What is a Typical Work Day Like for a Surgical Technologist?

We will start our article by providing you with information about what a surgical technologist does every day.

He/she is an allied health care professional whose main responsibility is making surgery safer in operating rooms, hospitals, and ambulatory surgery centers.

If healthcare is the field that interests you, becoming a surgical tech is an option that will allow you to work hands-on with patients and doctors.

To begin working, you will need to finish a proper education, but the job is reachable without going through four or more years of college.

Before you make your own decision, you should find out more about this career.

Surgical Tech Duties

Prior to making a decision, you need to get acquainted with what duties surgical technologists are responsible for on the job.

These duties may vary depending on the facility your work for, but they are generally similar for surgical techs everywhere:

  • Getting patients ready for procedures
  • Prepping the operating room for surgery
  • Ensuring equipment for surgery is working and ready
  • Gathering and sterilizing instruments for surgery
  • Passing instruments and supplies to surgeons during a procedure
  • Counting and inventorying surgical supplies

A Day in the Life

It is a fact that there are not two techs that may have the same experience when it comes to their working days and each and every day slightly differs.

When it comes to the location where they can find work the majority of surgical technologists work in hospitals, physician offices, or outpatient surgery centers.

They may work shifts that are eight hours or longer.

Surgical techs start a shift by determining the day’s schedule of surgeries.

Their duty is to check a board outlining procedures and staff working each one, or attend a briefing meeting to get the shift started.

The briefing and board reading are designed to help the tech figure out what is needed for the scheduled surgeries, including supplies, instruments, and equipment.

Next, the tech is responsible for making the preparatory actions necessary for the next procedure during which they will have to communicate with other staff,  nurses, and other techs.

Preparations involve gathering the supplies and instruments needed, sterilizing these, and checking on and positioning equipment in the operating room.

The next step is preparing the patient, including positioning the patient on the operating table and disinfecting the incision site.

Some of them will be responsible for draping the patient and making sure the surgeon will be able to access the incision spot.

Each and every surgeon tech believes that the most demanding part of the day is assisting during the surgery, which can last as little as an hour or less, or as long as many hours or all day.

The tech’s duty is to stand near the surgeon and first assistant, handing them instruments as needed.

When the surgery is done, the tech is supposed to take care of the incision site and getting the patient ready to move to the recovery area.

He/she would also take an inventory of supplies and instruments to be sure none were left in the patient, then, he/she will sterilize equipment and instruments and restocks the operating room, and moves on to the next procedure.

How to Become a Surgical Technologist

Now, as you have gained the necessary knowledge about surgical techs and their requirements during the course of the day, you can notice that this is actually a very interesting career that directly benefits patients and people, but on the other hand, it is quite tiring and physically demanding.

Being that you are reading this, you are probably ready for this challenge of becoming a surgical tech, and your first step should be finding and enrolling in a post-secondary training program.

Some people find it great that most states have no requirements for education or licensing for surgical technologists, but once they get involved in the market, they will find out that most employers want to hire only those who have earned a certificate or two-year degree in surgical technology.

This means that they have completed a program and took the exam to become nationally certified surgical techs, thus proving how devoted they are to this profession.

Within two years or less, you will be ready to be hired by a hospital or surgery center.

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