Earning your associate degree in Surgical Technology is a smart move. Securing a certification in surgical technology is a great move also. Hospitals, clinics, and out patient surgery centers employ surgical technicians with the right credentials. Obtaining an associate degree will most likely take 24 months. A lesser credential, a certificate, can take a student 9 months. Most employers want to see an associate degree. This makes you much more attractive to prospective employers.
Surgical technicians make up the surgical team that performs surgeries. A surgeon, first surgical assistant, circulating nurses, anesthesiologists, and surgical technician make up the typical team. Other medical staff may also be present. Operations are complex and require extreme attention to detail. Extensive knowledge is critical to the success of any surgery. All team members must play their individual roles flawlessly. Furthermore, Minor mistakes can have detrimental consequences.
The surgical technician is very familiar with the operating room standards of procedure. They are present to directly assist the surgeon with equipment and tools. Surgical technicians must stay alert and ready to provide necessary supplies to the surgeon. All team members in the operating room must be able to handle unpleasant odors, sights, and materials. Many times surgical technicians also stand ready to receive specimens from the surgeon. The technician prepare these samples for laboratory testing.
Specialization is a good way to increase your income as a surgical technician. You can market yourself to specific surgeons and hospitals. For instance, surgical technicians that work with cosmetic surgeons earn more than some other techs.
Salaries usually vary by geographic region. The average salary for a Maine surgical technician is approximately $42,300 per year (higher than the national average for this profession.) (Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.)
Financial aid is available to students that meet income requirements. Your FAFSA application will calculate your EFC and the federal government awards students based on this figure. Many grants are issued each year. You can check with your financial aid office to find out more information.