Career Story: Surgical Technologist At A Small Hospital

Surgical Technologist At A Small Hospital

Job Title: Surgical Technologist

Education: Community College

Previous Experience: I began working at a hospital in Monroe, La. I left my job to raise my family. I began my career again about 14 years ago. I started back to work in a small surgery center, went to work for a "for profit" hospital, and I have been at my present job, in a rural hospital for ten years.

Job Tasks: I am employed by a rural hospital which has a critical access designation. This means that we must have a certain number of patients for only a short period of time.

I work with surgeons who practice General, ENT, Ortho, Urology and General Surgeries. We do have an opthamologist that comes once a month. The personalities of the surgeons can become one of the most interesting parts of this profession.

I assist the surgeons by setting up the sterile surgical field, passing surgical instruments, holding retractors, cutting suture, and any other service the surgeon requires during the case. After the cases, we clean and set the room up for the next case. We then take our instruments back to the work area and we clean and reprocess the instruments.

Several times a week, we take call and are require to stay in town to be able to respond to emergencies within ten minutes. Our emergencies are usually appendectomies, stat C-Sections, gun shot victims, or motor vehicle accident victims. Sometimes we do see patients that require removal of a portion of the large or small intestines. Very interesting, but long, late hours.

We also place orders for the different supplies that are used in our operating room (OR) suite. Also, we order the different instruments and supplies that are specific to each surgeon.

It is a very exciting, demanding and rewarding career. Not for the faint of heart as call can put you in to many life and death circumstances that can be harrowing, but very rewarding.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is being able to interact with the patients. To bring comfort to those who are afraid of going into surgery and to visit with them afterwards in their rooms. This is one of the benefits of a small hospital.

The worst part of the job is that the call can be very taxing and draining. We have only 13 employees, and this means that we must work our regular day shift even after we have gotten called out for several hours during the night. We do not always get called out, but it is hard to rest when you always listening for the phone.

Job Tips:
1. I would begin by getting my degree in Surgical Technology. You can get a two year degree associate degree or a four year advanced degree.

2. As a young technologist, I would recommend continuing on and gaining a first assistant status. With this designation, one may work for a hospital, surgery center, or for a particular surgeon in a particular specialty.

This requires more classwork, but one must also work as a Certified Surgical Technologist and gain the necessary skills needed to master the assistant position. Further certification is also required.

Additional Thoughts: Although the hours are sometimes long, it is very rewarding to be in this particular field. It is not so different from nursing, but the educational requirements are not as long.

Popular Schools offering Surgical Technology Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads
American Career College
Los Angeles, Ontario

American Career College (ACC) offers hands-on training that will prepare students for careers in the healthcare industry at three campuses in Los Angeles, Ontario, and Orange County, California.

  • Programs: Associate of Occupational Science in Surgical Technology
  • Degrees: Associate

San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.

  • Programs: Degree - Surgical Technology
  • Degrees: Associate
Platt College
Alhambra, Anaheim, Ontario

Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

  • Programs: Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Degrees: Associate

Get personalized attention with UMA.

One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services-they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our campus in Clearwater, Florida.

  • Programs: A.S. - Healthcare Information Technology
  • Degrees: Associate

Adelphi University’s roots reach back to 1863 and the founding of the Adelphi Academy, a private preparatory school in Brooklyn, New York. The Academy was incorporated in 1869 and its Board of Trustees was charged with establishing a first class institution for the broadest and most thorough training, and to make its advantages as accessible as possible to the largest numbers of our population. The school quickly gained a reputation for its innovative curriculum, particularly in physical culture and early childhood education.

  • Programs: Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics
  • Degrees: Master

Fremont College traces its roots to Platt College’s founding in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1879, and the Southern California branch campus was established in 1986.

  • Programs: AA - Healthcare Information Technology
  • Degrees: Associate

Since 1888, The University of Scranton has grounded its education in Catholic and Jesuit principles based on intellectual growth and integrity, all of which shape the online master’s and certificate programs.

  • Programs: Master of Science in Health Informatics
  • Degrees: Master
Matching School Ads
You are visiting:

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Surgical Technologists, including:

Back to Top