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Surg Techs~Do U Know It???~
February 14, 2009


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In today's Newsletter:

~Know Your Stuff~

~Give Me A Break~Ownership....

~Links, Updates, & Reminders~



First of all HAPPY VALENTINE's DAY to you & your loved one's!!!

Recently I've received an email or two from people who seem to be a bit discouraged about the way their surgical tech career or education is going.

While it is common for EVERYBODY to get discouraged about their particular level in their educational or professional point, one thing I've personally found that will keep you motivated is to Know Your Stuff!

Do you?

Do you really "know your stuff"?

Listen, you might not like what I'm about to say, but I'm going to keep it real!!!

If you are stuck in a rut, think about how well you really know your stuff.

It seems to me that some of the biggest complainers and "na-sayers" out there who are so miserable really don't know their stuff as well as they could.

Trust me, I've personally been there a time or two in my surgical tech career.

There was a time when I first starting traveling as an ST.

After about two years of scrubbing, the very first assignment I took required a good foundation in orthopedics, which I didn't have but I took the assignment anyway.

Phew, let me tell you something, the first shoulder case I did, I was lost.

And I mean I didn't anticipate a single instrument those surgeons needed.

And feeling lost led me into a little downward sprial during the case.

It was like I almost forgot what a bovie was because I was soooo frazzled about how poorly I was doing.

It was probably one of the worse cases I've ever experienced because I didn't know my stuff or even think to prepare to know my stuff.

Luckily for me, I was in a small town - 4 o.r. facility - and the surgeons were super cool.

BUT, they were not fooled by my attempts to "fake it".

However, they liked the fact that I was trying and kept a good attitude. That was on the outside.

On the inside I was falling apart, beating myself up, and thinking of heading back home.

But it's funny how God was working in my life back then and I didn't even know it.

HE actually put me in a place where I had to step up and know my stuff.

Believe me, by my will I wanted to run and hide because I didn't know my stuff as I should have.

It would have been so easy to pack it up and return to my comfort zone.

But you know what, something inside of me would not let me leave.

So, after that nightmare of a day in the o.r. I decided that I would dust off the old Alexander's Surgical Book and carry it to work with me everyday.

I started to go to work early, looked at my assignements for the day, and if I didn't know much about a case I was assigned to (esp Ortho at the time), I would look it up, review it, make a few notes, and go in there and do my best.

The surgeons LOVED the fact that I would look up thier cases and even though I wasn't anywhere close to perfect, they were even more patient with me because they saw that I was taking that extra step to know my stuff.

Even some of the "old-school" nurses commented on how they never saw a tech actually put that much work into learning about a case.

I didn't think it was a big deal.

To me I was just trying to survive~

You see my point is, if you really don't know your stuff, you will cause yourself a lot of stress and inner turmoil.

Maybe you can fake it to a point, but trust me, there is going to come a time when you won't be able to "wing-it" because you're going to have to know your stuff!

Don't let a lack of knowledge or a fear of learning something new prevent you from really knowing your field.

If you're a student, study every night (YES, even while in clinical externship), review your notes often, and focus on knowing as much of your academic load as possible.

If you're working in the field, take notes on your cases, review your surgical guides, (I happen to love Alexanders) and step out towards the challenges.

You might find yourself getting burnt out if you limit youself to one area and are not open to expanding your knowledge.

But hey, if you're in a comfort zone and you're sincerely happy, good for you. I sincerely wish you the best :)

You probably found your niche. Just make sure your know your area of specialty inside and out. It will keep your position alive.

BUT, if you're not in a comfortable place and find yourself running from the crani's or skipping out on school for the pharmacology final, I say to you, sit down and start getting to Know Your Stuff.

A little knowledge of "your stuff" will carry you miles......

I hope this letter touches at least one person out there~

If it does, let me know...

Stay positive, ask questions, study hard, keep learning, and pray. That's the solid foundation to build from and work your way into becoming the best you can be.

Until Next Time~

Your friend,

Robert Prince, CST


Surgical Tech Success Handbook:



Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with scoffers. Psalm 1:1 (NLT)



~Give Me A Break!



Do you take ownership for where you are in life, school, work, etc..??

OR is it always because of the other person?

Think about it.

As an educator, I've heard just about every excuse in the book over the years.

My advice to you is to take ownership of everything you do.

Try it and you'll see how quickly you stand out.

It's not always the other person....

Above all, own who you are, believe in yourself, and never be afraid of failing.

Some of my biggest failures turned into some of my greatest successes.....

Hit me with your give me a break comment here:



~Quick Reminders~




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Surgical Tech Success Handbook

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