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I am wondering if any of you guys have found ways to get experience in the OR as part of your HCE aside from becoming a certified surgical tech?  I am planning to apply to PA school next cycle (to matriculate 2018) and I'm currently working as a certified medical assistant (after getting my B.S. in biotechnology), but I'd love to get a job in an OR.  However, all the OR jobs I've found require at least the two year surgical tech degree and I definitely don't want to spend all the time and money becoming a surg tech when I'm planning to apply to PA school.  Has anybody ever gotten to work in the OR without becoming a surgical tech?

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My friend just recently got hired as an Anesthesia Tech without any prior experience or certification. All she did was tell the hiring personnel that she is interested in becoming a CRNA. Also, an EMT-B certification/license is so versatile you can use it to pursue almost any entry level position.


I think it's a YMMV kind of situation....I applied to the same hospital 3 times with a EMT-B license and months of experience (granted, not OR experience) and  was not given a single interview...oh well, I'm working as a MA and loving every moment of it. She on the other hand applied once and got it.

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One place I worked used PCT (patient care tech) as part of the surgery team...but they weren't assisting with anything IN the OR, they were running products, etc acting more as the go between between the OR and the rest of the hospital for anything that was needed.

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It's not very common to get an entry level job in the OR without some sort of "connection." Anesthesia Tech, Orderly, Central Processing Tech are the ones I can think of that don't necessarily require certification, but Anesthsia Tech is the only one that is actually IN the OR (and is probably the most competitive). Having worked in an OR for the majority of my adult life, I have to say that the opportunities really arise from other experience and certifications/schooling are definitely preferred... Surgical folks can be a bit grumpy & tend to like people who know what they are doing (i.e. won't contaminate things). Maybe look at jobs in PACU or same day surgery, if possible, to get your foot in the door (not sure what sort of facilities are near you). Good luck with the job search & with PA school - it's an exciting adventure!

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