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The Last Word on Surgical Technician Job Duties

Surgical technicians are trained professionals. Their jobs differ among countries and medical institutions. They receive training spanning one to two years. While certification is not mandatory, it is advantageous to one’s career to become a certified as employers prefer when surgical technologists are fully qualified.

Surgical technicians usually work forty hour work weeks. They at times have to be on call for overtime work. They work as part of a medical team which consists of doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel. The job requires long periods of standing and exposure to sights and smells that some people may deem as unappealing. The job also requires the ability to stay calm under pressure and staying alert.

The general job description for surgical technicians involves the following:

1. Assisting with surgeries with proper guidance from surgeons, registered nurses or other surgical personnel

2. Preparing the operating room by organizing and putting out tools and sterilizing them

3. Ensuring all tools are in working order and ready for use

4. Preparing patients by washing, shaving and sterilizing as necessary

5. Move patients to and from operating room

6. Checking for vital signs, checking charts and helping the medical team to dress for surgery (assisting with putting on gloves and gowns)

7. Handing surgical tools and other supplies to the surgeon

8. Counting medical instruments such as needles to make sure that they are not accidentally left behind in the patient’s body

9. Assisting with lab analysis

10. Caring for and disposing items needing lab work

11. Assisting with capturing data and preparing samples for testing

12. Helping keep the patient comfortable

13. Cleaning, maintaining and disinfecting the operating room after surgery

Based on the job description above, you may conclude that the job of a surgical technician is very important. Preparing a room for operation is vital in reducing the risk of infection for the patient doing surgery. Surgical technicians do not actually do the cleaning of the operating room but in fact provide supervision in its cleaning and sterilization.

Another important aspect of being a surgical technician is having good analytical and problem solving abilities. Since it is possible for complications to occur during surgery, not only should the surgical technician remain calm, but also be able to make quick decisions. Critical thinking is therefore a key component in surgical technology. Yes, the surgeon is the final decision maker but surgical technologists, if possible, are able to make suggestions.

Solid math and science skills are also essential as administering dosages of medicine and lab analysis is a part of the job.

Other than the knowledge, skills and abilities required for the job, other characteristics for a surgical technician are the ability to wear masks. Some people are unable to wear masks due to feelings of claustrophobia but this job requires it due to the risk of spreading communicable diseases. The job can be quite hazardous due to the exposure to bodily fluids, blood and radiation. Stress on the job is also a factor to consider as being on call and working nights, weekends and holidays may take its toll is not handled properly.

Salaries for surgical technologist positions are surprisingly high. Find out just how high at: