Surgical Technology in the Spotlight…Part 1

surgical technologists training program Surgical Technicians are critical in operating room procedures

It takes a whole team of professionals to conduct surgical procedures in the operating room. While people may draw attention to the surgeons, there are many other important professionals who play a supporting role in keeping the procedures safe and efficient. One of these roles is that of the surgical technologist.

In this article, we will explore what a surgical technologist does, and the training you need to begin a career in this field. To begin, it’s helpful to know that surgical technologists can be called a variety of different terms:

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

“Scrubs” may sound like a strange term, but it refers to one of the main responsibilities that surgical technicians perform, which is “scrubbing in” the physicians and other team members. “Scrubbing in” is the process of preparing team members for a sterile procedure by helping them put on their scrub suits, surgical masks, eyewear, shoe covers, gloves, and head covers.

What Surgical Technologists Do on the Job

The main part of a surgical technician’s job is to help prevent infections. They are charged with helping the team to maintain sterile conditions during surgical procedures. While this may not sound like a glamorous position, it is an extremely important part of surgery.

Why is infection prevention so important? Infections that occur as a result of a surgical procedure can be very serious, especially because the patient is already weakened while trying to recover from the surgery. Infections can set back a person’s recovery, lead to the need for additional surgeries, and in some cases can even be fatal. Making every effort to prevent hospital-acquired infections is the key responsibility of surgical technicians.

Below are some of the tasks and responsibilities that surgical technologists do on the job:

  • Organize the operating room with the materials and instruments that are needed for an upcoming operation
  • Sterilize equipment and surgical instruments in the operating room
  • Create and maintain the sterile field throughout the operation
  • Help surgical team members to “scrub in”—in other words, get dressed in sterile garb for the surgery
  • Assist in the operating room as needed
  • Clean and prepare for the next procedure.

See Surgical Technicians in the Spotlight Part 2 for information on finding career training in this field.