How a Surgical Technician Stays Cool in Florida

HealthcareApril 10, 2014

Florida is home to a sizable medical community and can be a wonderful place to live if you like warmer climes and beaches. As a surgical technician, there are plenty of options for beating the heat in Florida.

Florida is Hot!

Florida's surgical techs are needed in the operating room — not in the ER as patients. Not respecting this state's sub-tropical and tropical heat can affect both short and long-term health. High summer temperatures range in the 90s throughout the state; the state's record high is a sweltering 109°! Winters are short and mild, especially in the southern areas of the state, such as Miami and Key West, where winter's daytime "chill" averages in the mid-60s.

Although there can be dry spells, Florida is generally a wet state. High humidity compounds soaring temperatures. Mitigating ocean breezes, frequent cooling storms and a massive HVAC industry all help to combat the heat. However, individuals must take their own measures to stay cool.

It's "Cool" Being a Surgical Tech

As a popular retirement state, Florida has a large geriatric population. Aging baby boomers are flooding into the medical system, and surgical techs are badly needed. In fact, the U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that through 2022, the number of surgical tech jobs will increase by 30 percent — twice the national average for all jobs combined. It is also a well-paying profession: The BLS reports the national median salary is $41,790.

If you plan to begin your career by attending a surgical tech program in Florida, there are dozens of schools to choose from. After graduation, the next step is to take the surgical tech certification exam required by the state. Once you have your license, you're on your way!

Simple Precautions

Whether in Alaska or Florida, a surgery room is kept quite cool — so cool, in fact, that some staff wear long johns under their scrubs. Heat might not be much of an issue on the job; still, a surgical tech can overheat when not cooled by the intense HVAC of a medical room.

Either from over-exertion prior to work, poor hydration, having certain health conditions or taking specific medications, Florida's brutal summer temperatures threaten your ability to function at the capacity owed to your patients. Lengthy exposure to sunlight, difficult to avoid in Florida, brings long-term risks too, like aged and damaged skin. Melanoma, an especially deadly cancer, can result from excessive exposure to sunlight.

A few simple precautions to take include:

  • Drinking plenty of water. Avoid sugary drinks, alcohol and too much caffeine.
  • Wearing a vented hat when outdoors. Not only is your scalp protected from sunlight, it help shields your eyes from the sun.
  • Wearing sunglasses. They will help you overcome glare and to protect your eyes from sunlight. Polarized lenses are best.
  • Recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion. The symptoms are as follows: heavy sweating, dizziness, weakness, muscle cramps, dark urine, headache and nausea.

As long as you respect its heat, Florida is a great place to study, work and live. Surgical technician jobs abound, and prospects appear certain to get even better. If you think you're up to it, outfit yourself properly for the sunny south and make your dream come true.

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