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Surgical Tech BURNOUT - SurgicalTechSuccess
November 29, 2005

Before you panic about the beginning of this Newsletter, please take a moment to read my point. Thanks :)

Surgical Tech Burnout!

There's a word you will hear from Surgical Techs all over the country.

It usually goes something like this:

"I am so burnt out from this job..."

Believe me it does happen. I know, I've experienced it firsthand.

Now, if you're a student, don't panic!

Burnout occurs in every single profession out there.

One of the main reasons surgical techs start to feel "burntout" is because they do the same thing day after day, week after week, month after month, etc., with little or no breaks.

Sometimes it's not their fault that they get stuck in "the same old thing".

Maybe they are working in a facility where there isn't room for growth.

Maybe they are in a very small hospital where the same procedures are done day after day.

Maybe they are in a small town or city where there aren't many options for surgical techs.

It's completely normal if you feel this way at times and there is a very simple solution:


OK, maybe you can't change the procedures you scrub in on or the facility you work. But you can do other things.

Get involved where you work. Work on things that will spark your interest or rekindle that O.R. fire that motivated you in the beginning.

Do an inservice on proper scrubbing, gloving or gowning, passing sutures, opening sterile supplies, etc., whatever it is that interests you.

Most operating room educators will gladly let you present a portion, if not all of the next inservice.

Hey, I've done inservices on something as simple as where to put sharps and how to properly dispose of them.

The key is to get yourself to start thinking of something that will get you out of the "burn out" mode.

Maybe you can take a second job in a trauma center to really get a rush, or if you're in a trauma center, maybe you can do a few shifts here and there in an outpatient center just to take the edge off a little every now and then.

This may sound funny, but there was a time when I took a part-time second job at blockbuster video just to get away from the O.R. every now and then. Working at blockbuster made me realize how nice my surgical tech job really was.

Most people will realize that things aren't as bad as you think they are when they see what other places are like.

There was another time I got so completely burnt out on scrubbing, that I quit and became a personal trainer. Well, it didn't take long for me to start missing the O.R.

Maybe you just really don't want to scrub anymore. OK then, start talking to the sales reps about openings, take a class outside of work that interests you, find out how you can become an educator, become a CPR instructor, find out if you can become an intern in a trauma center, etc.

When I was in New York City, I use to take acting classes twice a week just to have something to look forward to outside of surgery.

You can go back to school and become a CFA, RN, PA, MD,...etc.

OR, sometimes you just need to take a little vacation and regroup.

Whatever your plan, TAKE ACTION.

Do not let a feeling of "burn out" affect your career growth. Take a step back and look at the big picture.

An education in surgical technology can take you to more places than you probably know about.

Know that we all suffer from burn out every now and then. It's ok and things will get better.

Just think about something that interests you and move forward with it.

Give yourself a break, realize that your technical knowledge of the operating room can open up many opportunities.

Like I always say, talk to your peers about how you feel. You'll be surprised how many other people feel the same way.

Challenge yourself a little, try a new specialty or service.

If you're really good in general surgery but afraid to learn neuro, simply try it.

If you're good in ortho and don't know much about vascular, give it a shot.

If you're good in cardiac, well, you must be good in everything then...(just kidding) lol

Listen, I use to FEAR orthopedics. The big set ups, the instruments, the space suits. But I was getting burnt out doing general surgery all the time, so I started just observing the ortho rooms a little more. Then I started to second scrub in ortho, which led into first scrub, which led into my new passion and love for orthopedics and spines.

Take action and change something. That's the key to getting past the burn out feeling.

If you really want to be re-motivated, take a look at the Surgical Tech Success Handbook package:

Surgical Tech Success Handbook Package

Here's what an experienced CST recently had to say about the handbook:

Within 3 days of receiving your materials and instructions on how to put my knowledge and education to work for me, I had a new job making more money than I was at my old job and having weekends off and better hours. I highly recommend this. It has made all the difference in my professional life and I have no doubt that others will be as thrilled as I am. Thank you Robert. Surgical Tech success did just what it's name says, helped me to find success as a surgical tech. Thank you again! Michelle F. Certified Surgical Technologist

Thank you Michelle. Please note, I did edit the wonderful feedback a little since I do tend to make these newsletters a little long.

AND on one final note, if you really want to see some of the opportunities for surgical techs, go to and do a job search on "surgical tech", today I found 9 pages of employment opportunities.

Stay positive, ask questions, study hard, and keep learning. That's the solid foundation to build from and work your way into becoming an expert in surgery. Thank You! :)

Until next time~

Your friend,


p.s. If you haven't seen the list of the holiday winners, they are posted here:

TESTIMONIALS for the Surgical Tech Success Handbook can be found here:

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