November 20, 2017

Being Considered for Better Jobs or Better Pay in the Surgical Technician Field

As with any job, you are likely to start on the ground floor in your new career as a Surgical Technician. With hard work and dedication, you’ll be able to do a lot to advance your career choices, with the higher earnings that you would expect from those advances. Many of the financial opportunities that you will experience actually appear as the result of your tenure in a particular department.

Now, what that actually means is that it is very likely that when you get your first job after graduation, you will wind up working in the surgical departments that are not the most favored. I believe that in every hospital, there is a hierarchy of sorts, with the most popular positions found in Obstetrics, Cardiology, or Orthopedics. The least favored positions are often found in Pediatrics, Geriatrics, or Podiatry. However, that may not be true in every hospital, and your own experience may vary.

The fact of the matter is that as you prove your status as a valued member of the staff who is both punctual, and efficient, you will eventually be eligible for consideration into the premium positions.

You will also see that, even within the same department, it may be common for people with similar amounts of education to have very different job duties. If you keep an eye out, you will often see that the person who seems to be in charge of other Surgical Technicians, has been there the longest period of time and is exceptionally well-liked by the Surgeons. It cannot be stressed enough that simply doing your job adequately is not sufficient to guarantee you the advances in your career that you are probably hoping for. You must be very good at your job, work well with others, and able to anticipate the needs of the surgeons that you are assisting. Those are some of the qualities that will get you into the department, schedule, or pay scale that you are hoping for.

So, What is a First Assistant? And How Being One This Benefit You?

A First Assistant is, in essence, an advanced Surgical Technician. You’ll have to be certified in the field, with some experience, in order to be considered for this unique position. Additional education will be required. When you are finished with your extra training, you will have to apply to take the NBSTSA exam. This test, once you successfully complete it, allows you to be certified by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. In order to do this, you will HAVE to show proof of your graduation from an accredited school and pay the appropriate fees to process your application. Although you probably took Anatomy and Physiology while you were in school the first time, if you didn’t, you will need to do so now. You’ll also have to be certified in CPR.

Your other option is to achieve this extra certification through on-the-job training. If you decide to do it this way, you should, after being hired as a Surgical Technician, let your employer know that you would like to become a First Assistant. Their training hours will have many hours that you will spend learning the extra procedures, and you should not expect to immediately be bumped into a First Assistant position. It would be a very rare employer who immediately promoted you, instead you will be watched, and eventually be offered the position you want.

Even when you’re doing on the job training, you will be required to eventually take the National exam.

The good point about doing on the job training is that you are furthering your education at the same facility that you will be working at, which then makes you a more efficient employee. You may notice that doing it this way means that it takes you longer to finish, but you will be saving money, so it evens out. Your actual book knowledge, as opposed to the skills you’re learning, could be your responsibility more than in a classroom setting.

Some states offer Surgical technician programs through the Universities, so if you’re interested in earning your Bachelor’s degree in this, you’ll probably be considered for promotions more quickly than you would otherwise. In the medical field, the fact is that more education means you are more likely to be taken seriously. It often represents that you take your craft seriously, particularly given the life-threatening surgeries we assist in everyday.

Schedules to Earn More Pay

Most hospitals and other medical facilities offer a pay differential for individuals who are willing to work non-traditional schedules. These schedules might include overnight schedules, because, obviously hospitals are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we never know when an accident will happen.

You might also be able to earn extra money for working 12 hours shifts, which usually mean that you will be there all day, or all night, but only three or four days a week. You will be tired at the end of those days, but it’s a great way to have several days off a week and make a little extra money for the time that you’re there. The final way is a little riskier, but I know technicians who have made very nice salaries for working on call. If you’re lucky, you’ll never get called in, and get paid anyway. If you’re unlucky, you get called in every time you’re on call for an indefinite period of time, but you’re probably still making more per hour than the scheduled employees.

There are a lot of ways for you to further your career. If you really do your best, learn as much as you can, and apply for the jobs that you want, you will eventually be able to progress. You’ll earn a nice salary, for a relatively small amount of higher education, and know that you are doing what you love.