Becoming a Michigan Surgical Technician
Becoming a surgical technician is an excellent path to a well paying and respected medical career. With the growth of the American healthcare sector and the rise of various types of weight control, cosmetic, dental and vision correction surgeries, the importance of the surgical technician is greater than ever before.
Becoming a surgical tech is best accomplished by first attending accredited surgical tech schools in Michigan. In general, the surgical technologist program lasts for about two years for full-time students.
Many programs also offer part-time and online programs to assist students who cannot attend school on a full-time schedule. This is very useful for students who are currently working or otherwise unable to attend classes during regular hours.
The student should ensure that he or she is attending an accredited school. The most common accreditation of surgical tech programs is provided by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), which has developed standards that ensure such programs effectively train their students in all aspects of the surgical tech’s duties.
Other bodies, such as the American Board of Surgical Assistants (ABSA) also provide accreditation services. Although Michigan does not require certification or licensure to practice as a surgical tech, graduating from an accredited program will improve the individual’s career opportunities and salary.
After graduating from an accredited program, the student should strongly consider becoming a certified surgical technician. There are a variety of groups that offer certification, including the following:
In order to become a certified technician, the individual must have graduated from an accredited program and then take an examination that tests his or her academic and practical medical skills. These exams are kept current with the state of the art of surgical medicine in order to ensure that they provide an accurate measure of the candidate’s skills.
Finally, certified surgical techs must continue to maintain their skills by taking continuing education classes in order to qualify to renew their certifications. In some cases, they may use alternate methods, such as retaking the exam or providing proof of work experience, but all certified techs must demonstrate a continued mastery of their profession.
While certification is not required for surgical techs in Michigan, certified technicians have a number of advantages. By demonstrating their competency, they can enjoy higher salaries and better career options. In addition, some hospitals, clinics, and individual practices may only hire certified surgical techs. Finally, it is easier for a certified tech to qualify to practice in other states, should he or she move out of Michigan.
Surgical techs assist the surgeon and other medical staff during, before and after the surgical procedure. In general, the surgical technician helps support the surgeon by assisting in the initial positioning of the patient, the preparation of the medical equipment and by passing tools and equipment to the surgeon during the surgery.
One of the most important duties of a surgical tech is to ensure that materials and equipment are kept in a sterile state. Due to the danger of a postoperative infection, this duty demands the greatest attention to detail on the part of the surgical technician in order to maintain the patient’s safety.
Surgical techs who work in clinics or as part of a doctor’s practice may be primarily involved in assisting in minor and elective surgeries. While requiring the same level of commitment, these duties are often less likely to demand overtime, and are planned by the surgical staff. Surgical techs that assist in hospitals or trauma care centers will often face unexpected surgeries and considerable overtime, requiring greater flexibility and endurance on the technician’s part.
The career outlook for surgical technicians remains very promising. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the national growth rate for surgical techs through 2020 will be approximately 19 percent. Michigan’s median yearly wage is over $40,000, which is slightly higher than the national median wage for surgical technicians.
Finally, the continued growth of the healthcare sector, combined with a growing elderly population, will ensure that there is a continued demand for skilled surgical technologists. By entering this field an individual can enjoy a financially and personally rewarding career.
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