The growing demand for qualified surgical assistants and surgical techs in the state of Oregon has resulted in an increased number of programs offered through community colleges and vocational schools.
Students interested in a career in the field of surgical assistance will find a number of degree programs focusing on the areas of dental surgery assistance, trauma center surgery assistance, and emergency room surgery assistance. These programs lead to a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree and can be completed in a formal classroom setting or through a comprehensive online class schedule.
National statistics clearly indicate a need for thousands of newly trained individuals for assisting surgeons in the operating room. Oregon hospitals, dental surgery clinics, and outpatient medical centers all require the presence of a trained surgical tech whenever a medical operation is performed.
Undergraduate students may obtain their Bachelor’s degree by completing a one- or two-year course load that focuses entirely on surgical assistant training. Credits can be transferred from the existing school to a specialized vocational institute or community college.
Those who already hold a Bachelor’s degree may wish to complete the coursework for an Associate’s degree in surgical assistance. These programs often take less than one year to complete, and the student is awarded not only an advanced degree but also certification accepted by most medical facilities in the state of Oregon.
Mt. Hood Community College has a very intense surgical technician training program for those interested in a career as a surgical assistant. The Associate degree program involves a total of 90 credits of coursework. Students will need to have satisfactory grades in mathematics, biology, and chemistry. Courses focus primarily on the theory of surgical procedure, anatomy and physiology, surgical terms and phrases, and specialized needs of patient groups such as children and the elderly.
Concorde Career College offers a diploma program in surgical technology. This one-year program is approved by the CAAHEP and includes study of anatomy, surgical procedures, patient care, and data recording. The program involves a total of 50 credits earned and more than 200 hours of laboratory work.
Job opportunities for those holding a diploma or certificate as a surgical tech are not limited to the large hospitals in Portland and other cities. Because of the growing specialties within each sector of the medical industry, job openings for qualified surgical techs exist in numerous clinics, medical treatment centers, and dental surgery facilities.
Surgical technicians have a number of responsibilities including the prepping of the operating room, the sterilization of surgical equipment and tools, monitoring of a patient’s condition both during and after surgery, and recording of information regarding the patient. Excellent communication between doctor and surgical assistant is vital. Coursework at an accredited surgical technician school involves many hours of study in the areas of medical terminology, surgical procedures, and the use of various tools and instruments.
Students interested in a career as a surgical technician are encouraged to look carefully at the core courses offered. Some online schools such as Kaplan University, The University of Phoenix, and DeVry University have specialized courses that are directly related to a specific field such as dental surgery or veterinary treatment.
The State of Oregon does not specifically require a license in order to perform work as a surgical technician. However, job openings for those who have completed a degree program and who hold a diploma or certificate are far more numerous. Certification is voluntary in Oregon and can be obtained through the National Center for Competency Testing, National Healthcare Association, or the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. National certification requires a high school diploma and completion of a Bachelor’s or Associate degree from a school that is approved by the CAAHEP.
Starting salaries for those who hold a certificate from an accredited school range from about $35,000 for dental surgical assistants to more than $45,000 for those who hold the title of First Surgical Assistant. First surgical assistants will have completed a deeper course load followed by a specially organized examination. A first surgical assistant will have completed extensive coursework in the areas of patient care, emergency surgery procedures, and instrument readings.
The average salary for all surgical technicians in Oregon was approximately $47,000 as of 2011. The number of jobs in the state is expected to rise nearly 20 percent by the year 2020. This is due mainly to the aging population in the state, a direct result of the baby boomer years. The increase in specialized care centers for those with disabilities, who need physical therapy, or who are rehabilitating after surgery is another factor that contributes to this estimated increase in job opportunities for surgical techs.
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Founded in 1981 as Skilltronics, Inc. in Corvallis, Oregon, Pioneer Pacific College began as a unique training program for students interested in entering the growing electronics industry. Over the years, Pioneer Pacific College has continued adding programs and evolving training to better meet the employment needs of industries in demand, as well as the needs of the communities we serve.
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Charter College is a private, independent institution of higher education that follows a new direction. Charter College is neither a liberal arts college, a university, nor a vocational school. Instead, Charter College borrows certain elements from each of those respected educational institutions to create a unique and innovative experience for our students.
We offer career training programs in the growing fields of health care, business, law, criminal justice, information technology, and select trade careers. We strive to provide our students with a career-focused education that is both relevant in today’s workspace and cutting-edge in technology and focus.
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For more than 35 years, Keiser University has provided student-centered, career-focused education in fields such as health care, business, criminal justice and information technology. Our one-class-at-a-time schedules allow busy students to focus on their education and balance the demands of work and family. Whether you choose to attend online, on campus, or both you will be part of a caring learning environment led by experienced faculty who bring textbooks to life with real-world challenges and solutions. Our unique combination of a curriculum that is in pace with technology and the skills employers value along with our “students first” approach provides an outstanding academic experience.
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Keiser is one of Florida’s largest independent universities and is a valued choice for career-motivated students. We offer associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in fields that are in demand, and we provide job placement assistance to students and alumni.
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1 Keiser University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates and degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist and doctoral levels. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Keiser University.
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