Surgical Tech Jobs



Surgical Tech Jobs

Surgical tech jobs offer an exciting and rewarding career in the health care industry. Also known as operating room technicians, surgical technologists work alongside surgeons and other healthcare professionals throughout a surgery.

A career as a surgical technologist starts with completing a certificate program or an associate degree. Surgical technology programs combine classroom study with hands-on clinical training to prepare you for the OR.

Surgical Procedures

When you think of a surgery, you probably imagine a surgeon wearing blue gloves and a patient on the operating table. However, surgeons and nurses aren’t the only individuals who perform lifesaving surgeries. Surgical technologists, or scrub techs, work with doctors to ensure that operations run smoothly. They’re primarily responsible for pre-operation prep, operating room maintenance and post-surgery care.

Surgical technologists receive their training through programs offered by community and junior colleges, vocational schools, universities and hospitals. The programs can take up to two years and culminate in an associate degree. They’re also required to complete a national certification exam after graduating.

According to Zippia, the most important skills for a surgical tech include attention to detail, teamwork and the ability to work well under pressure. They need to be able to follow strict protocols and pay close attention to the surgeon’s instructions. In addition, they must be able to anticipate what the surgeon needs during procedures.

Another vital skill is emotional resilience. Because the surgical environment is high-stress and often carries with it the potential for a complication, surgical techs must remain composed and focused. This helps them provide support to their colleagues and patients.

Once the operation is completed, surgical technologists apply bandages to the patients and assist in moving them into recovery rooms. They’re also responsible for cleaning and sterilizing the surgical instruments. This is a crucial part of maintaining a safe surgical environment and helping to lower the risk of infection in patients.

Because they’re so closely involved with the surgical department as a whole, surgical technologists are qualified to fill in for other jobs within the facility, including administrative positions. For example, some surgical technologists become supervisors of other sterile processing staff or even lead the entire unit. Others may pursue a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration to further their careers.

This is particularly popular for those who don’t want to spend an extended period of time in a medical school program. It also allows people to get started in a career in the healthcare industry without the extensive financial and educational commitments that are often associated with becoming a doctor or nurse.


As a scrub tech, you prepare the operating room for surgery by sterilizing instruments and preparing surgical kits with special drugs, solutions, and supplies. Surgical technologists often complete formal training programs that take nine to 24 months and include classroom instruction, supervised clinical experience, and coursework in anatomy, physiology, professional ethics, microbiology, and pharmacology.

The preparation part of your job is crucial because even a minor mistake could cause a patient to develop a serious infection. That’s why it’s important that you pay close attention to every step of your work and ensure all tools are clean before giving them to the surgeon. Surgical technicians also must anticipate what the surgeon will need during each procedure, which requires an acute level of awareness.

Surgical technology is one of the fastest-growing fields in healthcare. With an aging baby boomer population and the increase in technological advancements, there is a need for skilled surgical technicians to support surgeons during operations. This is a career that can provide great satisfaction and a good salary, especially for those who want to work in the medical field.

When a surgeon requests a tool, the surgical tech must be ready to hand it over immediately, which requires a high level of concentration and anticipation. To prevent mistakes, you must keep track of the number of tools used during each procedure and make sure they’re all cleaned correctly afterward. It’s also essential to be familiar with the types of machinery you will encounter in an operating room, such as electrosurgical and electrocautery equipment, medical staplers, and argon beam coagulators.

A surgical technician is also responsible for applying bandages to patients and escorting them into recovery rooms. That requires the ability to stand for long periods of time, especially during emergency cases. Depending on the needs of a hospital, you may have to work nights or weekends, as well.

The work environment for a surgical technologist is usually clean and quiet, but it can be stressful because of the fast pace of operations. This is also a high-risk profession where you might be exposed to communicable diseases and unpleasant sights, smells and materials.

Assisting Surgeons

For surgical technologists, helping surgeons during surgery is one of the most important parts of their job. The operating room can be a hectic and dangerous environment, and even the most routine operation may take unexpected turns that require the surgical tech’s assistance. This is where the surgical tech’s knowledge of medical instruments, their proper use and the surgeon’s mannerisms come into play.

Surgical techs must also be able to keep their cool under pressure and respond quickly and appropriately to any issues that may arise during the procedure, from monitoring blood loss to changing sutures. This requires a great deal of concentration and the ability to focus without distraction. Surgical techs must also have good manual dexterity to maneuver tools, which can be bulky and cumbersome.

After the doctor finishes the surgery, the surgical tech takes a count of all the sponges, needles and other equipment used to ensure nothing was left inside the patient. This can be a tedious and time-consuming process, but it’s an important step to make sure no items are forgotten or left behind. The surgical tech may also help the surgeon apply dressings and aid in transferring patients into recovery rooms.

Because no two surgeries are alike, each day on the job for a surgical tech can be different. The fast-paced nature of the work can be challenging for some, but it can also offer more opportunities to learn and grow as a surgical technician.

Many surgical technologists receive their training in programs offered by community and junior colleges, vocational schools, hospitals, universities and the military. The length of these programs can vary, but most last from 12 months for a certificate to two years for an associate degree.

After graduating from a surgical tech program, some surgical technologists choose to further their education by earning a bachelor’s degree in healthcare, which can help them move up the career ladder and earn a higher salary. Others decide to pursue professional certification, which is available through many organizations that offer exam preparation courses. This provides a stepping stone to becoming a first surgical assistant or a supervisor, which can boost an already lucrative salary.

Post-Operative Care

Surgical technologists have a demanding job. They have to stay alert and stand or sit in the same position for long periods of time. They are also exposed to communicable diseases and unpleasant sights, smells, and materials. They are responsible for keeping the surgical environment clean and sterile. This can be challenging since surgeries happen daily and at any hour. Therefore, surgical techs must be willing to work nights, weekends, and holidays as needed.

It is essential for a surgical tech to be able to operate a variety of different types of surgical equipment. This includes lights, suction machines, and electrocautery devices. Surgical technologists also need to know how to properly use various suture techniques and pass tools to surgeons when asked.

Another essential skill for surgical technologists is the ability to communicate effectively with other members of the medical team. This can include relaying information about patients, answering questions, and completing paperwork. In addition, surgical technologists need to be able to listen carefully and respond quickly to any instructions from the surgeon.

In addition to being a fast-paced role, the surgical technician job is also highly rewarding. It can be satisfying to know that you are responsible for ensuring everything goes smoothly during a surgery. Whether that is the surgeon anticipating your next action or a circulating nurse waiting on you to give them a correct count of all the instruments used, there is always someone counting on you to get it right.

The best part about being a surgical tech is that the career does not require a bachelor’s degree. Most community colleges and vocational schools offer programs that last between nine and 24 months, and they usually combine classroom instruction with supervised clinical experience. In addition to learning the skills necessary for the job, students are taught anatomy, physiology, microbiology, professional ethics, and medical terminology.

It is important for a surgical technologist to be highly organized. This is because they are typically the first ones to enter a surgical room and set up the space for the procedure. They are then responsible for sterilizing and arranging all the needed tools and equipment.

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