Surgical Tech Job Description, Duties, and Responsibilities

Updated on: July 31, 2021
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Surgical technologists work alongside surgeons to provide them with logistical support before, during, and after surgeries.

These are trained individuals who have in-depth knowledge of surgical equipment, instruments and supplies, and how and when they need to be utilized.

Surgeons depend highly on the assistance of surgical technologists. Since the latter is responsible for providing post and pre-surgical self-care instructions to patients and their families, their role is quite comprehensive in a surgical facility. 


As a surgical technologist, you have to possess an associate’s degree in surgical technology at the very least.

Skills and Knowledge

You will also need to be knowledgeable of operating procedures and techniques, along with possessing the ability to anticipate the surgeon’s needs during the course of a surgery.

Some states in the US require surgical technologists to be certified, however, it is not mandatory everywhere. But if you want to increase your employment choices, it is best to obtain a certification.

Some of the inherent qualities that are appreciated in surgical technologists include the ability to stay calm, remain level-headed, and possess a high level of ethics, and the capability to stand for long periods of time. Since surgeries are invasive procedures, it is important for surgical technologists to be able to maintain patient confidentiality and integrity at all times.

Related: Surgical Tech Resume

Here is a list of job duties that a surgical technologist is expected to perform:

Surgical Tech Duties and Responsibilities

• Prepare surgical suites by ensuring that surgery tables are properly cleaned and sterilized.

• Layout instruments such as scalpels to facilitate surgical procedures.

• Ensure that the operating room environment is safe by ensuring that all aseptic procedures are carried out properly.

• Take instructions from surgeons to perform patient positioning activities.

• Maintain count of sponges, needles, and instruments by carrying out inventory control procedures.

• Control contamination by indulging in decontamination, disinfection, and sterilization activities.

• Remove used equipment and ensure that any contaminated or used needles are properly disposed of.

• Ensure that patients’ points of pressure such as knees, elbows, and axillary areas are properly padded.

• Provide feedback regarding patients’ vitals to anesthesia personnel both before and after surgical procedures.

• Ensure the availability of adequate supplies, equipment, and instruments for all scheduled cases.

• Make sure that all instruments and equipment are working properly and address any maintenance issues immediately.

• Handle emergency situations to ensure patient wellbeing if incidents occur during surgical procedures.

• Check for outdated sterile supplies and instruments and ensure that they are replaced immediately.

• Coordinate efforts to ensure that any post-surgery waste is immediately and properly disposed of.