What Does a Surgical Technologist/Technician Do?
Surgical technologists--also called surgical or operating room technicians and often referred to as "scrubs"--are the people who assist with surgeries under the supervision of a surgeon or registered nurse. Specific duties include:
- Preparing the operating room
- Preparing and transporting patients
- Assisting surgeons and nurses during operations
- Cleaning and sterilizing the operating room and equipment following the operation
How Do I Become a Surgical Technologist/Technician?
Postsecondary training in surgical technology is required for most jobs. Training programs normally last between 6 months and 2 years and result in a certificate or associate's degree. Students take courses in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and pharmacology. They learn about surgical procedures, patient preparation and care, surgical instruments, and principle of asepsis. In most programs, classroom instruction is reinforced by supervised clinical experience. Professional certification is available from the Liaison Council on Certification for the Surgical Technologist. Candidates must complete an accredited postsecondary training program and pass a written examination. Those who meet the requirements become Certified Surgical Technologists (CSTs).