Surgical Technician Jobs

Surgical Technician Job Description

Surgical technicians are also commonly referred to as operating room technicians, surgical technologists, and scrubs. A surgical technician’s main responsibility is to assist surgeons during procedures and operations. Some of the more specific tasks that a surgical tech can expect to take on include the following:

  • Preparing the operating room (OR) for surgery
  • Assisting the team of surgeons as they enter the OR’s sterile field
  • Gathering together the necessary supplies and tools
  • Checking that all equipment is sterile and in working order
  • Taking care of specimens, including preparing them and disposing of them, if necessary
  • Helping to prep the patient for surgery by cleaning, disinfecting, and/or shaving areas of the patient’s body that are to be operated on
  • Passing equipment and instruments to the surgeon when necessary
  • Observing patients’ statuses and monitoring their vital signs during surgery
  • Assisting with dressings following the surgery
  • Preparing medications for the patient
  • Removing used instruments following surgery
  • Maintaining the sterile field of the OR until the patient is moved
  • Preparing the OR for the next surgery or procedure

Typically, surgical technicians are employed in hospitals; however, there are also job opportunities at outpatient care centers and physician offices.

How Do I Become a Surgical Tech?

In order to become a surgical technician, you’ll need to obtain the proper training from a hospital, university, community college, vocational school, or technical school. Also, the military offers trainings for surgical technicians. Typically, training lasts anywhere between nine and twenty-four months. Typical surgical tech educational programs offer supervised clinical experience as well as hands-on training. Some of the courses you can expect to take include microbiology, anatomy, professional ethics, physiology, and medical terminology.

Surgical technicians may choose to specialize in one specific area of surgery such as open-heart surgery or neurosurgery. This type of specialization will require that you obtain further training and education.

You can also obtain certification as a surgical technician in order to give you an edge over your job competition.

In addition to the proper training, the most successful surgical technicians will also have the following skills and/or characteristics:

  • Work well under pressure
  • Able to work well with others
  • Able to stand for long periods of time
  • Strong ability to focus
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Work with accuracy and speed
  • Respond quickly and appropriately to emergency circumstances and situations.

How Much Can I Make as a Surgical Tech?

The average surgical technician earns an annual salary of just over $40,000, which is a very respectable income. Those surgical technicians that work in specialty health practitioners’ offices can expect to receive an annual pay of up to $57,000.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings for surgical technicians are expected to rise 25% between 2008 and 2018.

If you enjoy working with people and are looking for a stable job in the healthcare industry, consider training to become a surgical technician.

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