Before going through the details of the profession, it is important to learn what a surgical technician/technologist really is. They are people who are the ‘right-hand’ to a surgeon – an assistant is the right way to describe a surgical tech. Most countries also refer to them as ‘operating room technicians’. So what are their functions? Responsibility with regard to the operating room, handling of equipment and being beside the surgeon at all times during a surgical procedure are some of them. They also need to work in close association with nurses, doctors and anesthesiologists. Clinical training and a hands-on experience are extremely essential in this kind of profession. If these duties have you interested then it’s time you found out if you have the desired skills sets to fit into the profession. Remember, the job of a surgical tech is not as easy as it sounds. Read more to get a thorough understanding on how to become a surgical tech.
Becoming A Surgical Technologist
You need a high school diploma with subjects such as Anatomy, Biology, Math, Human Physiology and English. Most accredited community colleges and vocational schools provide training for the profile of a surgical tech. It is usually a two-year program of grueling theoretical and practical schooling. Modules comprise of medical terminology, pathophysiology and human anatomy, introduction to surgical technology, surgical procedures and practical exercises. Next step is to get a professional certification from relevant bodies that govern the certification procedure for your country or state. Once you have the desired certification, you must apply for licensure examination according to the rules that govern you.
Externships: Fresher surgical techs go for training called externships, which mean working under the supervision of expert surgeons. This is the best opportunity to gain a hands-on experience before job hunting. It also makes you eligible for graduation and places you in an appropriate hospital for training.
Surgical Technology Diploma: The duration of this diploma is one year and it covers topics like introduction to microbiology, physiology and anatomy and also use of equipments, application of bandages, prepping of patients and so on.
Strong problem solving ability is required to deal with the complications that might arise during the time of a surgery. Taking quick decisions and critical analysis of the situation is also needed. Calculations with regard to medicinal dosages are important.
Being aware and alert at all times during a surgery is crucial. Working for long hours and assisting the surgeon with the right tools is a priority for a surgical tech.
One must be knowledgeable in chemistry, biology and math to be able to perform well in this profile – chemistry because contents of the medications must be administered, biology to know the patient’s anatomy and math for measuring dosages according to the patient’s medical background and body type.
Roles And Responsibilities
A surgical tech is a trained professional who is extremely vital during surgery. The main responsibilities of this job profile include preparing an operating room and maintaining sterility of the environment so that patients are least prone to other infections. It is the job of a surgical head to oversee that cleaning is dutifully done by the housekeeping staff.
Following directions accurately and efficiently and knowing the names and types of instruments used during surgery is the surgical tech’s responsibility. At the end of the procedure, they are also responsible for removing all the tools and sterilizing them.
Assisting surgeons and nurses with operating room clothing, gloves and caps and making sure that they are fully scrubbed is one of the major tasks. Surgical techs are also in charge of the patients, specimens, dressing and preparation of medication etc.
Before the surgery, a surgical tech aids in transportation of the patients to the operating room. After the procedure is over, they are responsible for cleaning up and making the room available for the next patient.
If you are able to understand and study all aspects of this job effectively, then there are plenty of job opportunities such as working in hospitals, clinics and private doctor’s offices. There are also careers in the military for this occupation. A good amount of salary flows with further specialization into orthopedic medicine etc.
If you think this job of a surgical tech is right for you, then what are you waiting for? Get enrolled!