November 20, 2017

Certified Surgical Assistant vs Just Surgical Assistant

Differences between being a Certified Surgical Assistant, and Just Being a Surgical Assistant

There are several things to keep in mind when you are deciding on not just your career, but the steps you’ll be taking in order to pursue that career. By now, you’ve probably read enough of the postings here, that you’ll have a basic understanding of what your options are, but just in case let’s take a moment to review.

You might be able to find some hospitals or surgical facilities that still offer on the job training. Now, if you choose to begin your career in this way, you will have a job that is in the field you are interested in. However, the problem with this is that you will almost certainly be working alongside men and women who are doing the exact same job that you are. Eventually, you might have quite a bit of seniority at work, and really be good at every aspect of your job duties …all while you make as much as five dollars less per hour than your co-workers. The only reason for the difference in your earnings could be the fact that you lack that incredibly important certificate.

On the job training may seem like a great way to avoid the expense and time of college, but within even a few years, you would have earned back the educational expenses. The fact of the matter is that you are a lot more likely to be taken seriously in the future, because you have the ability to be certified. Additionally, in some states ( and probably a higher number of states in the future), you cannot work as a surgical technologist without being certified. Typically, being certified requires some sort of higher education, either from a technical or community college, or one of the schools that offers training for many of the assistant jobs in the medical settings.

There are many ways that you could get funding for your education. Many hospitals will pay for you to go to college, if you are already their employee, and you are willing to agree to continue to work for them for a specified period of time after graduation. Additionally, there are many grants and loans that are available for qualifying individuals, that would allow you the best possible career possibilities.

For information on those opportunities, ask the financial aid specialists at the school you would like to attend. They will also be able to discuss any scholarships that might help you as well.

What You Can Expect if You Earn a Certificate

If you’ve decided that you would like to have the ability to be certified with the state, or even on a Federal level, congratulations! You will not regret this choice, it’s amazing how much easier a certificate makes it to find a job, especially when you are just starting out.

If you earn a certificate, you will spend less than time in school than you would if you earned a diploma. In many cases, it will be only a year or 18 months that is necessary.
Unfortunately, the truth is that with a certificate, and not a degree, it is common to not receive first consideration for future promotions. That is not to say that you won’t be promoted, nor does it mean that it’s true everywhere, but I’ve been in this field for a decade, and it’s always been a rule of thumb at each hospital I’ve been at.

As a new graduate, you will have to prove yourself, once you’re employed, but you will have to prove yourself longer if you have only the certificate. If you ever change hospitals, or even if the hospital changes hands while you’re working there, you might be watched more closely to make sure that your skills are adequate and appropriate for your position. You will be a Certified Surgical Assistant, and you will play an important part in the hospital. This is not saying that your skills or status in the hospital will be belittled, it’s just that when you work in a setting with so many highly educated people, they need to be sure that you are competent at your job. Remember, without someone like you or me in the operating room, surgeries take longer and someone else has to do our job. Don’t allow yourself to become disappointed, many people with certicates go on to great salaries and important roles in the hospital. It just might take you a little longer, that’s all.

So, You’re Taking the Plunge and Going For the Diploma

If you’ve decided to spend the extra time in school to get a degree, that is wonderful! You are quickly going to see how much information there is to learn, and you’ll be seen by most of your future employers as a more well-rounded individual because of the extra classes you’ll have to take in order to get any type of Associate’s Degree. You’ll need to be on a college level in Reading, Writing and Math in order to take some of these classes. Depending on how many classes you take, and what pre-requisites are necessary, you will spend at least two years in college.

At the very least, you will be able to take classes such as Philosophy, Psychology, and a fine arts class, like Theater or Art Appreciation. The classes and the requirements for your degree will vary by the state that you live in, and you might be able to take some of the classes part-time. At some point while you’re in school, usually at least half-way through your degree, you will begin to do your clinicals.

Clinicals are kind of like the student teaching of the medical field. You will not be paid for this time, but you will be learning and practicing all the skills that you are learning about at school. You would have to do clinicals regardless of how you get your education, but you will probably be doing more because you have decided to get your degree. This is the perfect time for you to ask questions about anything, because you’re most likely to have lots of people around to ask them. As long as they are constructive questions, it might even result in you being noticed by the right people at the hospital.

After all, if you’re asking questions, that means that you are paying attention, that you’re smart, and that you put the well-being of the patients ahead of everything else. Who wouldn’t want to hire, or at least talk to, someone like that?

The average person who goes into this industry probably does so because of a genuine desire to help people, and due to an interest in the medical field. Our job is not glamorous, but pays reasonably well and has a lot of potential for growth, especially when you consider the relatively small amount of time that we have to be in school. I encourage everyone that’s thinking about this career to just take the plunge and go for it. I think that 99% of the people that I know in this field were nervous when they started school, but now enjoy their jobs and are never sorry they did it. I get to say that every day I go to work and I help save people’s lives..and that’s a pretty neat thing to be able to say.