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Massage Therapist vs Surgical Technician

Massage Therapist vs Surgical Technician

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Are you interested in a career in the healthcare industry but not sure which path to take? Two potential options to consider are becoming a massage therapist or a surgical technician. While both professions involve helping others and working in a medical setting, there are some key differences between the two. In this blog post, we will explore the roles, education and training, career outlook, and salary potential for massage therapists and surgical technicians. By the end, you should have a better understanding of which career path might be the best fit for you.

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Introduction

Massage therapy and surgical technology are two distinct career paths within the healthcare industry. Both professions require specialized skills and training, but they differ in terms of job responsibilities, education requirements, and career outlook. Let's take a closer look at what each profession entails.

What is a Massage Therapist?

Massage therapists are healthcare professionals who use manual manipulation of soft tissues to promote relaxation, relieve pain, and improve overall well-being. They work with clients to assess their needs and develop a treatment plan tailored to their specific concerns. Massage therapists may specialize in various techniques, such as Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, or sports massage.

What is a Surgical Technician?

Surgical technicians, also known as surgical technologists, play a crucial role in the operating room. They assist surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare professionals during surgical procedures. Surgical technicians are responsible for preparing the operating room, sterilizing equipment, and ensuring all necessary tools and supplies are available. During surgeries, they assist with passing instruments, holding retractors, and maintaining a sterile environment.

Difference between a Massage Therapist and Surgical Technician

While both massage therapists and surgical technicians work in the healthcare field, there are several key differences between the two professions:

  • Job Responsibilities: Massage therapists focus on providing therapeutic massages to clients, while surgical technicians assist in surgical procedures.
  • Work Environment: Massage therapists often work in spas, wellness centers, or as independent contractors, while surgical technicians primarily work in hospitals, surgical centers, or outpatient clinics.
  • Physical Demand: Massage therapists spend a significant amount of time on their feet and may need to exert physical strength during certain techniques. Surgical technicians also spend long hours on their feet but may be required to lift and position patients.
  • Patient Interaction: Massage therapists have direct contact with clients and may develop ongoing relationships with them. Surgical technicians primarily interact with patients in the context of surgery and provide support to the surgical team.
  • Scope of Practice: Massage therapists are trained to provide non-invasive treatments for various conditions, while surgical technicians assist in invasive procedures under the supervision of surgeons.

Massage Therapist vs Surgical Technician: Job Description

Massage Therapist

  • Perform assessments and develop treatment plans based on clients' needs and preferences.
  • Administer various types of massage techniques to promote relaxation, relieve pain, and improve circulation.
  • Maintain client records and document treatment sessions.
  • Educate clients on self-care techniques and provide recommendations for managing pain or discomfort.
  • Market and promote services to attract new clients and build a client base.

Surgical Technician

  • Prepare the operating room by sterilizing equipment and ensuring all necessary supplies are available.
  • Assist the surgical team during procedures by passing instruments, holding retractors, and maintaining a sterile environment.
  • Anticipate the needs of the surgeon and other team members to ensure a smooth and efficient operation.
  • Monitor patients' vital signs and assist with positioning and draping.
  • Clean and restock the operating room after procedures.

Massage Therapist vs Surgical Technician: Education and Training

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Massage Therapist

  • Completion of a massage therapy program from an accredited institution.
  • Most programs require around 500-1,000 hours of training, which can be completed in a few months to two years.
  • Licensing requirements vary by state, but most states require passing a national exam and obtaining a license to practice.
  • Continuing education is often necessary to maintain licensure and stay up to date with new techniques and research.

Surgical Technician

  • Completion of a surgical technology program from an accredited institution.
  • Programs typically range from 9 months to 2 years in duration.
  • Some states require certification, which can be obtained by passing the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam.
  • Continuing education is encouraged to stay current with advances in surgical technology.

Massage Therapist vs Surgical Technician: Career Outlook and Salary

Massage Therapist

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of massage therapists is projected to grow 21 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
  • The median annual wage for massage therapists was $43,620 in May 2020.
  • Earnings can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and specialization.
  • Massage therapists may have the opportunity to work in various settings, including spas, chiropractic offices, and sports clinics.

Surgical Technician

  • The BLS projects that employment of surgical technologists will grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.
  • The median annual wage for surgical technologists was $49,040 in May 2020.
  • Job prospects may be particularly favorable for surgical technicians who specialize in certain areas, such as robotics or neurosurgery.
  • Surgical technicians typically work in hospitals, outpatient centers, or ambulatory surgical centers.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a career in the healthcare industry is an important decision that should be based on your interests, skills, and long-term goals. Both massage therapy and surgical technology offer rewarding opportunities to make a difference in people's lives. Consider your preferences for patient interaction, job responsibilities, and work environment when deciding between becoming a massage therapist or a surgical technician. Ultimately, the best choice is the one that aligns with your passions and values.

Dreambound's educational programs are conveniently available in diverse locations, ensuring accessibility for aspiring individuals. For a more comprehensive understanding of the exciting opportunities within the realms of these two vocations, we invite you to explore further details by visiting:

Vduani Martinez
Written by
Vduani Martinez

Vduani Martinez is a part of the Growth team at Dreambound. She creates and fixes workflows and automation to guarantee seamless operations. On top of that, she manages databases to ensure all information is up to date. Vduani is a licensed Electronics Engineer who loves coffee and is a travel enthusiast. Out of the office, she enjoys going on road trips and discovering new cafes and restaurants.

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