What Does a Surgical Technologist Do?

We decided to provide you with four significant things every surgical technologist must do in the operating room.

Being that each operating room is a hectic and demanding place, with life-threatening emergencies, you will be a key member of the team once you become the surgical technologist.

You must predict the needs of the patient and the surgeon so as to make sure that each operation goes as smoothly as possible.

Preoperative: Sterile Hands

As a surgical technologist, you will be the first person to enter the operating room before surgery.

This preoperative phase is crucial so that the surgery can go well, and the surgical technologist is required to adhere closely to the following routine:

  • Carefully dons his or her operating room attire, including scrubs
  • Begins to prepare and sterilize the room
  • Gathers all of the equipment and surgical tools that the surgery requires
  • Sterilizes, counts, and carefully arranges the equipment

The preoperative phase consists of creating and maintaining the operating room’s sterile environment in a variety of ways.

The most common way of sterilizing the room is to arrange dry drapes around the operating table and keep all surfaces in a sterile condition.

Intraoperative: The Third Hand

The next part of every surgery is the intraoperative phase and during this phase, surgical technologists are still responsible for maintaining the sterility of the operating room.

Furthermore, they become a “third hand” to the surgeon and surgeon’s assistant during the procedure and they are responsible for the following tasks:

  • Help prepare medications and administer them to the patient
  • Assist in retracting tissues from the patient
  • Passes the surgical tools to the surgeon and surgical assistant during the operation

The operation is very demanding and in case a tool is missing or contaminated, a surgical technologist must be at hand as the delay or resulting infection could cost a patient his or her life.

This is the main reason why surgical technologists must be diligent at all times.

Postoperative: Tying Things Up

Once the operation concludes, surgical techs are responsible for the following:

  • Counting all of the tools and instruments used during surgery to ensure that nothing is left behind in a patient
  • Suture the incision and apply disinfected dressings to the area
  • Dispose of items such as needles and gauze, and continue to maintain the operating room’s sterile environment until the patient is sent to the recovery ward

Thinking-On-Your-Feet: Cell Phones in the operating room

So as to be successful in this filed, surgical techs must be able to think quickly on their feet in emergency situations.

As an example, during one emergency situation, one quick-thinking surgical tech, with the help of the patient’s family member, rounded up their cell phones to illuminate the operating room while surgeons completed an emergency appendectomy.

Getting Started

Now you got acquainted with these four tasks and if you still think a surgical tech career is the best choice for you we suggest that you look for surgical technologist schools, request information about programs that interest you, and get started your education towards this promising yet demanding career.

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