There are a team of people who work in a surgical room and they are surgeons, nurses, anesthetist and Surgical Technologists. Surgical technologists are also called operating room technicians or scrubs or surgical room technicians. This job involves standing on feet for 90% of the time.
Surgical Technologist Job Description
The main tasks of of a Surgical Technologist are to prepare an operation room before surgery, setting up instruments and equipments needed for the surgery, keep the sterile drapes and solutions ready. He or she has to make sure that the equipments are assembled as required and check the working condition of the equipment. Another vital task is to prepare the patients by washing/bathing them, shaving, and apply disinfectants to the site of surgery. After observing the vital signs of the patients, the surgical technologist shifts and positions the patient on the operating table and covers with the sterile surgical drapes
Other tasks involved in a surgical technician’s job is to attend to the surgeon’s needs and assist the surgeon by holding retractors, cut sutures, by passing the needed instruments and required items to the surgeon. The technologist also operates the lights, suction machines, and sterilizers according to the need of the surgeon. A surgical technologist also assists in preparation and disposal of specimens sent to the laboratory for analysis and even applies dressings. The task also involves in helping to transfer patients to the recovery room after surgery and cleans the operating room after refilling the stock.
Surgical Technologist Training and Certification
A student who has finished high school diploma or a GED can get into a formal training for surgical technologies. Community colleges, junior colleges, universities, and some hospitals, and universities, normally offer this training. The course duration varies between 9 and 24 months and the student could either acquire an associate degree or a diploma according to his choice.
The training involves study of anatomy, microbiology, physiology, medical terminology, pharmacology, and most importantly the professional ethics, sterile techniques, patient safety, and surgical procedures. The student is also trained to develop skills such as handling instruments and equipments, drugs, prevent infection, and sterilization of instruments.
The Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) offers around 361 programs and the Liaison Council on Certification offers a voluntary certification to the students who have graduated from these programs, as Surgical Technologists. Once certified, these students can be called as ‘certified surgical technologists’. However, renewal of certification is required every 4 years via additional examinations. Certificates can be acquired through The National Center for Competency Testing either by graduating a training program, which is approved, or by gaining experience in work for 7 years in radiology, or by undergoing 2 years of hands-on training in a hospital program.
A surgical technician can also specialize in selective fields of surgeries such as gastrointestinal field or open-heart surgery.
Surgical Technologist Salary
The lowest to the highest 10 percent ranges between $21,000 and $44,000 . As ever, it depends on the experience and certification accordingly. An operating technician has to possess very good eyesight, hearing capability, and should be alert all the time during surgery. This job also demands stress tolerance and calmness of mind in stressful situations.
Surgical Technologist Job Prospects
Job opportunities are increasing with the increased surgeries in the country. With the advancement of surgical procedures using laser technology and fiber optics the job prospects are more specializations for a surgical technologist.