What does it take to be a surgical technician and would you enjoy the daily grind? We have all the details about this rewarding specialty and an inside look at what it's like to be a surgical technician. If you're considering this career, give this a read:
What is a Surgical Technician?
Surgical technicians (also known as Surgical Technologists) are part of the operating room team which includes: surgeon(s), anesthesiologist and operating room nurse or circulating nurse. Surgical technicians generally work under the direct supervision of the surgeon.
These professionals primarily fulfill the first scrub role, which means they help prepare a room before an operation. This includes setting up surgical instruments, equipment and supplies, such as drapes, gowns, gloves, suction tubing and receiving solutions and medications from the OR nurse or circulator. Surgical technicians will assemble any equipment, check to ensure it is all working properly and make necessary adjustments.
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Becoming a Surgical Technician
Surgical technicians receive their training in programs offered by community and junior colleges, vocational schools, universities, hospitals and the medical military programs. A training program can take from 12 months (for a certificate) to 2 years (for an associate degree) to complete. Most programs don’t require anything more than a high school education for program entrance, but many do require applicants to have taken and passed prerequisite courses.
Students may want to consider programs that have earned accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). While graduating from an approved program may not be a requirement, it may lead to eligibility for important professional certifications.
Where Do Surgical Technicians Work?
Surgical technicians work in the operating room. Technicians and other members of the surgical team must stand for long periods and remain alert during operations. At times they may be exposed to communicable diseases and unpleasant sights, odors and materials.
What Does A Surgical Technicians Do?
Surgical technicians assist the surgeon with putting on his/her gown and gloves, as well as assisting the surgeon in placing the sterile drapes on the patient to create the sterile field.
During surgery, a surgical technician provides the surgeon with the instruments they need to ensure there are no breaks in sterile technique in order to prevent the patient from acquiring an infection.
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They may also fill in for the operating room nurse depending on the state and healthcare center. In this role, a technician assists in transporting patients to the operating room, helps position the patient on the operating table and prepares the patient for surgery by shaving and disinfecting incision sites. At the end of the procedure, they would assist with moving the patient from the OR table to the stretcher for transport.
Typical Pay and Employment Outlook For Surgical Technicians.
The average reported salary for Surgical Technicians in 2017 was $46,310 per year (22.26 per hour), according to the BLS.
Results provided by the BLS also say, the employment of surgical technicians is projected to grow 12% from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average job. Advances in medical technology have made surgery much safer. Because of the tech advances, more operations are being done.
Ready to hit the road with your career? Contact us or view Freedom’s available Surgical Technician positions! Do you know someone who is (or might be!) interested in joining the Freedom family? Check out our referral bonus program for further reward details.