Finding a Surgical Tech Education and Career in New York State
Whether working as an emergency room surgical technician or as a tech assisting the physicians at an urgent care clinic, the surgical technologist is a vital component of the modern healthcare sector. With the growing demand for skilled and professional technicians, this field is becoming increasingly attractive for those who are interested in well paying and flexible employment in the medical sector.
In today’s healthcare sector the number of elective and medically necessary surgeries continues to increase. This has largely been driven by the rise of the use of surgical procedures in the cosmetic and weight control field. Additionally, the growing number of elderly individuals in the United States has resulted in an increased demand for elder care related surgical procedures.
As a major component of the surgical team, this has also resulted in the increased use of surgical techs. Because of this, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a steady growth in career opportunities through 2020. Additionally, the retirement of older surgical techs will help ensure that job opportunities remain promising for newly graduated surgical techs. Finally, a surgical tech’s median yearly wage is over $39,000, according to the BLS.
Surgical technologists work in a variety of fields, from major hospitals to small clinics. In addition, while some techs assist with major surgeries, urgent care clinics often use surgical technicians to assist with minor procedures. Elective surgeries, ranging from cosmetic surgery to weight control surgeries also make use of their own facilities and surgical techs.
Surgical technicians work in a variety of settings. Those working at public and private hospitals, especially in trauma care and ER settings may face unexpected and emergency surgeries. Those working in dental offices or clinics offering elective surgery usually have regular work hours.
Finally, surgical technicians must be prepared to remain on their feet for a long period of time during surgical procedures. Some surgical procedures, especially complex procedures such as transplants, can last over 10 hours. Surgical technicians must also be capable of working effectively during time critical operations, especially during emergency surgeries.
Surgical techs perform a variety of functions in the operating room. In general, the surgical tech works to assist the surgeon, nurses and any other specialists with the surgical procedure.
Among the more common duties of a surgical tech are the following:
While New York does not currently have any license requirements for surgical technologists, most organizations prefer to hire individuals who have demonstrated their competency in the field. A student should be certain to attend a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredited school, in order to ensure that he or she has received the best possible education.
In most cases, a surgical tech program takes about two years to complete. However, many schools offer part-time programs in order to allow students who are working to complete the program by taking evening and weekend classes. A number of schools also offer online programs, allowing the student to complete the program while working from home. This is especially useful for students who are caring for a family.
Becoming a certified surgical technician has a variety of advantages for the employee. Many businesses will prefer to hire a certified technician and a number of states require certification before they will allow a technician to obtain a license to practice.
Finally, certified surgical techs enjoy better career and salary options. There are a number of national certification bodies, including the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) and the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), which offer nationally recognized certification programs.
In order to become certified, the candidate must graduate from a CAAHEP accredited program, successfully pass a surgical technologists exam, and in some cases provide letters of recommendation from his or her supervisors and educators. In addition, in order to retain the certification, the surgical tech must take continuing education courses before renewing his or her certification. In this way, a certified technician is certain to be fully aware of the current state of surgical practice and technology.
Becoming a surgical tech opens the gateway to a well-compensated and rewarding career with numerous opportunities for advancement. In today’s challenging economy, becoming a surgical technician allows entry into a secure career that will continue to rise in importance in the coming years.
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