Are you looking for a career that offers job security, good pay, and limitless possibility for advancement? Working as a surgical technologist is a smart choice. Unusual in the medical community for its flexibility, surgical technology is a field that is experiencing rapid expansion. Projected job growth for surgical techs is higher than average through the next decade due to the aging of the population and advancement in basic medical techniques. For every surgeon in the operating room, there are at least 3 surgical techs assisting with sterilization, prep, and diagnostic equipment. With a certificate or degree from an accredited school, it is possible for a surgical technologist to begin work in any state in the country.
As a surgical technologist, you have a unique opportunity to combine travel with a fulfilling career. As oppose to working in a local hospital or private office post-graduation, you can decide to work for a traveling health care company. These companies hire a number of qualified surgical technologists and assign them to jobs in hospitals all over the country. Assignment times and locations may vary, but it’s a great way to gain experience, polish your resume, and see the country, all at the same time.
A traveling surgical tech performs all the essential duties a stationary tech, but in different hospitals all over the country depending on the nature and length of the assignment. Traveling surgical techs work for a health care travel company, which specializes in placing techs at hospitals in need. You can expect to be sterilizing the operating room, preparing the patient for surgery, and assisting the surgeon as usual, but you might be doing it in a small one-room rural hospital in the middle of the prairie! If you have an adventurous spirit, working as a traveling surgical technologist is a perfect balance between work and play.
There are several benefits to working for a health care travel company, rather than a single doctor or hospital. Many health care travel companies cover their surgical techs’ expenses and provide them with free housing for the duration of the assignment. They might also offer free health care and meals. Every health care travel company is different, so research both the perks and the duties before committing yourself to the job.
Becoming a traveling surgical tech is not difficult once you have earned your credentials. Instead of simply applying to hospital or private office jobs in your area, apply to a traveling health care company such as On Assignment and Aureus Medical. Finding an appropriate traveling health care company may seem difficult, but you have a multitude of resources aiding your search.
The largest resource is, of course, the Internet. Traveling companies in need of new hires often post on online job boards such as Careerbuilder.com and Monster, which makes it easy to connect with recruiters. You might also consider contacting national organizations such as The Association of Surgical Technologists and the National Surgical Assistant Association for a list of health care travel companies in your area. Other ideas include attending job fairs at your school or speaking with a career counselor. They often keep records of traveling health care companies and can provide valuable information about your prospects.
There are communities of traveling health care workers that can help you locate traveling health care companies. Subscribe to magazines and newsletters aimed specifically at health care travelers. You will find a wealth of information in the directory pages of such publications.
If you are currently employed, ask some of your co-workers for suggestions. Many travel companies also hire anesthesiologists and other professionals for travel assignments and offer monetary incentives for future referrals. Your fellow operating room worker may be able to give you a recommendation.
Check out the requirements of traveling companies before applying. Some may require at least one year of professional experience as a surgical technologist. Some may want you to become nationally certified by the National Bureau of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Others have more elastic requirements. Speak to representatives from the company to get a better idea of what they look for in a successful candidate.