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Old 6 August 2019, 00:11
bDAWG bDAWG is offline
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Market for surgical assistants

Hello everyone I am someone who is new to health care and I was wondering how the job market is for surgical first assistants.

I have done some research into schools. Some of them range from community colleges to masters programs. It really seems to vary. I am still largely undecided as to what I want to do in healthcare and being a first assist seems like an interesting job where the prerequisites for entry arenít too steep (such as MD). It seems like a career where someone can get their feet wet assisting surgeons with a wide variety of procedures.

What is the market like for travel assignments? Is it in demand across all 50 states? What are the advancement opportunities if one was to specialize in CT surgery or neuro?

Finally what about schools? Mayo Clinic and Eastern Virginia come to mind as possible training grounds.

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Old 6 August 2019, 00:15
Stretch Stretch is offline
The atomic zit
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Oh my...
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Old 6 August 2019, 07:40
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firstshirt firstshirt is offline
Been There Done That
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I know if I had no military experience and wanted information about civilian health care careers, the first place I'd look for answers would be on a Special Operations message board.....
"A sober man's thoughts are a drunken man's words" - unk.
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Old 6 August 2019, 07:46
BionicDamien BionicDamien is offline
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Originally Posted by firstshirt View Post
I know if I had no military experience and wanted information about civilian health care careers, the first place I'd look for answers would be on a Special Operations message board.....
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Old 26 May 2020, 23:28
bDAWG bDAWG is offline
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Let me clarify. I am interested in joining the Army or USAF to be a surgical technician. From the outside looking in there are exciting developments in this field with the USAF Special Operations Surgical Teams (they recruit surgical techs) as well as USASOC Forward Surgical Teams.

In particular I am interested in honing my skills as a surgical first assist. I understand the Armed Forces can certify their techs to do that. What exactly is the process? Could anyone also provide insight into the SOST or USASOC teams? I understand they see quite a bit of trauma and operate with lots of autonomy.
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Old 27 May 2020, 08:22
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litepath litepath is offline
I reckon so. . .
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Location: Ga.
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My Recommendation.

Be the best CNA student you can be for now, followed by whatever student thing you have next.
The .Mil will want you to have a 4 year degree to be taken into their medical services, no matter the trade.

On the Civvie side, surgeons are in charge of the surgical suite. If they wanted Bigfoot himself as a first assistant, they likely could/would have him in all his furry glory.

One of my favorite Neuro Surgeons had a gal that had a hearing deficit as his 1st. They communicated with sign language, no words ever spoken. They created their own signs for instruments and events.

It's a big world with endless possibilities. First things first though, finish whatever school you're in being the best whatever-you-are you can be.
Failure rates in nursing school were/are high-ish. Some, such as the one I attended had a C as minimum and below that insta-fail/out of the program. For advanced degrees that requirement goes up to B and then A.
If thereís a chain of argument, every link in the chain must work (including the premise)ónot just most of them. Carl Sagan, The Baloney Detection Kit.

*Victims* Hate Winners.
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Old 27 May 2020, 08:23
Chesie Chesie is offline
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There is a wide variety of surgical assistance that you can pursue. Via community college, you can get a CST certification and start working the table. If you show good promise, your hospital may send you to FA school, to get a CSTFA cert. When my surgery residents are unavailable, I use CSTFAs, and (since I trained them) they are excellent assistants.

You can also become a PA, which requires a master’s degree and much more schooling. But, you will end up having more marketability, and participate more in the care of patients, before, during, and after surgery. And your income will be more than double a CSTFA job.

Thanks f you join the military, and you show aptitude in the OR, you can go pretty far, and use those skills in your subsequent civilian career. As far as special operations medicine is concerned, this forum isn’t the place to pull back the curtain and discuss the makeup and job description of surgical teams. But I will say that, at the highest speed surgical teams, the OR assistants are far more than CST’s. Those dudes have a ton of experience providing role 1 medical care in SOF units before landing a job on a surgical team.

If that career interests you, my best advice would be to sign up, work your ass off to get into a SOF unit, work your ass off even more to qualify as an 18D or SOCM or PJ or SARC, and distinguish yourself as a team
Medic. And then, work your way to the OR. It is the only path to reach a tier 1 medical unit. If you want to be a PA in one of these units, you follow the same route, and then have the military put you thru PA school.

If this sounds like a long road, well, it is. Every OR assistant I have had the honor of working with on the military followed this route and was over 30 by the time they got to my team. And they were all awesome.

Good luck with your journey,
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