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The medical field is constantly evolving where professionals must consistently reevaluate their knowledge and sometimes challenge the status quo in place for extended periods of time. There has been one constant detail that has always been at the forefront of optimal medical treatment and that would be the administration of care in a clean environment using sterile equipment. The idea is that from the hospitals to the clinic’s healthcare workers must give special mindfulness to prevent the spread of viruses, bacteria and more. Of all the various environments within the healthcare settings there is one where a sterile environment is of most importance. This is the operating room where operating within a sterile environment during surgery is so important that hospitals and surgery centers alike will employ Surgical Technologists. What you have with a Surgical Technologist is not only an expert on maintaining a sterile environment but also a healthcare worker that can assist surgeons with precise handling of sterile equipment to be used on patients during surgery. It is a career requiring at least a couple of years in education and firsthand training as the techs must learn all the different varieties of surgical tools and a deep understanding of the many different procedures so they can correctly anticipate the surgeon's needs to complete surgeries while preventing infections and/or lost equipment.
As mentioned previously, Surgical Technologists must complete some schooling in conjunction with the direct training required to develop a true skill in the profession. All Allied Health Schools confirm that it is important for techs to obtain certification through National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) to be eligible for the most relevant positions. The NBSTSA requires that eligible for their certification exam, you must graduate from a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Once the graduate passes the exam they will become nationally certified and be eligible to fill positions as needed.
Of course, this begs the question, how much of a need is there currently for surgical technologists? According to the bureau of labor statistics, there is expected to be about nine thousand new job openings every year with an overall eight percent increase in jobs over the course of the next eight years. Many opportunities will reveal themselves to graduates as many Surgical Techs are set to retire in the next decade but also due to the increase in advancement of surgical equipment requiring more specialists as well as an increase in patients receiving medical care in the future. It is an exciting time to get into the field which explains why so many universities are offering programs of this education for incoming students. Another reason for the excitement is due to opportunities for these allied healthcare workers to grow into further specialties. One example of an advanced position would be that of a Surgical First Assistant. A Surgical First Assistant’s scope of practice really takes them to the next level in the medical field because they can assist the surgeon on more critical matters such as Achieve hemostasis by means of injection. Aide in implanting, securing, and/or removal of devices and drains. Apply appropriate dressing material. Incision and layered closure of surgical sites. Manipulation and dissection/removal of tissues, and much more (the apprentice doctor). Anyone wishing to work in this profession will need special certification through the America Board of Surgical Assistants (ABSA). A surgical technologist who is enthusiastic about the heart muscle may enjoy a career as a perfusionist. It is also not unheard of for surgical technologists to continue for years in education and training to reach the pinnacle of surgeon itself (exploremedicalcareers). Although difficult, it would not be impossible if the healthcare worker is dedicated enough to learn the necessary skills.
It can be easy to begin to understand some of the challenges that Surgical Technologists may face as they navigate the various pathways before them. After initial certification to practice surgical technology, some graduates may go straight to work while others will continue their education. Some may opt to attempt both challenges simultaneously but is that really the most efficient way to achieve? Unfortunately, that is a question too complex for this article as everyone’s situation can be different. However, the team at Allied Help is here to do exactly just that…help. Allied Help is launching an application that intends to make the tasks of progression not only easier but also a little fun too. This application provides its members with a digital credential wallet that will allow healthcare workers to store verified medical licensures for easy access and sharing with employers or patients as needed. These allied healthcare workers will also be a part of a community involving other healthcare workers and industry experts to discuss more detailed solutions for a healthcare worker to advance in their profession. Current discussions can be had on the company’s discord channel which you can currently find at Allied Help’s homepage online. Healthcare workers not feeling so social can still find immense value with an app that can track continuing education credits and send notifications for expiring certifications. Development is still currently underway, but the path of Allied Help is truly limitless and is now inviting all healthcare workers along this journey.
Apprentice doctor / future doctors academy virtual online & live in-person training events. The Apprentice Doctor. (n.d.). Retrieved August 23, 2022
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, April 18). Surgical technologists: Occupational outlook handbook.. Retrieved August 24, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/surgical-technologists.htm#tab-4
What degree do I need to become a surgical technologist? All Allied Health Schools. (2022, August 24). Retrieved August 24, 2022, from https://www.allalliedhealthschools.com/surgical-technologist/training/
What is a surgical technologist and where can this career take me? Explore Medical Careers. (n.d.). Retrieved August 24, 2022, from https://www.exploremedicalcareers.com/surgical-technologist/what-is-a-surgical-technologist/