Surgical Technologist At a Glance
What Does a Surgical Tech Do?
Surgical technologists play a crucial role in the operating room by assisting surgeons and their teams. Their responsibilities include passing sterile instruments and supplies, setting up surgical equipment such as robotics, and holding organs in place during procedures. Additionally, surgical technologists may handle specimens for laboratory analysis, ensuring efficient and safe surgical processes.
Most surgical technologists work as members of a healthcare team alongside physicians and surgeons, registered nurses, surgical assistants, and other workers in a hospital. They all wear scrubs while in the operating room, in addition to masks and other preventative shields. As a surgical technologist, you’ll be on your feet, and you may be exposed to unpleasant sights, smells and materials.
In addition to helping prepare for and carry out surgeries, you may also prepare, care for, and dispose of specimens taken for lab analysis. With patients, you may apply dressings and help ease them into recovery rooms.
Life in the operating room (OR) can be hectic and demanding, with life-threatening emergencies often occurring despite hours of careful planning and prep. As a key member of the team, the surgical technologist must anticipate the needs of the patient and the surgeon to ensure that each operation goes as smoothly as possible.
Here are the tasks a surgical technologist must perform and be prepared for with every surgery:
Certification can help a surgical technologist in finding the right position, and is a good way to advance your education. You can earn various types of certification in classroom, online, and prep programs, such as:
As advancements in technology have made surgery safer, and as the aging population requires care, surgery technologists will be ensured steady work. Prospects are best for those who’ve completed an accredited education program and who maintain their professional certification.
With experience and additional education, surgical technologists can advance to become surgical assistants, where they will have more responsibility and command higher salaries. Surgical technologists also occasionally advance to other healthcare occupations, such as physician assistants or registered nurses.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics; Surgical Technologists