As a kid, I had to get my appendix removed. The whole thing was a nasty experience, but I have to say, I was grateful when the pain of my ruptured appendix was gone. At one point, I was still recovering in a hospital room – I’m not sure how soon after surgery – and someone walked in to take a look at me and ask me if I needed anything. “Are you a nurse?” I asked her. “Nope,” she said, “I’m just a scrub tech.” But she was so friendly and kind to me that I knew I wanted to be a surgical technologist, too.
When I got older, I thought about the pros and cons of the career. Everybody knows the good things about being a surgical technologist – it’s a dependable career in a field that will only keep growing, first of all. Jobs for surgical technologists are expected to grow in number by almost 20% in the next few years. I’ll benefit from that, because the more places there are for me to work, the more my current employer will pay to keep me.
My starting salary was great, too – I’m making more now, but as a beginner scrub tech in California I was making $17 per hour. Now that I have more experience, I can choose to take more on-call time (work outside of regular business hours). That greatly increases my income, and I don’t mind being ready to work at a moment’s notice once in a while. I’d definitely suggest to anyone looking for a stable, well-paid career to become a surgical technologist.
I also couldn’t stand the thought of going to a four-year college, financially or personally. Not only do I consider liberal arts degrees to be a waste of money, but also I just don’t enjoy school. I like being active and involved, not sitting around and discussing who knows what with people who aren’t really doing much to improve the world. I believe in helping people, hands on.
The biggest impetus for my career choice, though, was how much energy I have. I can’t do a desk job – I need something exciting, and working in the operating room comes with its share of excitement. I don’t carry the same risks and liabilities as surgeons and doctors do, as it’s not my fault if the patient gets hurt. However, I do get to participate in interesting and exciting surgeries. I get the upside, not the downside.
Not just anyone should become a surgical technologist. It does involve a lot of standing, and some people are more squeamish about blood than they realize. But I love the work, and I love that it keeps me on my feet. If you’re anything like me, look into a training program for surgical technology, and make sure it’s accredited by CAAHEP and ABHES – otherwise, you won’t be able to get a CST (Certified Surgical Technologist) certification, and my CST title definitely raised my wages.
Good luck, and I hope my little testimonial helped somebody decide to become a surgical technologist.