What is a surgical technician

  • Surgical Technicians are members of operating room teams which include the surgeon(s), circulating nurse and anesthesiologist. Surgical technicians work under delegatory supervision and authority of the surgeon, unless this is prohibited by hospital policy or state law.

  • Surgical technicians fulfill the roles of the first scrub. Before any operation or surgery, they help in preparing the operating room. They set up the surgical equipment, supplies and instruments, specifically the gowns, suction tubing, receiving solutions, medications, gloves and sterile surgical instruments.

    Surgical technician duties

    – assembles sterile equipment and checks to ensure that it is working properly. Makes adjustments as necessary.

    – assists the surgeon in putting on his/her gloves and gowns

    – assists the surgeon in placing the sterile drapes on the patient and creates the sterile field.

    – responsible for anticipating the surgeon’s needs by passing instruments and providing the supplies that are needed, like sponges.

    – counts the instruments, provides medications and solutions to the surgeon

    – receives tissue specimens that are passed off to the circulator and ensures that there are no breaks in sterile technique. This prevents the patient from acquiring an infection on-site

    How does a surgical technician diagnose

    Surgical technicians fulfill the role of an assistant circulator, based on the hospital policy or the state law. In this role, the surgical technician assists in transporting the patients to the operating room, positions the patient on the operating table and prepares the patient for surgery by disinfecting and shaving the incision sites.

    Prior to the surgery, the surgical technician gets the list of supplies needed for the procedure. This includes the information on the surgeon’s personal preference and whether he/she is right-handed or left-handed. The doctor’s dominant hand determines how the materials are organized in the room.

    The surgical technician is responsible for transporting the supplies to the operating room and also arranging them in the positions. Once this preparation is complete, then the surgical technician wears a sterile gown, protective mask and gloves.

    During the procedure, the surgical technologist assists in obtaining the additional supplies that the surgeon needs like sponges and suture.

    Where do surgical technicians work

    When not in the operating room, surgical technologists work in clean, cool and well-lighted environments. In the operating room, it can be very warm because of the surgical lights especially when one is wearing latex gloves and sterile gown. Surgical technicians and the other members of the surgical team stand for long periods and are constantly alert during these operations. At times, they are also exposed to communicable diseases and unpleasant materials, odors and sights.

    Why should you become a surgical technician

    If you are excellent in communication and organization skills, then pursuing a career in becoming a technical surgeon might be the path for you. Other skills needed in becoming a technical surgeon are excellence in planning, customer service, quality assurance and technical assistance. More and more hospitals and clinics need technical surgeons. This professional allows you to have a stable lifestyle because of the demand of work.

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