Surgical Technician Duties
Also known as operating room technicians or “scrubs”, surgical technicians play a vital role as a member of the operating room team in providing assistance during surgical procedures, as well as healthcare to patients before, during, and after operation. These medical practitioners help ensure that operating room is conducive for performing surgical procedures, and that all surgical tools and equipment are prepared and properly sterilized. For anyone considering a career in surgical technology, one of the most important things to understand is the surgical technician duties and responsibilities. Having an idea of the kind of work a surgical technician faces on a daily basis will help you decide as to whether this career is for you or not.
Prior to a surgical procedure, the surgical technician
makes sure that the operating room environment is clean,
organized, and completely sterile. All surgical
instruments such as scissors, forceps, retractors, and
scalpels must also be properly sterilized. The surgical
tech is responsible for laying out all the instruments
and supplies that will be needed in a particular
surgical procedure. He also makes sure that other
medical and surgical equipment such as lights and
suction machines are in proper working order before an
operation commences. Following infection-control
procedures such as washing of hands and putting on of
gloves, masks, and gowns must also always be observed
before proceeding with any related task.
The surgical tech is also responsible for assisting patients before they undergo surgery. He makes sure that the incision areas are properly washed, shaved, and disinfected. He then assists in transferring patients to the operating room, checking their vital signs, providing emotional support, positioning them on the operating table, and putting sterile drapes on them. Since it is the surgical tech’s primary responsibility to maintain a sterile environment, he must always see to it that everyone in the operating room team follow aseptic techniques at all times.
While surgical procedures are under way, the surgical technician is responsible for holding and passing instruments to the surgeon. This is why it is also very important for him to have a good understanding of what the surgeon is doing so that he knows ahead of time what instruments and supplies will be needed next. The surgical tech also provides assistance in accounting for all surgical supplies, instruments, needles, and sponges used prior to, during, and after an operation. It is also the surgical tech who prepares, handles, and disposes of specimens used for laboratory analysis.
After an operation has been completed, the surgical technician assists in transferring patients to the recovery room. He is also responsible for cleaning the operating room, restocking it with the needed supplies, and preparing everything that is needed for the next surgical procedure. As you can see, these are just some of the surgical technician duties and responsibilities, and you will be learning more in detail once you decide to pursue formal education and enroll in a surgical technology program. Just keep in mind that the career of a surgical technician is not for the faint of heart considering the numerous surgeries you will be witnessing on a regular basis. Despite that, this career could prove to be a very rewarding one since you will be working to help save people’s lives while also earning well at the same time.