Surgical technology is an area of healthcare involving the use of instruments to treat bodily injuries, disease and other disorders. Surgical technologists are an integral part of the surgical team, working with surgeons, nurses and other personnel before, during and after an operation.
Surgical Technologists must handle the demands of working in an operating room environment, using strong hand-eye coordination skills at all times. Job responsibilities include:
- Maintain a proper sterile field during surgical procedures.
- Count sponges, needles and instruments before and after operation.
- Hand instruments and supplies to surgeons and surgeons' assistants, hold retractors and cut sutures, and perform other tasks as directed by surgeon during operation.
- Prepare patients for surgery, including positioning patients on the operating table and covering them with sterile surgical drapes to prevent exposure.
- Scrub arms and hands and assist the surgical team to scrub and put on gloves, masks and surgical clothing.
- Wash and sterilize equipment using germicides and sterilizers.
- Monitor and continually assess operating room conditions, including patient and surgical team needs.
- Prepare dressings or bandages and apply or assist with their application following surgery.
- Clean and restock operating room, gather and place equipment and supplies, and arrange instruments according to instructions, such as a preference card.
- Operate, assemble, adjust or monitor sterilizers, lights, suction machines or diagnostic equipment to ensure proper operation.
- Operate computers, robots and electrical equipment.
Most Surgical Technologists are employed by hospitals, and others find employment in clinics and surgical centers.
With additional training, you can expand your role and advance to Certified Surgical Technologist First Assistant. First Assistants function under the direction of the surgeon, and will help with sponging, suturing, retracting and closing wounds during surgery.
Certificate of Completion in Surgical Technology: $7,295 - $ 10,629*
Associate in Applied Science Degree in Surgical Technology: $8,787 - $13,777*
Visit O*NET OnLine for median salary.
* Please note that these are only estimates and do not include books. These estimates may change based on increases to tuition, course fees and book costs. Estimates are based on the 2016-2017 tuition rates for in-county students. Additional fees may apply.
** For information about careers in your area of study, visit O*NET OnLine for detailed job descriptions, education requirements, as well as wage and employment trend information.