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Career and Education Opportunities for Surgical Technicians in Houston, Texas

Surgical technicians can find many career and educational opportunities in the Houston, Texas area. About 6,460 people are currently employed as surgical technicians in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow 41% to 9,140 people employed. This is better than the national trend for surgical technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 25.3% over the next eight years. In general, surgical technicians assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel.

The income of a surgical technician is about $18 per hour or $37,900 per year on average in Texas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $18 hourly or $38,740 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical, people working as surgical technicians in Texas earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical nationally. Surgical technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: surgical scrub technician, surgical technologist , and surgical orderly.

There are eighty-one schools of higher education in the Houston area, including nine within twenty-five miles of Houston where you can get a degree to start your career as a surgical technician. The most common level of education for surgical technicians is a post-secondary certificate. You can expect to spend a short time training to become a surgical technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Surgical Technician

Surgical Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, surgical technicians assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. They also may help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, and help count sponges, needles, and instruments.

Surgical technicians furnish technical assistance to surgeons, surgical nurses and anesthesiologists. They also hand instruments and supplies to surgeons and surgeons' assistants, hold retractors and cut sutures, and perform other tasks as directed by surgeons during operations. Equally important, surgical technicians have to scrub arms and hands and assist the surgical team to scrub and put on gloves and surgical clothing. They are often called upon to ready dressings or bandages and apply or assist with their application following surgery. They are expected to operate or monitor sterilizers, lights and diagnostic apparatus to insure proper operation. Finally, surgical technicians monitor and continually assess operating room conditions, including patient and surgical team needs.

Every day, surgical technicians are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for surgical technicians to maintain proper sterile environments during surgical procedures. They are often called upon to maintain supply of fluids. They also order surgical supplies. They are sometimes expected to maintain files and records of surgical procedures. Somewhat less frequently, surgical technicians are also expected to observe patients' vital signs to gauge physical condition.

Surgical technicians sometimes are asked to count sponges and instruments before and after operations. And finally, they sometimes have to monitor and continually assess operating room conditions, including patient and surgical team needs.

Like many other jobs, surgical technicians must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Houston include:

  • Cardiac Technician. Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary-functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
  • Dental Hygienist. Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop X-rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.
  • Health Information Systems Technician. Compile, process, and maintain medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, and regulatory requirements of the health care system. Process, maintain, and report patient information for health requirements and standards.
  • Medical Laboratory Technician. Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist. Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.
  • Radiation Therapist. Provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards. Duties may include reviewing prescription and diagnosis; acting as liaison with physician and supportive care personnel; preparing equipment, such as immobilization, treatment, and protection devices; and maintaining records, reports, and files. May assist in dosimetry procedures and tumor localization.
  • Radiological Technician. Maintain and use equipment and supplies necessary to demonstrate portions of the human body on x-ray film or fluoroscopic screen for diagnostic purposes.
  • Respiratory Therapist. Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, and operate equipment.
  • Respiratory Therapy Technician. Provide specific, well defined respiratory care procedures under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.
  • Sonographer. Produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Surgical Technician Training

The Academy of Health Care Professions - Houston, TX

The Academy of Health Care Professions, 240 Northwest Mall, Houston, TX 77092. The Academy of Health Care Professions is a small school located in Houston, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 405 students and an admission rate of 100%. The Academy of Health Care Professions has a one to two year program in Surgical Technology/Technologist which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

San Jacinto Community College - Pasadena, TX

San Jacinto Community College, 8060 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, TX 77501-2007. San Jacinto Community College is a large college located in Pasadena, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,677 students. San Jacinto Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Surgical Technology/Technologist which graduated thirty-seven and twenty-four students respectively in 2008.

Galveston College - Galveston, TX

Galveston College, 4015 Ave Q, Galveston, TX 77550-7496. Galveston College is a small college located in Galveston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,232 students. Galveston College has a one to two year program in Surgical Technology/Technologist which graduated ten students in 2008.

The Academy of Health Care Professions - Houston, TX

The Academy of Health Care Professions, 8313 Southwest Freeway-Ste 300, Houston, TX 77074. The Academy of Health Care Professions is a small school located in Houston, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 124 students and an admission rate of 100%. The Academy of Health Care Professions has a two to four year program in Surgical Technology/Technologist.

Lone Star College System - The Woodlands, TX

Lone Star College System, 5000 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77381-4399. Lone Star College System is a large college located in The Woodlands, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 41,331 students. Lone Star College System has a one to two year program in Surgical Technology/Technologist which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Houston Community College System - Houston, TX

Houston Community College System, 3100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77266-7517. Houston Community College System is a large college located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 48,087 students. Houston Community College System has a one to two year program in Surgical Technology/Technologist which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

Sanford-Brown College - Houston, TX

Sanford-Brown College, 10500 Forum Place Dr. , Suite 200, Houston, TX 77036. Sanford-Brown College is a small college located in Houston, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 858 students. Sanford-Brown College has a one to two year program in Surgical Technology/Technologist which graduated thirty-seven students in 2008.

Sanford-Brown Institute - Houston, TX

Sanford-Brown Institute, 2627 North Loop West, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77008. Sanford-Brown Institute is a small school located in Houston, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 437 students and an admission rate of 100%. Sanford-Brown Institute has a one to two year program in Surgical Technology/Technologist which graduated twenty-four students in 2008.

Medvance Institute-Houston - Houston, TX

Medvance Institute-Houston, 6220 Westpark, Suite 180, Houston, TX 77057. Medvance Institute-Houston is a small school located in Houston, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 359 students. Medvance Institute-Houston has a one to two year program in Surgical Technology/Technologist which graduated forty-two students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor: The CBSPD is committed to the certification of healthcare sterile processing and distribution personnel regardless of their workplace setting.

For more information, see the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution website.

Certified Surgical Instrument Processor: This exam deals only with surgical instruments and is for those that specialize in processsing of surgical instruments for all areas of their facility.

For more information, see the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution website.

Certified Surgical Technologist: The choice to become certified demonstrates pride in the profession and a desire to be recognized for mastery of skills unique to surgical technology, as well as an on-going commitment to quality patient care.

For more information, see the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting website.

Certified First Assistant: The choice to become certified demonstrates pride in the profession and a desire to be recognized for mastery of skills unique to surgical technology, as well as an on-going commitment to quality patient care.

For more information, see the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas photo by Hequals2henry

Houston is located in Harris County, Texas. It has a population of over 2,242,193, which has grown by 14.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Houston, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Houston are valued at $173,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 3,684 new homes were constructed in Houston, down from 6,035 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Houston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.0% of Houston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Houston is 8.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Houston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, 34th Temple Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Houston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Houston is home to the Champion Rod and Gun Club and the Independence Heights Residential Historic District as well as Hermann Park and Hennessey Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Plaza Shopping Center, Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center and Meyerland Shopping Center. Visitors to Houston can choose from Capital Inn, Bradford Homesuites - Houston Galleria and Best Western Fountainview Inn and Suites for temporary stays in the area.