If you’re considering a career in the medical field, you might have heard of surgical technology.
Surgical techs, also known as operating room technicians, assist surgeons and other medical personnel during surgeries and other medical procedures.
This is a fast-paced and rewarding career, but becoming a surgical tech requires specialized training and education.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to become a successful surgical tech.
From the education and training requirements to the day-to-day responsibilities of the job.
What is a Surgical Tech?
A surgical tech, also known as a scrub tech, is a highly trained medical professional who plays a critical role in the operating room.
They assist surgeons and other medical personnel by preparing the operating room and surgical instruments, as well as sterilizing and arranging instruments and supplies.
During surgery, surgical techs help to pass instruments to the surgeon, monitor vital signs, and maintain a sterile field.
They also assist with wound closure and may be responsible for monitoring the patient’s well-being during the procedure.
Education and Training Requirements
To become a surgical tech, you must complete a formal education program and earn certification. There are several different types of surgical tech programs available, including:
- Certificate programs: These programs typically take one year or less to complete and are designed for individuals who have already completed a healthcare-related program, such as a nursing program.
- Associate degree programs: These programs take two years to complete and provide a more comprehensive education in surgical technology.
- Bachelor’s degree programs: These programs take four years to complete and provide the most in-depth education in surgical technology.
In addition to formal education, most states require surgical techs to be certified. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) offers the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) examination, which is the most widely recognized certification in the field.
Day-to-Day Responsibilities of a Surgical Tech
But some common duties include:
- Preparing the operating room: This involves setting up equipment, instruments, and supplies and ensuring that the room is clean and sterile.
- Assisting the surgeon: During surgery, the surgical tech may be responsible for passing instruments and other supplies to the surgeon, monitoring vital signs, and maintaining a sterile field.
- Closing wounds: After surgery, the surgical tech may assist the surgeon with closing incisions and applying dressings.
- Monitoring the patient’s well-being: During the procedure, the surgical tech is responsible for monitoring the patient’s vital signs and alerting the surgeon if there are any concerns.
The day-to-day responsibilities of a surgical tech can vary depending on the setting and procedure.
Skills and Qualities of a Successful Surgical Tech
In addition to formal education and training, Some of these include:
- Attention to detail: Surgical techs must be meticulous and detail-oriented, as they are responsible for maintaining a sterile field and preparing equipment and instruments.
- Physical dexterity: Surgical techs must have good hand-eye coordination and dexterity, as they will be handling instruments and supplies during surgery.
- Communication skills: Surgical techs must be able to communicate effectively with surgeons, nurses, and other medical personnel to ensure a successful procedure.
- Team player: Surgical techs work as part of a team in the operating room, and must be able to work well with others and follow instructions accurately.
- Adaptability: The operating room can be a fast-paced and stressful environment, and surgical techs must be able to adapt to changing situations and think on their feet.
- Physical stamina: Surgical techs may be on their feet for long periods of time and must be physically able to stand and move around the operating room during procedures.
There are several skills and qualities that are essential for success as a surgical tech.
Becoming a surgical tech can be a challenging but rewarding career choice.
If you’re ready to take the first step towards a career as a surgical tech, be sure to research your education and training options and start preparing for certification.
With dedication and hard work, you’ll be on your way to a successful and fulfilling career in surgical technology.