Looking to Contribute in a Fast-Paced Healthcare Environment?

become a surgical technologist, surgical tech schoolConsider working as a surgical technician trained in operating room procedures

The job of a surgical technologist offers a number of options to people looking to contribute to a trained team of healthcare providers. Surgical procedures require the effort of a team of professionals, and the surgical technologist plays a critical role in keeping the procedures safe and efficient. People who succeed in this job follow strict protocols, pay close attention to details, take direction well from others, and are excellent, dedicated team players.

What Surgical Technologists Do

The role of a surgical technologist can have several different names:

  • Surgical technicians
  • Operating room technicians
  • Surg Techs
  • Scrubs

The term “scrubs” comes from one of the job’s main responsibilities, which is “scrubbing in” the physicians and other team members. This is the process of preparing team members for a sterile procedure. The surgical technologist helps each member to put on their scrub suits, surgical masks, eyewear, shoe covers, gloves, and head covers.

The primary responsibility of surgical technologists is to prevent hospital-acquired infections, by helping the team to maintain sterile conditions during procedures. These measures prevent infections that can have very serious consequences for the patient. A patient with an infection can have a slower recovery, need additional surgeries, or face life-threatening conditions.

Some of the tasks and responsibilities that surgical technologists have include:

  • Organize the operating room with materials and instruments needed for an upcoming operation
  • Sterilize equipment and surgical instruments
  • Create and maintain the sterile field throughout the operation
  • Help surgical team members to “scrub in” (dress in sterile garb for surgery)
  • Assist in the operating room
  • Clean and prepare for the next procedure

To do this job, you need to be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment and spending most of your working hours on your feet.

What to look for in Surgical Technician training

Interested in learning more? If so, search for a training program at a school that is accredited. Also be sure that the school has a Career Services Department with a high job placement rate for its graduates.

You can complete most training programs in less than one year. In the training, you’d take courses that cover key concepts, techniques, and practices a surgical technician needs on the job:

  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Creating a sterile field
  • Techniques for sterilization
  • Setting up surgery for common and specialized operations
  • What to expect during surgical procedures

A good training program involves you in real-world experience through an externship. An externship is an (unpaid) chance to work in a real job setting so you gain on-the-job experience before you graduate. This helps you to build confidence, test out your new skills in real time, and add professional experience to your resume.

Job opportunities for surgical technologists

Surgical technicians work in hospitals and other healthcare facilities that have operating rooms, such as surgical centers or outpatient procedure centers. If you’re interested in training for a career in the healthcare field, it is wise to weigh the benefits of each specialty and research the job outlook for the future. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the employment of surgical technologists is expected to grow by 15% from 2014 to 2024. Knowing this kind of information can help you make a decision.

We should express gratitude to all surgical technicians in the workforce today for making operating rooms safer for patients. At the Harris School of Business we are proud to offer a Surgical Technology program in our locations in Dover, DE and Voorhees, NJ (just 20 minutes from Philadelphia). To learn more, give us a call, stop by to see us, or contact us online. We’d love to talk to you about the options available in this interesting field.