A surgical technologist provides support to surgical professionals and their team from the preparation of a surgical operation to its completion. Whether it be preparing tools and devices for a procedure or inventorying items in a department, these professionals perform vital healthcare services. Explore their daily responsibilities and career projections below, as they continue to become an essential asset in the field.
As surgeons plan for operation, it is the job of a surgical technologist to assemble and arrange equipments and material such as linens, saline, lights and suction machine as well as help prepare the patient the procedure. For example, they may help determine and administer anesthesia to a patient as all as prepare parts of the body for surgery. The technologist will also collaborate with the fellow surgery team members to ensure a seamless operation. Upon the completion of the surgery, the technologist assists in disposing wastes as well as sterilizes materials for future used down the line. They also may help perform the dressing of an operated area on a patient to ensure a safe and fast recovery.
With more people needing healthcare services, demand and role of surgical technicians will continue to grow and evolve. The The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) sees a growth of 19 percent in the job prospects of surgical technologists, which exceeds the average job growth of 14 percent. This means approximately 17,700 new jobs should emerge in this industry by 2020. This is a promising trend for aspiring practitioners in the field. Basic qualifications for a surgical technologist include a CPR certification. A non-graduate can also be hired as a trainee to complete the stipulated certification requirements.
Surgical technicians earn a healthy salary to enable them to provide a comfortable lifestyle for themselves and their families. The BLS reports that the average compensation for a professional in this sector is $20.91 per hour or approximately $43,480 a year. This figure may rise to $50,500 in higher paying areas of the country. In contrast, the salary figure may fall as low as $34,560 per year in lower paying regions. This difference in pay scale varies by region of the country, with California being the highest paying state and Mississippi as the lowest paying one. Technologists with advanced education credentials have the background to command a higher salary package, as their skills and expertise are seen as having more value.