Surgical Technologist Training:
Tips for New Surgical Tech Students
With surgical technologist training, you can prepare to play a vital supporting role in operating rooms and patient outcomes. A surgical tech career can give you the opportunity to assist in surgeries without the more extensive education required of surgeons and registered nurses. But, while a career in surgical technology can be very fulfilling, it is important to go into it with your eyes wide open. If you're considering applying to a surgical technologist school, keep the following advice in mind.
Understand What You're Getting Into
If you are prepared for the demanding nature of the work, a surgical tech career can be immensely rewarding. Surgical technologists (also called scrubs, surgical technicians, or operating room technicians) are required to maintain very stringent standards of practice. As a member of an operating room team, you will carry a great deal of responsibility. Often, patients' lives are at stake.
Before a surgery, you will help set up the operating room, making sure the right surgical instruments, equipment and other materials (like sterile drapes and solutions) are assembled, in place and have been properly sterilized. You will prepare the patient for surgery by washing, shaving, and disinfecting the incision area. Then, you will transport the patient to the operating room, help position him or her on the operating table and place the sterile surgical drapes. You may also need to help the rest of the surgical team to put on their sterile gowns and gloves.
During surgery, your focus must be finely attuned. You may be responsible for observing the patient's vital signs and passing the correct instruments and sterile supplies quickly and carefully to the surgeon or surgical assistant, as requested. You may even be asked to help hold retractors, cut sutures and apply dressings. Depending on the surgical procedure, you can be asked to perform any number of other tasks, which can include handling specimens to be taken to the lab for analysis.
After surgery, your responsibilities might include transporting the patient to a recovery room, and cleaning and restocking the operating room. Through it all, you will need to follow strict protocols to prevent patient infection. Your disciplined actions can make the difference between good patient outcomes and dangerous complications.
Attend the Right Surgical Technology School
In the beginning, you'll only be as good as the education you receive. Therefore, it is critical that you select your school wisely. Most employers prefer the surgical technologists they hire to be certified. For new surgical tech professionals, that means qualifying for, and passing, a national certifying exam from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) to become a certified surgical technologist (CST).
To qualify for this exam, you will need to graduate from a surgical technology program that is accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
If you are new to the healthcare field, you'll want to earn at least an associate's degree, which typically takes about two years. Other things to look for include surgical technologist programs that pay a lot of attention to anatomy and physiology courses. Also, your school should have a well-stocked, up-to-date lab where you can practice what you learn in the classroom.
Study, Practice, Study, Practice
When you finally reach the part of your training that includes clinical rotations, you'll be glad you spent so much time honing your skills and knowledge outside the classroom. There is simply no substitute for regular, disciplined study and practice that goes beyond the assigned homework.
Surgeons often must work quickly. So the best surgical technologists are able to anticipate their needs, and always be ready with the next instrument. Your goal is to make much of your job second nature. The less you have to stop and think, the faster you can respond and provide what a surgeon needs, as it is requested. By staying on top of the procedures for multiple kinds of surgeries, you can ingrain the knowledge that lets you shine in the operating room. Develop this habit of focused study and practice. It will serve you well in school, and throughout your career.
Demonstrate a Positive Attitude and Good Communication Skills
In surgical technology training, keeping a positive attitude is everything. Operating rooms are often full of strong personalities. When combined with the frequently stressful nature of surgeries, emotions can flare and misunderstandings can result. So it is crucial to develop good interpersonal communication skills throughout your training. Recognize that, in the big picture, being a surgical technologist is about doing the right things for your patients. Always accept constructive criticism graciously. And, show that you are interested in learning by asking well-timed questions. Be professional so that others will perceive you that way.
Get Ready for a Remarkable Career
Many experienced surgical technologists would do nothing else. But, the field of surgical technology is not for everyone. If you think you've got the dexterity, attention to detail, and attentive attitude to do the job, then start by exploring the surgical technologist schools in your area. You could soon be playing an essential role in the lives of surgical patients!
© 2001 - 2013 Beelineweb.com
Trade Schools Site Map |