Helping Hands In the Surgery Room


There are many jobs outside of the caregiver field but within the healthcare field, there is one that offers long term growth and provides a good foundation into other medical endeavors. The position that puts you alongside a performing surgeon is a surgical technologist.

Surgeons need an extra hand in the surgery room and that is where surgical technologists or surgical assistants do their magic. They have to prep an operating room before the actual surgery. All that equipment has to be sterilized, arranged and ready to go. During emergencies, this step is crucial for a successful surgery. Without proper preparation, patients can be exposed to germs and bacteria. Having the right tools in the right spot also speeds up the efficiency and time it takes to complete a surgery.

The average pay for surgical technologists was $39,920 per year in 2010. That roughly comes out to be $19.19 per hour. It’s a great start to a career that can lead to bigger and better things in the health field.

Education

For those who wish to supplement and improve their education, there are courses for medical terminology, law and ethics and computer applications. These skills are high in demand and are transferable to other healthcare positions with a higher salary. These courses also offer externships, which are unpaid positions, after completing the coursework. The benefits of externships are the real life experiences under the supervision of surgical teams.

It is easy to get lost in a large community college with a poor student to teacher ratio. Too much testing and not enough hands on training. At these colleges, you can get the proper training at a focused individual level. If you don’t mind working in a hospital setting (Most surgical techs work in hospitals), and love the medical field, then consider this career.

Other Degrees In The Health Care Field

When you mention the health care field, the first jobs that usually come up are doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists. It is understandable that someone would mention these occupations because those are the people who the patients come in contact with the most. However, in order for any health care system to work, there must be a team working in the background to fill in the gaps. Those who have allied health degrees assist doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists in their tasks and handle a lot of the paperwork. They are also there to prep the patient before the physicians come in to examine.

Examples of jobs or careers you can get with allied health degrees are dental hygienists, massage therapists, medical coder, medical assistants, EMT, pharmacy technician and phlebotomists. These are only a few occupations that scratch the surface of this broad degree. As you can see, without allied health workers, the whole health care system would fall apart.

School And Education

Education required can vary with the type of occupation, such as on the job training, but most require a degree. These jobs are the foundation that help you advance up the ladder of the health care field. If you needed a starting point, this would be it.

There are great websites to help you search for schools in your local area and read up more about these degrees. There are search tools filled with listings on every page and helpful articles detailing the process and opportunities available for someone like you. You can also read up on the growth of this industry while learning how to pick the right school to fit your lifestyle. Whether you have five kids, are unemployed, looking for a new career or trying to get into the healthcare field, this is the place to start.

Alternative Jobs For Caregivers

In this economy, it is not uncommon for people, in all sorts of fields, to start searching for alternative jobs where their previous skills can still be fully utilized. Caregivers are no exception. Many caregivers today find themselves moving from the traditional caregiver assignment of assisting the elderly to related jobs like working with autistic children and nursing. Fortunately, many alternative jobs for caregivers require little to no additional training and can even lead to better benefits.

List of Different Occupations for Caregivers

Traveling Caregiver

The career of a traveling caregiver is quickly becoming a popular and rewarding job for thousands of skilled workers in the United States. Traveling caregivers require no more education or training than a typical caregiver, although they’ll be required to travel around the country frequently. This career generally requires the caregiver to move from job to job, staying anywhere from a month to a year with each client, depending on their needs. Room and board is often paid by the agency and you can earn anywhere from $8 to $15 an hour, depending on your qualifications and experience.

Personal Shopper For The Elderly

This can be a well paying job depending on the client who is hiring you to become a personal shopper. Your duties involve listening to the elderly person and taking proper notes for the items they request or the items that their family request. This can become quite the treasure hunt if you have a client with specific needs. Your caregiving skills will come into play when you listen patiently and address all their special needs.

Motivational Speaker

If you have been around people who constantly need reassurance and encouraging words to help them take their medicine or get them through the day, then a job of a motivational speaker might be in your future. These caregiver skills of listening and speaking positive words can be transferable to this career.

Nursing Aides

Nursing aide is another great alternative job for caregivers, although there will be a need for additional training. To switch careers from a personal caregiver assistant to a nursing aide, you will need at least a high school diploma and possibly training and a license, depending on your state. You must also complete a 75-hour certification process to become a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and pass an evaluation to work in a nursing home facility. Nursing aids are compensated well and earn between $10 and $15 an hour.

Child Care

Lastly, child care is yet another common alternative job for caregivers and often requires no additional training, although you may want to get certified if you want to work with autistic and special needs children.

Paraprofessionals work as assistants to these children helping them perform their daily activities and uses applied behavioral analysis (ABA) techniques to help improve their behaviors.

Depending on your state, you may be required to get credentials as a Child Development Associate (CDA). Providing child care in your home will also require a license in most states. Child care workers are typically paid somewhat low rates of $9 to $11 per hour, although higher education will mean better opportunities. This career field is also excellent if you don’t want to travel because you can run an entire business from your home setting.

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Interviewing A Caregiver

How do you make sure the person you are hiring is right for this position? Caregiving can be intense at times and this pressure can mount on someone who not prepared. They must be able to deal with the situation without getting frustrated at the patient. The caregiver may be very qualified with their degrees and education but if they lack the ability to smile and be happy around patients, they might not fit the job duties required.

For a patient, laughter is still one of the best medicines. If a caregiver can keep the patient happy, their health can improve too.

Caregiver Traits

Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Caregiver

  • Light hearted – Ask them to tell you a joke or a funny situation they experienced recently.
  • Happy – Smiling is simply not enough to determine this trait. Ask them how they unwind and relax after a long day? This shows how well they handle stressful situations and a good indicator of their happiness.
  • Open-minded – Ask them how open they are to new ideas. Do they listen well to the patient’s request? Caregivers should be servants to the patients and not authority figures. They should be open to ideas and requests as long as it is not harmful to the health of the patient.
  • Healing – Are they capable of making the patient feel better? How much knowledge do they know of the particular ailments that affect the patient? A good caregiver will research the ailments and make themselves a better caregiver from learning it. An elderly caregiver should know how to transfer an elderly patient from a bed to supporting mobility device such as a wheelchair or a walker. Other things a caregiver should know is how to keep the living area free from things that could injury the patient.

Look for these good caregiver traits when interviewing someone for a position. These questions and traits are perfect for when you are interviewing a caregiver for an Alzheimer patient. If you are looking for a caregiver job, make sure you have these traits when being interviewed. The more traits you have, the better your chances of landing that job.

Also be sure to get a good background check on the person applying for the job position if necessary.

Background Check

Why is a background check necessary for potential caregivers? Even if you are hiring someone from a reputable company, it is important to run your own background check on the employee.

  • It provides peace of mind.
  • Companies will always miss and overlook something.
  • You can ask questions related to the information you find.
  • You can use the information to do some reference requests.
  • It is cheap.

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Job Search Questions for Caregivers

Find a caregiver job that will meet your experience and expectations. Use the form below with your caregiver resume in hand for reference. Make sure you have your desired salary amounts in mind before you begin the search.

Average Caregiver Salary

As of 2010, the average caregiver jobs salary is $28000. Average caregiver salaries can range from 22,000 to 33,000 depending on where you work, the location, which industry it’s in and your own experience and benefits needed.

Additional Caregiver Job Search Questions

Who are you willing and experienced to take care of?

  • Dementia
  • Disabled
  • Elderly
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Cancer
  • Child
  • Pet

What kind of work environment do you want?

  • In Home
  • Hospital
  • Nursing Home

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