Anybody who wants a career that does not only offer promising opportunities and job security but also a sense of fulfillment should consider to a career in surgical technology. Surgical technologists, also known as surgical technicians or operating room technicians, are valuable members of the surgical team. They assist surgeons, registered nurses and other members of the team during surgical procedures. To add, these trained health care workers are actively involved in activities outside the operating rooms. They administer direct patient care by assisting patients scheduled for surgeries as well. Surgical technologists are also involved with pre-surgical preparations.
The job outlook for surgical technologists is excellent through the next decade. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that the demand for surgical technologists would increase by as much as 25% through 2018. This figure indicates that the job opportunities or employment for technologist with surgical technologist certification is would increase or grow much faster than the average for all occupations in the next eight years. The strong demand is mainly due to the increasing cases of surgical procedures performed in the United States each year. It is estimated that about 40 million surgical procedures are conducted in the country annually. With the increasing number of individuals in the older population needing surgeries, the growing number of surgeons and registered nurses retiring and with the rapid development of technology and medicine that resulted in newer surgical procedures, the demand for surgical technologist would certainly skyrocket in the coming years.
In addition to its excellent job outlook, the salary and benefits of surgical technologists are promising, especially those with a surgical technologist certification. More than 50% of employed surgical technologists earned between $32,490 and $46,910 in 2008. The upper 10% made more than $54,300 in the same year. The salary influenced factors such as the industry of employment, location of work, experience and credentials. Those working in larger cities and in specialty hospitals earned more annually. As surgical technologists gain experience and obtain surgical technologist certification, the chances for better job opportunities and career advancements become higher. For that, it is recommended to obtain and maintain the certification as it can be a great advantage for career advancement.
Another good reason to consider surgical technology as a career is the opportunities for career advancements. Surgical technologists can advance their careers by working in specialized areas, such as neurosurgery and cardiothoracic surgery, through further surgical technologist training. Additional training may also allow operating room technicians to work as circulating technologists or first assistant during surgical procedures. Some surgical technologists may also be employed in insurance companies and operating equipment companies. They may also manage the central supply departments in medical facilities.
Surgical technologist training programs are offered by junior or community colleges, technical schools, hospitals, universities and in military. The length of surgical technologist training may vary, depending on the degree of the program. A diploma may be completed in five quarters and an associate degree may be completed in two years. These programs generally include courses that focus on general medical theory and applied medicine in operating rooms.