As a surgical technologist, commonly known simply as a surgical tech, you have a lot of different career opportunities. When looking for surgical tech jobs, you might want to consider travel assignments. These are basically where you fill in for staffing gaps in hospitals and other facilities that need a surgical tech’s help. This offers a lot of advantages compared to a permanent position. In this article, we’ll discuss what a surgical tech is, types of jobs you might take, as well as some particulars about being a traveling surgical technologist.
What is a Surgical Tech?
If you’re just starting your research into different careers in the medical field that might suit you, then you might be wondering what a surgical tech is. A surgical technologist is a medical professional that helps the surgical team.
Some of their duties include getting the OR ready for a procedure by making sure it’s stocked with all the tools, equipment, and medical supplies needed. They might also test the equipment before a procedure and also help prep the patient by bringing them to the operating room and cleaning their incision sites. During surgery, a surgical technologist also helps the surgical team, usually acting as an extra pair of hands to hand off tools, hold braces, and otherwise assist with the surgery. After surgery, usually the surgical tech will dress and bandage the patient’s surgical wounds and prep the room for another surgery. Different surgical tech jobs may have other duties as well, like moving the patient from the OR to a recovery area.
There are many advantages to becoming a surgical technologist. For one, it’s a career in the healthcare field that requires just two years of education from an accredited program. Therefore, you can start working as a surgical tech after receiving your associate degree, rather than needing to complete four or more years of schooling.
Also, surgical techs make a pretty good salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, surgical technologists make an average of $48,530 per year. Plus, they make a huge difference every day for both patients and other healthcare workers by helping with surgical procedures.
What Kind of Surgical Tech Jobs Are There?
There are many different surgical tech jobs out there. Surgical technologists can work basically anywhere a surgical operation might take place. For instance, they commonly work in:
- Outpatient surgical centers
- Specialty facilities
- Doctor’s offices
Surgical techs can take either permanent positions or work as travelers where they work temporarily in a facility that needs their help. For instance, a facility might have staffing gaps for surgical techs if one of their permanent technologists quits, gets fired, or takes leave for things like parental leave, vacation, or illness. In some cases, facilities might also have open travel surgical tech jobs if they have an unexpected increase in the number of surgeries they perform.
Becoming a traveling surgical tech means you usually work with a medical staffing agency like AHS MedStat to find open jobs in facilities in need. These assignments are usually short-term, lasting on average 13 weeks, before you move onto another assignment. As a traveler, you can take assignments practically anywhere in the U.S. as long as you have the right credentials (which we’ll give you the lowdown on below in our section about credentialing).
Why Look for Travel Surgical Tech Jobs?
Becoming a traveling surgical tech comes with many benefits. If you’re thinking about looking for travel surgical tech jobs, here are just some of the many perks:
Travel Surgical Tech Jobs Pay More
Traveling surgical technologists often make much higher salaries than those who work in permanent positions. Since traveling surgical techs fill in where they’re most needed and often travel far from home to do so, facilities usually pay a premium for their help. Working with the right medical staffing agency helps even further, as they help negotiate even better rates for each assignment.
According to Comparably.com, the average salary for a traveling surgical tech is $71,411, which is about 47% higher than the national average for surgical techs we mentioned earlier from data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Therefore, becoming a traveling surgical tech often means you earn more money.
In addition to higher salary, traveling healthcare professionals are also often able to take advantage of free housing provided by the agency or of tax-free stipends for housing and other expenses. So, you can stand to make quite a lot more than permanent surgical technologists.
Traveling Surgical Tech Jobs Help You See the Country
Another reason many people choose travel surgical tech jobs is to be able to travel around the country. This career option means that you can start taking assignments anywhere you might fancy. For example, maybe you’ve always wanted to visit the beaches in Hawaii, hike the Rockies in Colorado, or see the hustle and bustle of New York City. Whatever the case, you can make those dreams happen by finding assignments in those locations you’re dying to see. All while doing what you love, helping people, and making money.
With Travel Surgical Tech Jobs You Can Gain Extraordinary Experience
Also, traveling surgical techs can gain some incredible experience along the way that may help you further your career and looks great on a resume. As a traveler, you’ll likely work in a variety of different places. That means adapting quickly to new processes, procedures, and people. This may give you a leg up in your career later by showing that you learn quickly. You never know, having experience with a particular EMR system from one of your travel surgical tech jobs might just make you the top candidate for a permanent position later.
How to Become a Travel Surgical Technologist
If you want to become a traveling surgical tech, there are a few steps you’ll need to take. The first is to get the necessary education from an accredited program. This usually takes two years. The next step is to get any additional credentials you need to practice in your home state, like a certification or registration. Before taking travel assignments as a surgical technologist, you also need to get some experience first. We require at least two years of experience in your field of practice before you can become a traveler with us to make sure you have the necessary skills and experience needed to quickly adapt to other facilities during your assignments.
Credentialing Depends on Each State for Surgical Tech Jobs
Before each assignment, you’ll also need to make sure your credentials are in order for that particular job. Our expert credentialing team can help you with this process. However, it’s key to note that requirements for surgical techs vary widely from state to state. Before you can work in a particular state, you need to meet their credentialing requirements. In some cases, this is getting certified by taking an exam or registering through their state.
Find Your Perfect Job with AHS MedStat – Top Medical Staffing Agency for Allied Health Jobs
If you’re looking for allied health jobs, our team at AHS MedStat is here to help. We specialize in helping allied health care professionals find travel opportunities all across the United States. We are committed to helping you find your dream job and have a great experience as a traveler. Our team offers a lot of support for our professionals, from credentialing assistance to checking in on how you’re doing during your assignment. Get started today by browsing our job board or by reaching out to our recruiters about what you’re looking for.