There are many people important to the success of a hospital’s operating room or OR. Beyond the surgeons and OR nurses are technicians, assistants and other individuals who play a vital part in providing comfort to a patient while ensuring a successful outcome of the surgery. If you ever considered working in the healthcare field–specifically in the OR–here are some careers that might suit you, like surgical technologists for example.
Surgical (OR) Nurses
Surgical nurses, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), make a median salary of $65,470 or $31.48 an hour. In 2012 alone (based on BLS data) there were more than 2.7 million jobs for registered nurses in the United States. The 10-year demand for nurses (2012-2022) is expected to be more than half a million, or a growth rate of 19 percent. This rate is much faster compared to other occupations.
The specific duty and role of the surgical nurse is to assist the surgeon during a surgical procedure. This assistance ranges from providing the doctor with surgical tools, monitoring vital signs, preparing patients prior to surgery and providing assistance afterwards. The training necessary to become a surgical nurse includes an associate or a bachelor degree from an accredited nursing school, the passing of state licensing requirements and in most instances, experience through on-the-job learning and education.
A surgical technologist fulfills roles that are vital to helping meet the needs of patients in the OR. Surgical technologists, again based on BLS data, make a median income of $41,790 or $20.09 per hour. There were 98,500 surgical technologist jobs in 2012 in an occupation that expects a 30 percent job growth of 29,300 additional jobs by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is the role of the surgical technologist to prepare the OR for an operation, arrange all of the equipment needed for a surgical procedure and provide assistance to both the surgeon and surgical nurse.
Surgical technologists do not necessarily need to obtain the same level of post-secondary training that registered nurses receive. To become a surgical technologist you must obtain a high school diploma or pass the general educational development test and participate in a licensed certificate program for surgical technology. The states of Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas currently require surgical technologists to be certified while the states of Colorado and Washington require registration in order to become a surgical technologist.
Finding the Training for OR-related Careers
Choosing a career as a surgical technologist (for example) or any of the other roles within the OR requires some level of training. The healthcare field has roles that can be filled by people from all backgrounds and education levels, provided that they receive the specific individual and hands-on learning necessary in order to excel in their roles. When considering a training program, look for one with the proper accreditations and are able to assist you in your career pursuit within the healthcare field. That way, they can provide you with the knowledge you need as well as the skills to immediately apply and land a job.