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Surgical Techs Failure..?? - SurgicalTechSuccess
July 24, 2006


In today's Newsletter:


~Surgical Tech Traveler Update~

~Quick Reminders~




Why do I bring up the subject of "Failure" you might ask..??..

Well, recently I received an e-mail from one of my newsletter subscribers.

This e-mail was about how somebody really had it in for a surgical tech and was doing everything they could to prevent this particular surgical tech from moving forward.

The behavior of the person promoting the failure seem to be unwarranted and unfair.

After thinking about what this person was trying to do, I started thinking about how this type of situation might affect others and what I could do to help.

So I wanted to put in my "two cents" worth and let everybody know how I feel about "Failure".

Failure is a word we don't really here too often in the operating room.

Good thing too since we have people's lives in our hands on a daily basis.

The O.R. can be incredibly intimidating no matter what level your'e on and this intimidation can easily lead to a foundation of feeling like a failure.

Although you may not here this word in the O.R. very often, failure really is a part of life - no matter what career field you're in.

Something that use to amaze me back in the early days of my surgical career was seeing how certain people would thrive on seeing others fail.

Yes, there are people out there who feel better if you fail.

Maybe it's because they feel so poorly about themselves that they have to find pleasure by encouraging or orchestrating one's failure.

Maybe it's because they have a bunch of college degrees, certifications, & licenses that they automatically feel like everyone has to be at their "level" in order to prevent failure.

Maybe it's just because they are not very nice in general, who know's~?

I have found ~especially as I get older~ that failure is not something designed to keep one from moving forward.

It might be a slight set-back or a temporary pause, but it should be perceived as a learning tool.

Here is a perfect example of "failure" (yes, it involves me of course :)

When I first starting scrubbing, I was really bad.

I mean, I knew the basics of surgical technology but I lacked the experience to feel confident.

I'd be so uncomfortable in the O.R. that I would fumble and "screw up" left & right.

Actually, my very first job right out of school was with a Plastic Surgeon who ultimately fired me after a very short time on the job.

Now, in my defense, this was not one of your "regular" plastic surgeons, rather he was a retired cardio-vascular surgeon who went into plastics in his late 60's and he lacked a lot of patience for "newbies".

Anyway my point is that after being fired, I felt as though I failed and really gave my self-confidence a beating!

BUT, since I had to eat, I picked myself up and hit the pavement, ultimately finding a job in a hospital O.R. willing to invest a little time into me and my basic knowledge of surgery.

Failure is not such a bad thing if you put it into perspective and take a lesson away from whatever it is you think you failed in.

When I felt like I failed as a plastic surgery scrub, I knew I picked up a little experience just being in the O.R. and being exposed to the things surgical techs are exposed to on a daily basis.

I used that knowledge & experience to help me move my surgical tech career forward.

If you think in terms of "FAILURE" you are probably being much too hard on yourself.

Very often we'll see more of a failure in the things we might not succeed at than most people will ever see in us.

What I mean by that is that we all tend to be much harder on ourselves than others are on us...

Do you remember the plastic surgeon I mentioned who fired me? Well, he ultimately gave me a letter of reference and it turned out that he admitted to not having the patience to train me. BUT if I would have continued to beat myself up, I would have never asked him for a letter of reference and would probably still be affected by what I thought was a HUGE failure~ You see, we really are much harder on ourselves than others tend to be.~

The bottom line is this:

Certain people in this career field (just like other career fields) will get pleasure out of seeing you fail.

Whether you're a student, educator, O.R. veteran, or recent grad, you will come across O.R. professionals who will enjoy watching you struggle and fail.

Although this is not very common, it is a sad reality.

If you are dealing with a situation where somebody "has it in for you", be the bigger person and keep moving forward.

Don't let anybody stop you from succeeding!

It's really that simple.

Failure is a word that can really affect a person quite negatively.

Failure is a state that can easily be changed.

Failure is fuel for some of the most accomplished people in the world today.

Failure is one of life's best learning tools!

Don't ever let the behavior of someone who may want you to fail affect your true winning spirit.

If you are stuggling with a failure, learn from it, let it go, and continue to move forward.

People will be how they are but you can always be the bigger more mature surgical professional.

I hope these words of wisdom help you keep things in perspective and motivate you to challenge failure to just try to keep you down.

Want to learn about other O.R. professionals, their attitudes, and a way to boost your Surgical Tech career? ~Take a look at the Surgical Tech Success Handbook today:

Until Next Time~

Your friend,

Robert Prince, CST

p.s. SEE why the Surgical Tech Success Handbook continues to be a Number One source of motivation, inspiration, and resource for Surgical Technologists on all levels.

Take a look here:

And don't forget, you can order any of our books as individual items here:



“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” – Babe Ruth, baseball player



Surgical Tech Traveler Update

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~Quick Reminders~


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