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Surgical Techs Get Into Sales? - SurgicalTechSuccess
April 16, 2006


In today's Newsletter:

~Surgical Tech's Become Sales Reps?~

~Newsletter Correction~

~Educational Links- Surgical Assistant~

~Quick Reminders~

~Help Wanted -Position welcoming "New Grads"~






Before we get into this week's newsletter, I wanted to take a moment to thank the faculty and students of the Surgical Technology Program at Spartanburg Technical College, (Spartanburg, South Carolina);

Ms. Emily Rogers, CST, RN, BS, CNOR, Department Head Surgical Technology, and Ms. Debra Bradley, CST, Program Coordinator Surgical Technology.

On April 10th, I was invited to speak at their Surgical Tech Workshop for current and future Surgical Tech students about our profession and the world of opportunities a Surgical Technologist may be exposed to.

I must say, the workshop went great and the reception I received from Ms. Rogers, Ms. Bradley, Ms. Erin Watkins-dept of Success Newtwork-, and the student attendees was above and beyond a first classs reception.

Not only was my presentation and the Surgical Tech Success Handbook well received, but the questions and positive feedback from the students & faculty was incredible.

It seems that many of the students are newsletter subscribers and some of them took the time to approach me after my presentation to thank me for the motivational newsletters and resources I provide for all levels of Surgical Techs nationwide.

I'm sending out a special Thank You to Ms. Rogers, Ms. Bradley, Ms. Watkins-dept of Success Newtwork-, and their students & faculty for making my visit a huge success.

In all the years I've been a Surgical Tech and of all the ST Schools/Programs I've visited, I found the Surgical Technology Program at Spartanburg Technical College to be one of the finest and well run ST programs in this country.

If you live in or around Spartanburg, SC, and are considering a career in Surgical Technology, I strongly encourage you to visit the Surgical Technology Program at Spartanburg Technical College.

The teaching facility & faculty members make the Surgical Technology Program at Spartanburg Technical College a five star educational opportunity for Surgical Technology students.

For information about the Surgical Technology Program at Spartanburg Technical College, visit either of the following links. Thank you!

Spartanburg Technical College Surgical Technology Information

Spartanburg Technical College Surgical Technology Web



~Surgical Tech's Become Sale's Reps? ~

Did you know one the highest $$income brackets$$ in this country usually involves some type of "SALES"...

One of the questions that was most common at the recent Surgical Tech workshop I spoke at AND one of the questions I get from Surgical Techs working in the field is "How do I get into sales as a Surgical Tech?".

A common concern from surgical techs interested in becoming a sales rep is the fact that they may not have a Bachelor's Degree, which is often required by surgically related sales companies.

Completing a Bachelor's degree while getting the experience of a Surgical Tech in the operating room is probably one of the most POWERFUL combinations of education and work experience a medical professional can have.

However, I know from personal experience and the experience of some very close friends who started out as Surgical Techs and moved into a very high paying sales position without any type of college degree, that there is always a chance to get into a surgically related sales position with your surgical technology education and O.R. experience.

You see, there are companies out there who require a Bachelors degree and there is absolutley no way around that specific criteria.

BUT, there are also sales companies out there who will accept your Surgical Tech education and O.R. experience in lieu of a college degree.

Let's say you are interested in selling orthopedic implants (which happens to be one of my favorite) and you hear from the Ortho Sales Rep that his/her comapny is looking for additional reps in a specific area.

If you are a knowledgeable ortho scrub tech, one who really knows their "stuff", and you've been working in the O.R. for a couple of years, you might just very well be the exact type of candidate that particular ortho sales company is looking for.

Very often surgically related sales companies prefer an individual who knows their way around the operating room and is well versed in a particular specialty OVER a new college grad with a 4 year degree who is just getting their professional career started.

However, as I mentioned earlier, some of the sales companies require a 4yr degree despite your work experience or Surgical Tech education. (as a side-note, just think about how much your chances would increase though with the combination of a Bachelor's degree & the experience of a knowledgeable Surgical Tech...)

But, don't let that requirement prevent you from pursuing your career goals.

If you are determined to start a career in any type of Surgically related sales field and you don't plan to go back to college to complete a 4 yr degree, here are some "inside tips" that may help you get a sales career going:

1) Decide which type of surgically related sales you'd like to get into. A few of the sales reps you'll meet in surgery include, the suture sales rep, pacemaker sales rep, orthopedic sales rep, spinal sales rep, tissue sales rep, reprocessing sales rep, etc.

2) Become as knowledgeable in that particular field as you possibly can. Educate yourself in that field and scrub on as many cases possible in that particular specialty.

3) Network (simply introduce yourself) to the sales reps you come into contact with. As a surgical tech, this is one of the "backstage passes" I mention in the Surgical Tech Success Handbook that you can utilize. Believe me, there are 4yr college grads out there with no medical experience who would love to be in your position. That is, the position of possibly being able to develop a relationship with a "key" person currently working for a surgically related sales company. By "key" person, I'm referring to somebody who may have an influence or decision about the person they hire.

4) Get to know the sales reps who currently come to your facility and talk to them outside of the case as often as you can. Find out what thier job entails and how they got started. Sometimes that old saying "It's not WHAT you know, but WHO you know..." is true. BUT the exception to that old saying in our profession is the "it's not what you know..." part. If you want to get into a specific area of O.R. sales and you plan to use your experience as a possible substitue for a 4yr degree, you need to know that service or specialty backwards & forwards as if you were the Surgical Tech expert in that field.

5) Give yourself some time to really become an expert in the field you want to sell for.

When I started a career in the sales field, I had already been scrubbing for over 10 years.

At the time my career in the sales field started, I was actually working on a travel contract in a large hospital in California.

Well, with my extensive background in Orthopedics & Spines, the facility I was working for assigned me as a member of the spine team. This particular facility just happen to be one of the top spine hospitals in the country.

Everyday I was doing laminectomies, discectomies, fusions, etc. It was a lot of work but the surgeons were awesome and really seem to like the knowledge and experience I had in spinal surgery.

Not only did the surgeons appreciate my experience & knowledge, but the spinal fusion sales rep also noticed that I seem to be very comfortable with these big procedures.

And to make a long story a little shorter, the sales rep told me one day that her company had an open position. She asked me if I would be interested and the rest is history.

I became one of the top paid Spine Specialists for that particular company. My entire life changed and it was all thanks to the experience, knowledge, and education I developed as a Surgical Technologist.

If you think my story is unique, listen to these quick examples of other Surgical Tech's without a 4yr degree who did the same:

Sean W., age - "40-something", former house painter, went to a Surgical Tech Diploma program, worked as an ST for a couple of years, got involved with a surgically related sales company after meeting an O.R. sales rep, today he is making well over $100k per year.

Wendy K., age - "30-something", former CST working towards a 4year degree, (but not very motivated to complete the degree) worked as an ST for approximately 3-4 years, had a great deal of experience in a particular service, met a sales rep in the O.R. one day who needed an assistant. Wendy took the position and is now working as an full time Surgically related sales rep -on straight commission- making well over $200k per year.

(please note I changed the names of these individuals to protect their privacy)

So there you have it, a very nice and simple game plan to get into the sales arena.

If you are thinking about getting into surgical sales after you start working as a Surgical Tech, continue to educate yourself on the job.

Ask questions often, study up on your cases, picture yourself or tune your "vision" into your goals (by creating a "vision" of where you want to take your career, your success rate will increase), and always, always, always keep a positive mental attitude.

The Surgical Tech Success Handbook has a couple of different sections that go into more detail of positions and career opportunities in surgery.

If you haven't taken a look at it yet, now is the time to start moving forward.

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

Thank you once again for your time and your continued support!

Until Next Time~

Your friend,

Robert Prince, CST

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

Find out why it is becoming so popular here:



"Our vision controls the way we think and, therefore, the way we act . . . The vision we have of our jobs determines what we do and the opportunities we see or donít see." Ė Charles Koch, executive



~Newsletter Correction~ &

~Educational Links - Surgical Assistant~


In the last newsletter I talked about a couple of positions related to advancing a Surgical Tech Career.

One of the positions I spoke about was the "FA", which is the First Assistant.

Just to clarify a point that may have been misinterpreted; FA - First Assistant programs - most common requirement is to be a CST.

The type of college or program one might attend to become a Surgical Assistant without the background of a Surgical Technology education is actually a PA - Physician Assistant program.

In regard to the "SA - Surgical Assistant" & "PA - Physician Assistant", below are some web addresses for you to visit to get a lot of excellent information.

These educational/informational links were very kindly provided to me by the ST Instructor who pointed this out to me. Thank you!

Physician Assistants In Surgery

The Association of Surgical Assistants

The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)

**PLEASE NOTE** If you ever notice any type of error or misunderstanding in any of my newsletters, your feedback is always welcome.

BUT, please be kind regarding typo's. I know sometimes I've sent out a few -missspellings- here and there :)


~Quick Reminders~


The -SURGERY NEWS- page is loaded with news directly related to our profession!

If you haven't taken a look recently, the number of surgically related news articles & resources is growing.

From how a tonsillectomy affects a child's sleep to Robotic surgery. This page has a ton of information. AND we continually add more...

Take a look at our Surgery News page and let me know what you think...

The fre'e Questions, Answers, Tips, & Resources ebook is still available for newsletter subscribers here:

If you would like to order the printed hardcopy edition of the Surgical Tech Success Handbook, the bonus digital download material IS included as digital downloads.





NEW GRADS: There has been a recent posting which specifically indicates "New Grads Welcome"

Our Help Wanted page is up but has not been fully launched.

If you have a Surgical Tech position available or know of a facility that is looking for Surgical Tech's, visit the following page for a FRE'E Surgical Tech Job posting.

Currently, there is absolutley no cost to place a Surgical Tech Job - Help Wanted listing on our site.



Hope you have a very





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