A Peek At Surgical Technician Career

Whenever surgical procedures are to be performed on a patient, surgeons and nurses are not the only healthcare professionals present in the operating room – a surgical technician also plays an important role. Also known as scrubs, operating room technicians or technologists, they are the ones who provide assistance before, during, and after surgery. With this in mind, it can be said that a successful operation depends on the joint efforts of doctors, nurses, and operating room technicians. While this is not the easiest of healthcare careers to be involved in, getting a better understanding of the different aspects of this occupation should help you make the right decisions.



As a surgical technologist, your job starts right before the commencement of any major surgery. You will be the one in charge of prepping up the operating room so that it becomes a sterile environment. Proper sterilization of tools and equipment that will be used for surgery is critical so as to prevent or minimize any risks of infection. Patients are also prepped up by scrubs for the operation by washing and disinfecting areas where surgery will be performed. During operation, OR technicians provide assistance by passing instruments and other supplies to surgeons. After surgery, technicians then clean the operating room and have it prepared for the next operation.

Surgeries are major medical procedures and lives are usually on the line – therefore it is critical that every member of the operating room team has undergone proper training and education. For a surgical tech, this means 1 to 2 years of an accredited educational program which is being offered in several vocational schools, community colleges and other surgical technician schools. To make sure you are getting education of the highest standards, make sure you enroll only in programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Typical educational programs include classroom instruction and clinical training.

The future for surgical tech jobs is pretty good considering the 19 percent employment growth forecasted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through the year 2020. This rate of growth can be attributed to the increasing number of surgical procedures being performed as a result of advancements in medical technology. There will also be a constant demand for operating room technicians especially in hospitals, although employment opportunities will continue to be available in outpatient care centers and physician’s offices. According to the website Salary.com, the average surgical technician salary is $40,048 per year.

As an operating room technician, you can expect to work on a full time basis. This is especially true when you are employed in a hospital setting, where you may be required to work on graveyard shifts, holidays, and on weekends. Anyone who wishes to pursue this career should be able to stand unpleasant sights during surgery – the sight of blood is very typical here. Since you will be working on long shifts, you should be physically fit and have good stress-management skills so that you can still perform at your best even under pressure. There may also be hazards involved in this occupation such as exposure to infectious diseases.