Scrub techs, also known as surgical technologists or operating room technicians, mainly assist the surgical staff in surgical operations. They are supervised by surgeons, registered nurses, or any other surgical staff.
Scrub techs are responsible for handing the surgical tools that the surgeon needs to keep the surgery moving. A good scrub tech can anticipate what tools the surgeon will need during the next move in the operation so he or she will know what to prepare for the doctor even before a tool is demanded for.
For a better picture of what scrub techs do, learn more about their duties before, during, and after surgery.
Preparing for Surgery
Before surgery, scrub techs gather all the necessary supplies for the procedure. They often refer to a list that also contains the personal requests of the doctor and the detail about whether the dominant hand of the surgeon – whether it’s left or right – to determine the setup of the operating room.
Every little detail counts because each surgeon has a unique approach even for the same procedure.
After getting the supplies, the scrub tech has to transfer them to the operating room and place them in their proper positions, considering the comfort and convenience of the surgeon. Once everything’s done, the scrub techs will wear their sterile gowns, protective masks, and gloves.
As the patient is placed into position on the operating table, the last thing a scrub tech does before commencing operation is to cover the area with sterile drapes.
During the operation, the scrub tech has to be quick in passing medication or tools to the surgeon.
It is a part of their job to memorize the names of hundreds of the surgery tools. The first quarter of surgical technician programs are often devoted to learning the names of all the surgical instruments.
With years of practice, knowing which instrument is which gets easier on the job.
The most important questions that scrub techs should be asking themselves when they’re in the operating room should be in the following lines – What tool will the surgeon need next? How is the operation moving along? Will there be any complications?
It is important for a scrub tech to be prepared for the unexpected during surgery. These techs are prepared to handle problems and find solutions to them while in school. Check also scrub tech educational requirements and training.
Scrub techs are allowed to be hands-on with the patients after surgery, when they have to apply bandages and wheeling the patient out of the operating room into the recovery room.
They also need to clean up the room after surgery, along with the nurses and housekeeping staff. Their goal is to completely disinfect the room for the safety of the next patients. They also collect all the used instruments and everything else that was used for the surgery.
There is not much rest after surgery, if there is another surgery requiring the help of a scrub tech or more instruments that need to be sterilized.