A career as a surgical technician offers excitement, challenges, and a rewarding salary and benefits. There are numerous vocational schools and community colleges in Massachusetts offering certification and degree programs for those interested in becoming a surgical assistant.
A surgical technician is a member of an operating room team. He or she is responsible for preparing the room for the surgical procedure. The assistant works closely with the attending physician and is familiar with the operational routine, how the instruments are used and cared for, and how to monitor the condition of the patient. Training to be a certified surgical tech involves a number of core courses as well as study in the areas of chemistry, biology, and mathematics.
Depending on the type of work the individual wishes to participate in, college or vocational training may focus on a specialized area of surgical assistance. For example, surgical techs are needed in various fields such as dentistry, trauma centers, emergency care wards, and spinal injury hospitals.
Most of the schools offering degree programs for surgical technician students will offer both an accelerated certificate course or an advanced graduate degree series of classes and laboratory work.
Many of the schools in Massachusetts have an Associate degree program, the highest level of education required for this type of specialized field.
Technical schools and community colleges that offer a surgical technician program usually require a high school diploma, one or two years worth of college credit, and satisfactory marks in biology, chemistry, and mathematics. Most of these schools will accept underclass students with the understanding that additional required credits will be taken before most of the degree program coursework commences.
Students can inquire to the admissions offices of these schools to find out if certain prerequisite classes must be taken and passed before the core courses are offered.
Students living in Massachusetts have a wide range of programs available, offered by many of the community colleges and vocational schools in the state. Individuals should contact the school directly for complete information on specialized coursework that may be required for a particular field.
All of these schools offer students a one- or two-year program that focuses on operation room procedures, instrument preparation, communication with patients and doctors, and medical records. Each of the schools has an Associate’s degree program that includes testing for certification.
After obtaining a degree as a surgical assistant, students are encouraged to participate in an internship program. National certification is offered by several entities in the form of an examination. The job requirements listed by many prospective employers include certification, and students who possess both a degree and national recognition in the form of a certificate are more likely to find a job in this industry that pays above the national average.
Certification is not permanent, and surgical technicians are required to attend certain classes or lecture series in order to keep their standing up-to-date.
Those individuals holding a degree or diploma from an accredited school will find numerous positions available in the health care sector. Skilled surgical techs are needed to assist physicians in every corner of the industry.
Veterinary clinic surgeons require the assistance of an operating room tech to help with the animals, prepare them for surgery, and administer certain medicines. Rehabilitation and physical therapy centers often have their own operating rooms for those patients requiring specialized surgery. Emergency care units in hospitals and trauma centers have a full staff of nursing assistants and surgical technicians who prepare the rooms for operation, sterilize and lay out the instruments, and perform ongoing monitoring of patients.
One of the challenges of this profession is learning how to deal with emergencies, communicate in an effective manner with both doctors and patients, and how to become prepared for unexpected routines. A training program at an accredited institute of learning will teach students how to deal with stress, how to understand all types of unusual procedures that must be carried out in the operating room, and how to perform records keeping that is a vital part of the decisions made by surgeons and physicians in general.
Surgical technicians in Massachusetts earn an average starting wage in the $35-40K range. Those who are certified as a First Surgical Assistant and who have completed an internship after earning a degree may earn in excess of $60,000 annually. The number of certified techs who hold an Associate’s degree is expected to grow by more than 15 percent by the year 2020.
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