Working as a Traveling Surgical Tech

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Considering starting a career as a surgical technologist is a very wise choice as this is one of many great options in the healthcare industry.

Besides deciding where to attend your education towards a degree, you will have more choices to make, such as where to work.

Surgical techs can either decide to take on long-term positions or become traveling workers, filling in at hospitals around the country for a few months at a time.

No matter which option you choose, whether working as a permanent or traveling tech, you can have peace of mind as you will have no trouble finding a job.

The number of jobs for surgical technologists is growing at a rate of 12 percent with thousands of new jobs becoming available.

What is a Surgical Technologist?

We would like to take a look at the responsibilities and duties of a surgical technologist, or just surgical tech.

This is a healthcare professional whose main job is to assist and work with surgeons and other members of the team in the operating room.

A surgical tech has to get the operating room ready for procedures, which is achieved by gathering and sterilizing instruments and other materials, making sure equipment is working.

They also stand by and assist during surgical procedures, by handing over instruments and supplies.

Their role is so important as they are in charge of safety for patients gained by ensuring the environment is sterile and the surgeon is prepared.

This means that the career of a surgical tech is rewarding and meaningful, but it is also physically demanding.

What is a Traveling Surgical Tech?

You can either become a surgical technologist, who is hired at one location, such as a hospital, and work there for long periods of time, or you can choose to travel and work on shorter assignments at various locations.

In small and medium-sized hospitals there is a constant need for extra techs to fill in for employees who are on sick leave or maternity leave.

A traveling technologist can also cover duties while the hospital is seeking out a new permanent hire.

Traveling surgical technologists usually are hired by and work for staffing agencies that usually specialize in a particular industry, such as healthcare and medical jobs.

The positions may last for a few weeks, a few months or a year, or longer, depending on the needs of the hospital.

The locations can also be anywhere, and they are typically in the U.S., but some tech find positions abroad as well.

The Benefits of a Traveling Job

We wanted to provide you with both the pros and cons of working as a traveling surgical technologist.

When it comes to the pros, there are several benefits and reasons that people choose this kind of employment:

  • You get to travel and see new places.
  • You get to know new cities and states more in-depth by living and working there for weeks or months at a time.
  • You can work on professional connections and networks throughout the country.
  • You may earn more as a traveling tech, as staffing shortages mean that hospitals will pay more.
  • There are also often incentives, like signing bonuses, housing, and travel expenses.

The Downsides to Being a Traveling Tech

If you love meeting new people and seeing the country, or the world, a career as a traveling surgical technologist is a great opportunity.

But some downsides of this kind of career exist too and some of them are:

  • You may be moving away from family and friends.
  • You will leave behind new friends and colleagues when an assignment ends.
  • Moving a lot can feel isolating and lonely.
  • You have to adjust to new work settings.
  • Some states require certification or licensing for surgical techs, so you may need to become a certified surgical technologist.

Finally, it will be up to you to make the decision whether you want to be a traveling or a permanent surgical tech.


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