technician in Georgia
Those wishing to become a surgical technician in Georgia should attend an accredited surgical technologist program. Most of these programs are offered by community colleges or vocational schools. Surgical tech schools in Georgia that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), will provide a high quality education in surgical technology that is accepted by all states.
How Long Does Obtaining an Education Take
For a full-time student, it usually takes about two years to complete a surgical technician program, depending on the student’s schedule. Many schools offer part-time and online courses, in order to allow students who are currently working to complete the program on their own schedule. Depending on their schedule, part-time students may take considerably longer than two-years to complete the program.
Becoming a Certified Technologist
Becoming a certified technologist can radically improve the surgical technician’s career options. In order to become certified, the technologist must complete the requirements of one of the approved national certification bodies. They are:
- The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA)
- The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT).
- The National Healthcare Association (NHA).
All of these programs offer various types of certification for the technologist. In most cases, this requires that the individual have graduated from a CAAHEP accredited program, and complete an exam that allows the individual to demonstrate the practical and academic skills needed for a surgical technologist.
Although becoming certified is not required by Georgia, many organizations prefer to hire certified surgical technicians, and in most cases, certified technicians enjoy greater career options and higher salary levels. Additionally, some states do require certification, so technicians who are considering a later move should become certified.
Current Surgical Tech Career Options
The surgical technologist currently enjoys steady growth options in his or her career field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) currently projects that surgical technologists will continue to enjoy long-term growth, driven by the increasing importance of the American healthcare sector. In addition, the median national salary for surgical technologists is over $39,000.
This makes this career an extremely attractive option for those seeking to transition to a new career, in addition to newly graduated individuals who are preparing to enter the job market for the first time. Finally, surgical technicians enjoy a high level of respect from those aware of the vital role they play in the modern medical field.