Career Education - Surgical Services

Surgical Services

Is it in your DNA?  

What’s a career in Surgical Services all about?  

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Surgical service professionals specialize in the treatment of injury, disease, and deformity through surgical procedures. Using a variety of instruments, the surgeon, supported by the surgical team, corrects physical deformities and repairs bone and tissue due to illness or injury. Surgical service professionals are supervised by surgeons and nurses. They:

  • Sterilize surgical instruments
  • Set up and maintain the sterile surgical field, lines and solutions
  • Pass instruments to surgeons during surgery
  • Transport patients to and from the operating room
  • Wash, shave and disinfect incision sites
  • Retract, suture, cauterize and close wounds (Surgical Assistants only)
  • Check patients’ vital signs and medical records (Surgical Assistants only)

The perks

  • Fulfilling—Make a difference every day
  • Stimulating—You are never bored
  • Work with the latest technology
  • Fabulous training opportunities
  • Variety of patients and procedures

You’d be a good candidate if you are…

  • Intelligent, a critical thinker
  • Good with your hands
  • Able to work precisely and accurately
  • Able to think on your feet
  • Comfortable with technology
  • Mature, professional
  • A great team player
  • Able to perform well under stress
  • Good with detail

Opportunities outside the hospital setting 

Hospitals are the primary employers of surgical service professionals, but as outpatient surgical procedures increase in popularity, the profession has expanded to physicians’ offices and ambulatory surgical centers.

There are Sterile Processing and Surgical Tech programs close by – Check them out!

  • Bryman College
  • Contra Costa Medical Career College
  • C.P.D. Technical Programs
  • Fresno City College
  • Mt. Diablo Adult School
  • Surgical Technology Program in Hayward
  • Skyline College
  • Vallejo City Unified School District (Central Processing Technician/Sterile Processing Technician)

The benefits

  • Health care benefits
  • Paid-time off
  • Flexible schedules
  • Employee discounts
  • Tuition Reimbursement Programs
  • Retirement benefits – including pension!
  • Hospital-sponsored degree completer programs

The pay 

Sterile Processing Technician

  • Hourly pay $22 to $25
  • Annual pay $47,100 to $53,600

Surgical Technologist

  • Hourly pay $29 to $38
  • Annual pay $60,000 to $80,000

The need to train Surgical Service Professionals will continue to grow!

Because of advances in medical and surgical procedures in the last few years and because of the aging population, the number of surgeries performed each year is growing rapidly. This will create even more opportunity for you!

What careers are in Surgical Services?

There’s a lot to choose from when it comes to working in Surgical Services. With training or additional education, you can often advance into another role. Here’s a snapshot of different careers in Surgical Services:

Sterile Processing Technician (Central Service Processing Technician)—Sterilizes all instruments and equipment used

in the hospital. This is a great way to get started in Surgical Services. Get your high school diploma and complete a short training program through continuing education, a trade school or community college.

Surgical Technologist—Sets up a sterile field and passes instruments to the surgeon during the procedure at the right time and in the right manner. To become a Surgical Technologist, you need a two-year associate’s degree from a college with an accredited Surgical Technology program. You need to acquire specialized training and certification. You must pass an exam to get your certification.

All candidates for this credential must be graduates of surgical assisting programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Surgical Assistant—Assists the surgeon during the procedure by holding retractors, suctioning, cauterizing and suturing. Some Surgical Assistants start out as Surgical Technologists and advance to Surgical Assistant with more education and training.

There are currently no accredited programs for Surgical Assistants in the State of California.