I was a Surgical Tech for about 12 years with a few breaks in there. There are many ups and downs in the career, and that’s a huge understatement! This post is about some of my favorite aspects of the job.
If you are considering this career, I want you to have all the information about it, so you can make an educated decision. Plus, only a small percentage of people make a good fit as a tech.
It’s not truthful to just be a cheerleader for the job, pretending that everything about the OR is awesome. For the sake of honesty, I also have a post called “6 Crappy Things about Being a Surgical Tech”. Check it out here. For an idea of a typical day in the operating room, I also wrote this.
Today, I am focusing on the positive reasons why I loved surgical technology. I have left the operating room for the past couple of years, though. I’ve always been too hard on myself and burned out on the environment. Besides, I love making websites, writing, working for myself, and being free!
With that disclosure out of the way, here are…
5 Things that I Loved About Being a Surgical Tech
1. You get to save lives and help people at the toughest time of their lives.
It’s an amazing feeling to be part of a team that saves a patient’s life. Some of my most fulfilling memories are the close calls that we saved in Iraq from massive trauma, (lots of IED blasts). Our efforts allowed people to get back to their loved ones. Yes, their recoveries were certain to be tough, but I am proud of the people alive because of our surgical efforts.
Surgery is also one of the most scary and difficult times in anyone’s life. Their positive outcome depends on the focus and dedication of the surgical team. It really feels good to help people and made surgical technology very fulfilling while I was in it.
2. You get to help deliver new little people during C-Sections!
I really enjoyed helping with C-Sections and being one of the first to see and welcome a new human to the world. I estimate I’ve assisted with bringing around 150 babies into the world.
Sometimes, I would be the one to clear the munchkin’s airway and watch it take its first breath. That was always incredible. I helped with a few twins and even a triplet birth once!
Assisting with this gave me a new sense of awe for humanity and appreciation for being a human. Each one of us is an incredible miracle, yes that means you!
3. Pay and Benefits.
Surgical tech pay is generally pretty good. You can expect an entry level pay in the low $20’s at least. Of course, this varies across states and job descriptions. I suggest checking out Indeed.com or another job website to research pay in your area.
This is a major driving force behind people choosing this job. Don’t let this be your only guiding factor, though. If you are considering surgical technology, please click the tab at the top of this site labelled “Surgical Technology” and read through for a broad idea.
4. The OR is an elite medical environment.
The operating room demands the most precision and physical effort of any part of the hospital. This makes the OR crew among the most elite workers in the medical field.
We have all the instruments and gear to consider. We practice perfect sterile technique and deal with the most blood and guts of any job.
A Captain surgeon in the Navy put it perfectly when he said, “We practice obsessive compulsive behavior for the benefit of the patient.”
5. You work with the most resilient, funny, toughest people.
The hardest part about me leaving the OR has been missing the incredible workers. It is a unique environment where I could let my dark humor loose to keep up spirits.
We are all suffering together at times. We deal with a lot of carnage, death, difficult surgeons and tough situations. I have never met a tougher, more dedicated, hilarious group of people ANYWHERE in my life.
The people are truly the thing that I miss most about being a surgical tech.
Those are the five awesome things that pop into my mind when I think about my time as a tech. I wish you luck if you are thinking about going to school and joining the OR team!