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Surgical Technologist Salary Factsheet
Schools & Colleges
Education & Training
5 Must Do’s to Become a Successful Surgical Tech
Be Into It: Every successful career – in the medical field, at least – begins with genuine interest. People who are interested in the study of biology, human anatomy and physiology, are definitely the people who can truly appreciate how we, as a species, developed medical procedures so advanced that we can get in and out of another person’s body to cure them. When doctors say we’re waging war against illnesses, the battlefield never gets bloodier than it gets in the operating room, where lives are usually at stake.
Interest is in no way a prerequisite to becoming a successful surgical technologist, but a real interest in what the job is about and what it does for you and for other people will definitely help you go through the challenges and roadblocks you will encounter. And challenges there surely are, especially as you climb your way up the career ladder (and yes, this is one job where there’s advancement and promotion and titles and the like).
Another key thing to success is your educational background and the quality of training you received in surgical tech school. Keep in mind that there are several considerations to make when planning on which training or education program to enroll in. These factors are time (that is, the length of training, a and whether or not you can complete it as a part-time or a full-time student), finances (which in turn is affected by the duration of study), and credentials (such as diploma, certificate, or degree, as well as where you completed your externship or clinical training and how well you did in school).
Step Up Your Credentials
After completing your education and surgical tech externship from a reputable medical provider, you should consider taking the national certifying examination for surgical technologists. This is not mandatory at present, but it might be in the future. Plus, employers prefer candidates who are Certified Surgical Technologists because a) CSTs have proven that they meet the minimum requirements to succeed in this job, and b) CSTs are responsible for keeping themselves updated in the profession, which they do by completing continuing education units to maintain their certification.
Build a Network with Fellow Professionals
Aside from making your credentials look good, expanding your network can bring many advantages. Through professional networks, you can be alerted to better employment opportunities inside and outside your state, as well as medical missions you can join, and scholarships if you wish to pursue further education. To widen your network, consider joining professional surgical technology organizations and other medical associations related to your line of work. Membership is not free, but you get to have industry reports, updates on scholarship grants, invitations to nationwide surgical tech conventions and seminars, etc.
The last tip we could give is a reiteration of the first tip we gave, but with a twist: cultivate your interest in what you do. Understand your role and appreciate how important that role is in a surgical team, and you will begin to see ways of becoming better and more effective at your job. This will lead to better performance and better chances of advancing and succeeding in this career.
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