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SashaM

Any CST's pursuing PA?

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I was curious to find out if there were any surgical tech's out there who want to, or have pursued PA. I am very interested in following this career path and eventually returning to the OR.My passion is ortho trauma. I have alot more school ahead of me before I can even think about applying to PA school. This forum has been a great find and I am finding alot of answers to my questions. I have to admit the one daunting worry that plagues me is how to juggle all of this with a family. I want to further my career with intentions of being able to have a better and stable income as well as obtaining my own personal goals.

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I am an ex-navy corpsman and surgical technician, and I wanted to pursue being a PA for many years. I am now 48 with a BA in psychology, so I need to complete my science prerequisites. I look back on the many years of scrubbing alongside PAs, and I wished that I had pursued it, but I didn't. I am hoping to meet others like you to help make my passion come to life.

 

I realize that it is important for me to continue my dream of medicine on a different level. Being a surgical technician, I have always enjoyed the patient contact, which as a tech, you don' t get enough. Like you, PA has always been my track in life, so I know that you can accomplish your goal with having a family.

 

Do what you need to do for your future because you and your family will be happier in the long run.

 

Being a surgical technician was good for the moment, I knew that I needed more in my life. Strive for what you want in life and everything else will fall into place.

 

Good Luck to you

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I think that scrubbing is great. I personally want to do more. I thought about FA, but there is such a ceiling to that profession as well. I like the idea of being able to first assist as well as follow up with patients on the floor and in clinic. I still have to get my B.S. degree and am finishing up transfer credits now. Hindsight is always 20/20, but I wish I had gotten all of this stuff out of the way long ago. Looking at 5 more years of school is daunting.

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I was considering going through a surgical technician program while completing prerequisites for PA school so to have a solid job that will increase my HCE if I don't get into a program on my first application cycle.

 

How was the surgical technician schooling?

 

If I achieved admissions to a PA program I feel as though the surgical tech schooling would be a counter productive so I'm on the fence, however, I love surgery (I assisted in emergency surgery for years practicing in equine medicine).

 

What were your roles as a surgical tech? I know little of their responsibilities.

 

I believe it would very favorable HCE hours for admissions to a program and I wish you the best of luck!

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Thanks for the well wishes JC. The actual ST program was fairly demanding. If you have all the other pre req's it takes a full year to complete and then you take the CST exam to become certitifed. Its not a license. If you get in to PA by all means don't bother with scrub school, but I have to say my time in the OR is priceless. I have learned so much about pathophysiology and its effects on surgical patients, not to mention learning the procedures. My main interest is ortho traumaand I am very lucky to work with some amazing surgeons who are so good to teach me.

 

Thanks for the well wishes JC. The actual ST program was fairly demanding. If you have all the other pre req's it takes a full year to complete and then you take the CST exam to become certitifed. Its not a license. If you get in to PA by all means don't bother with scrub school, but I have to say my time in the OR is priceless. I have learned so much about pathophysiology and its effects on surgical patients, not to mention learning the procedures. My main interest is ortho traumaand I am very lucky to work with some amazing surgeons who are so good to teach me. If you can't get in to PA right away and you have the time to burn and need HCE and you love surgery, its a great postion to get into the OR.

 

My main role as a ST is to maintain the sterile integrity of the field. Contamination can kill someone easily. I set up the backtable and make sure I have what instrumentation is needed on the case. I must anticapte the needs of the surgeon as well. I prep and drape and sometimes help with postitioning if I am not scrubbed in. I assist at the field as needed by retracting or suctioning etc. . I pass instruments and implants. It appears on the surface to be an easy support job, but a good scrub who understands the procedure can troubleshoot issues and save the patient time under anesthesia.

 

My frustration with this role is the ceiling. I cannot suture, which is frustrating. You must be an FA, or first assist which is the next step up of the ST and requires another year of school and a certification exam. I am craving more responsiblity and therefore must go back to school. I was also a vet tech and that is where I got alot of my knowledge base. I spent about 7 years in a vet clinic including equines, small animals and exotics. I really think this background is extremely helpful in learning how to diagnose and treat patients who cannot speak.

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Thanks for the well wishes JC. The actual ST program was fairly demanding. If you have all the other pre req's it takes a full year to complete and then you take the CST exam to become certitifed. Its not a license. If you get in to PA by all means don't bother with scrub school, but I have to say my time in the OR is priceless. I have learned so much about pathophysiology and its effects on surgical patients, not to mention learning the procedures. My main interest is ortho traumaand I am very lucky to work with some amazing surgeons who are so good to teach me. If you can't get in to PA right away and you have the time to burn and need HCE and you love surgery, its a great postion to get into the OR.

 

My main role as a ST is to maintain the sterile integrity of the field. Contamination can kill someone easily. I set up the backtable and make sure I have what instrumentation is needed on the case. I must anticapte the needs of the surgeon as well. I prep and drape and sometimes help with postitioning if I am not scrubbed in. I assist at the field as needed by retracting or suctioning etc. . I pass instruments and implants. It appears on the surface to be an easy support job, but a good scrub who understands the procedure can troubleshoot issues and save the patient time under anesthesia.

 

My frustration with this role is the ceiling. I cannot suture, which is frustrating. You must be an FA, or first assist at least, which is the next step up of the ST and requires another year of school and a certification exam. I am craving more responsiblity and therefore must go back to school. I was also a vet tech and that is where I got alot of my knowledge base. I spent about 7 years in a vet clinic including equines, small animals and exotics. I really think this background is extremely helpful in learning how to diagnose and treat patients who cannot speak.

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Not sure if you can delete on these boards, but I don't mind!

 

I appreciate all the information, that has been extremely helpful. I can only imagine how beneficial being in the OR will be to your future as a PA. I'm not sure if you are away but there are two programs that area surgical based for PA: Weill Cornell and University of Alabama.

 

Sounds like we share some similar interests and background. I would like to extend my gratitude again!

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I forgot to mention, couldn't agree with you more with regards to providing treatment to patients with impaired communication. In veterinary medicine we certainly learn to utilize other tools and senses to assess and understand a patient that I imagine will translate well to such a patient population in human health care.

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I am in NC. I am looking at Wingate university. It just opened a program close to my hometown. I am truly only pursuing this now because of this new venue. I am very settled with a family and unable to leave for school. This does not give me alot of leeway. My intention, hopefully, is to return to my beloved trauma service at my current hospital. What about you?

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