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Surgical Assistant - Overview

by Greg Cryns

Though not a true nursing position, the surgical technologist must have the knowledge to anticipate what instruments a surgeon will need in the operating room for specific procedures. The tech will  hand those instruments to the surgeon during the operation in the proper manner. The surgery tech will also need to know how to set up the operating room with sterility in mind. Be prepared to be standing on your feet for 90% of the time while you work. The old name for this specialty was OR Technician.

A surgical assistant is a step up from a surgery tech. The assistant will hold instruments in place while the surgeon performs his duties, provide suctioning, hemostasis and help with suturing. You can take additional courses to move up to the assistant designation.

Most institutions require certification after taking the National Certification Exam administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting
. The CST designation is recognized throughout the US making you prepared for any hospital that employs surgical technologists.

I did an online search for "surgery tech" job openings. The requirements to be hired vary from state to state and hospital to hospital. The results shown here will help you see what some hospitals are looking for:

1. A Colorado hospital required experience in the main operating room scrubbing cases and a BLS Certification. In addition the candidate must have graduated from a surgical technician program that is CAAHEP (Allied Health Education Programs).

2.  A Texas hospital required graduation from a surgical tech program or related experience, but preferred a Certification as a Surgical Tech.

3.  A California hospital requires completion of The American Heart Association's Heart Saver course and the completion of Operating Room Surgical Technician Training Program from an accredited school. In addition, preferred candidates would have two years experience in Operating Room or related experience (Surgicenter, Obstetrical Unit) AND current BCLS certification. The Minimum Salary: $13.52  Maximum Salary: $21.18

4. Another California hospital was looking for a Surgery Tech IV.  Their candidate is required to be certified by LCSST, have 2 years previous scrrub experiencee, and skills in at least one advanced specialty (cariovascular, orthopedics, etc). Also, the candidate is required to have "National Certification as a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) issued by the Liaison Council on certification for the surgical technologist."

Author info:

Greg Cryns is the owner of Nursing Programs Online: http://www.nursingprogramsonline.com  




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