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Surgical Tech Education Leads to High Demand Career
One of the most stable careers and dramatically increasing in need for additional staffing in the medical field is the position of Surgical Technician. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this field is expected to grow in demand faster than all other occupations through 2014, due to the advancing age of the baby boomer generation and its majority in the population.
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Surgical Tech Education – Duties and Responsibilities
During surgical tech education you will learn that the surgical tech is an assistant to the surgeon, with responsibilities extending before and after the actual surgical procedures, including transportation of the patient to and from surgery, dressing wounds and administering sutures.
Before surgery, the surgical tech is responsible for setting up the operating room with the necessary tools and supplies for the procedure. During the operation, the surgical technician hands instruments to the surgeon, labels and files specimens and prepares medications. After the operation is over, the surgical technician is responsible for getting the operating room ready for the next patient, including removing used instruments for sterilization, and making sure equipment is properly sterilized, cared for and stored.
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Surgical Tech Education Requirements
Surgical tech education is required. To become a surgical tech you will need to complete college level courses that consist of instruction in the basic sciences, medical terminology, surgical functions in the operating room, operating room equipment, and aseptic technique, and graduates are awarded a certificate of completion. Typically, the candidate will complete their education requirements over the course of three college quarters on a full time basis.
In addition to surgical tech education classroom instruction, the candidate will be expected to complete hands-on clinical studies that will be coordinated by the college with local hospitals.
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Surgical Tech Education – Costs for Education
The candidate for a surgical tech education certificate course should expect to pay between $75 and $250 per credit hour for their college studies, depending on the residency status of the student. Total college expenses for a surgical tech education typically total approximately $4000, including books and course fees.
Most colleges with a surgical tech education program will administer an entrance exam to potential candidates, and then arrange a counseling session to discuss the exam results and determine eligibility to enter the program.
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Surgical Tech Education: Salary Expectations
A certified surgical technician who has completed surgical tech education courses can expect to work at least 40 hours per week, in a hospital, where he will be standing for most of his shift. Expected wages for a surgical tech range from $13 to $20 and hour, depending on the number of years of experience. In addition to hourly wage, surgical techs can expect paid holidays, paid vacation and health insurance benefits.