You know the moments on television hospital dramas when doctors ask for their scalpels? Ever wonder who handed it to them? It’s the surgical technologists, and they’re an extremely valuable part of any operating room team.
As a part of the health care profession, surgical technologists are always in demand,1 and they are tasked with the job of assembling the equipment necessary for assisting doctors and nurses in the operating room during surgery.
“Of course, we love experience, but we’re also looking for someone who is energetic, detail-oriented, has a passion for people and is looking for the challenge of learning something new every day,” Marigrace Villarreal, RN, BSN, director of surgical services at a hospital in Texas, told the Houston Chronicle. “We want good communicators who are team players and who are able to assess the needs of the individual patient.”2
Most surgical techs work in hospitals, although some also find jobs in outpatient surgery centers, and positions require that they have associate degrees.3 Operations can often last for hours at a time, so surgical techs must be comfortable in high-stress situations and be willing to stand for an extended period of time.
As technology progresses, the processes used in operating rooms are becoming more advanced, and surgical techs have a large role to play in making sure each operation goes as smoothly as possible.
According to the Association of Surgical Technologists, surgical techs will need to have a thorough understanding of procedures and be able to anticipate the needs of the surgeon,4 which is why getting the proper training is so critical.
Anyone who has a fascination with the inner-workings of the human body and wants to make a difference should consider pursuing a career in surgical technology.
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Surgical Technologists,’ March 29, 2012 - http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/surgical-technologists.htm
2 Adams, Alice, Houston Chronicle, ‘Certified surgical techs are essential to OR teams,’ May 6, 2013 - http://www.chron.com/jobs/article/Certified-surgical-techs-are-essential-to-OR-teams-4491568.php
3 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Surgical Technologists,’ March 29, 2012 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/surgical-technologists.htm
4 Association of Surgical Technologists, ‘Surgical Technologist Job Description,’ - http://www.ast.org/professionals/about_prof.aspx