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What Do Surgical Technologists Do in the OR?

Posted Wednesday, Jan 16, 2019 by Altierus

Interested in training for a career in health care? You’ve probably seen surgical techs at work on TV dramas set in operating rooms, but what do they really do? Also known as surgical techs or scrub techs, surgical technologists play a critical role in keeping the OR running. They help surgeons perform procedures while ensuring patient safety. In this article, we’ll explain the primary duties of surgical techs before, during, and after procedures.

What Surgical Techs Do Before an Operation

It’s possible that a surgical technologist’s most important duties are those that take place before the operation. Surgical techs have primary responsibility for ensuring the operating room and surgical instruments are sterile, and for ensuring the surgeons have all the instruments and materials they will need laid out in an organized fashion.

By preventing contamination, surgical techs guard the patient against potentially life-threatening infections. By laying out all the tools and materials needed, surgical techs ensure that a surgeon does not waste precious minutes or seconds looking for an instrument when a patient’s life hangs in the balance.

Before an operation, surgical techs will:

What Surgical Technologists Do During an Operation

During the operation, surgical technologists keep the surgical materials moving and the surgical area clean. They will:

Surgical techs may also help with washing and dressing an incision site once it is closed. They will maintain sterility of the operating area until the patient is transferred out to the recovery room.

What Surgical Techs Do After an Operation

After an operation, a surgical technologist’s focus will still be on sterility. They will:

All in all, surgical technologists play a key role in ensuring the safety and efficiency of modern surgical procedures. They help make life-saving surgery possible.

Training to Become a Surgical Technologist

If you love the idea of becoming a surgical technologist, it may surprise you to learn you can train to pursue this career in as few as two years of study. At Altierus Career College, we offer a 24-month associate degree program that provides the medical knowledge, hands-on lab experience, and clinical rotations you will need to prepare for opportunities in this field.

There’s growing demand for surgical techs, too. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings for surgical techs should grow by 12% over the 2016-2026 period, considerably faster than the overall job market growth rate of 7%.[i] While the vast majority of surgical techs work in hospitals, there will also be job opportunities available in outpatient clinics and dental practices.[ii]

Find Your Future as a Surgical Tech

Ready to explore surgical tech training? Contact Altierus Career College today to learn more about our Surgical Technologist associate degree today!