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Should I Become a Surgical Technologist?

How does wearing scrubs to work every day sound? Surgical technologists play a key support role in the operating room. It’s hands-on work — you’ll be taking care of a variety of important tasks involving counting supplies and helping to maintain a sterile environment. That’s not all, either — keep reading to learn more.

What Do Surgical Technologists Do?

You might also hear a surgical technologist referred to as a scrub tech, a surgical technician or an operating room technician. These allied health professionals are important members of the surgical team. They may help set up the operating room, prep and transport patients, adjust lights or other equipment, prepare patients for surgery, and more. They assist in surgical operations under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses and other medical personnel. By learning about various surgical procedures, surgical technologists learn to anticipate the needs of the surgeon and help make the process as smooth and efficient as possible.

Is Surgical Technology a Good Career?

In a word: yes! Surgical technology jobs are in demand, and employment levels are projected to grow about 15 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Texas has the highest national employment levels for surgical technologists, with about 10,000 people employed statewide. Additionally, surgical technologists in Texas make an annual mean wage of $46,000.

Does a Surgical Technologist Have to Be Certified?

Yes! Most surgical techs train through a community college and earn a Surgical Technologist Associate in Applied Sciences degree. In the associate degree program, you’ll take classes in subject areas like anatomy and physiology, microbiology, surgical procedures, perioperative fundamentals and more. Additionally, you’ll also need to work a number of clinical and practicum hours to earn field experience. Full-time students can complete the program in about two years, or five semesters. Once you graduate, you’ll be eligible to take the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting Certified Surgical Technologist Exam. Often these programs only have a set number of available spots for students, so the admissions process can be competitive. Make sure to check out El Centro’s Surgical Technologist admissions packet (PDF- 414 KB) for all the details.

Why Become a Surgical Technologist?

The health care industry makes up a significant amount of the workforce in Texas, and you’ll be making a real difference in the lives of the patients you work with. Surgical techs need to be good at thinking on their feet, keeping calm under pressure and working well as part of a team. If this sounds like you, surgical technology may be a great fit. El Centro’s Surgical Technologist associate degree program prepares you to get certified and go straight into the workforce, so you can be making good money in a relatively short amount of time.

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