What is a Surgical Technician?
Assisting in surgical operations, a Surgical Technician, also known as an operating room technician or surgical tech, works under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, and other surgical personnel. They wear scrubs, which are sterile clothing) when they are in the operating room. They might assist in moving patients or lifting medical supply trays. Surgical Technicians are typically on their feet for long periods of time since they are helping in the operating room.
What type of job responsibilities does a Surgical Technician typically have?
Since a Surgical Technician works within operating rooms and with a variety of healthcare personnel, they have different tasks to perform like:
- Provide technical assistance to surgeons, surgical nurses, or anesthesiologists
- Wash and sterilize equipment with sterilizers and germicides
- Monitor and assess operating rooms, including patients and surgical team needs
- Count sponges, needles, and instruments to maintain a sterile environment
- Prepare operating rooms for surgery
- Prepare, care for, and dispose of tissue specimens taken for lab analysis
- Use critical thinking skills while in the operating room
- Prepare patients for surgery
Where do Surgical Technicians work?
Many Surgical Technician jobs are within hospitals and others are in outpatient care centers or doctors’ offices that perform outpatient surgery.
What Surgical Technician courses will I need to take?
In a surgical technician program, you will probably take classes similar to the ones listed below:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Surgical Procedures
- Surgical Techniques
- Fundamentals of Surgical Technology
- Surgical Pharmacology
- Clinical Rotation
How can you pursue a career as a Surgical Technician?
If you want to enroll in Surgical Technician programs, you’ll probably need a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree. Various community colleges, vocational schools, and even some hospitals and universities offer accredited surgical technology programs. The programs may take a few months to two years to complete and you might earn a diploma, certificate, or associate’s degree after completing the program. In order to enroll in such a program, you usually need to have your high school diploma or GED.
Surgical technician programs emphasize biology, pharmacology, medical terminology, among other topics. You may want to earn certification since it could help you pursue a career as a Surgical Technician. You can pursue certification through either the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting or the National Center for Competency Testing. Both certifications require Surgical Technicians to maintain their certification by finishing continuing education.
Surgical Technician Salary Potential
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- The median Surgical tech salary is $48,300 per year.
- Job outlook from 2019-2029 is expected to grow at 7%.
This job outlook is faster than the average for all occupations, and great news for you if you’re pursuing a career in this field! States with the highest employment levels within this occupation are: California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Michigan.