As an integral part of the healthcare team, surgical technologists work in a support role. They assist surgeons and physicians during examination and surgical procedures. As individuals who fulfil the primary first scrub role, they are responsible for setting up surgical instruments and equipment / machines and ensure that all medications that will be needed during the procedure are available.
A major part of a surgical technologist’s work is to prepare operating rooms by using appropriate techniques, providing technical services and performing sterilization duties as dictated by the surgeon. He or she usually works under the supervision of a registered nurse.
Surgical technologists need to possess a high school diploma at the very minimum if they want to work at this position. Some facilities may require a graduate of a surgical technology program. A current surgical technology certification and a BLS certification is however, important in both instances. Since surgical technologists work with patients directly, they need to be communicative and exceptionally good at what they do. To acquire work as a surgical technologist, you will be tested on many levels including your knowledge of the medical work, particularly surgical procedures.
Some common duties of a surgical technologist include:
• Read and comprehend job order to determine type of medical procedure or surgery that is to be performed
• Make arrangements to prepare surgical or procedure rooms according to type of procedure to be performed
• Obtain and inspect surgical instruments to ensure that they conform to set standards
• Ascertain that all needed instruments and supplies are available at the time of the surgery or procedure
• Hand surgeons instruments and supplies during the course of the surgery
• Handle specimens in accordance to established procedures and protocols of the facility
• Perform counts of instruments and gather them at the end of each shift
• Ascertain that all equipment and instruments used in the surgery or procedure are properly cleaned and sterilized
• Put away all sterilized instruments in appropriate storage boxes or cupboards
• Maintain inventory of surgical supplies and instruments and coordinate activities with procurement managers to ensure that stocks do not run low
• Operate surgical equipment during the course of the surgery and ensure that it is properly maintained
• Assess and predict the needs of both patient and surgeon during procedures and ensure that they are met properly
• Dress surgical wounds at the end of the surgery in accordance to predefined dressing protocols and procedures