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Surgical technicians prepare operating rooms and assist surgeons during and after surgery. Before surgery, they prepare the operating room by assembling the supplies, instruments and equipment needed during the operation. They transport, position and drape patients for surgery and help connect surgical equipment and monitoring devices. The surgical technician assists other members of the surgical team in putting on surgical gowns, masks and gloves.
During the operation, surgical technicians pass instruments to the surgeon and provide sterile items accurately and efficiently. They cut sutures and prepare specimens that will be tested by a pathologist. They also keep track of sponges, needles and instruments before, during and after surgery. After the operation, surgical technicians apply dressings and prepare the operating room for the next patient.
Surgical technicians work in operating rooms in hospitals and outpatient surgery centers. They may be required to work a variety of shifts, as operations may be conducted at any time of the day or night in emergencies.
Surgical technicians must be high school graduates or have a GED and need to complete a one-year surgical technician/technology training program offered at a vocational school, community college or hospital. Some community college programs last two years and award an Associate degree. Certification is optional, though many hospitals prefer to hire Certified Surgical Technologists. Some employers use licensed vocational nurses in this occupation.
Links to Additional Career Information
- Association of Surgical Technologists
- Liaison Council on Certification for the Surgical Technologist
- Salary/Wage: Click here