We are celebrating National Surgical Technologist Week September 20-26, 2020 by acknowledging the critical role this position plays in hospitals and clinics. Often called a surgical or scrub tech, this individual helps ensure that procedures go smoothly by prepping the room, passing instruments to surgeons, and transporting patients to and from the operating room.
Training for this job requires certification and often an associate degree or more. To prepare, students take courses on anatomy, biology, and medical terminology, in addition to getting hands on training working in supervised clinical settings. While the necessary skills can be learned, there are several key personality traits that can help you excel in this position.
To determine if becoming a surgical technologist is the right step for you, consider these desirable characteristics.
1. You Are a Team Player
Surgical technologists work alongside several other healthcare professionals during procedures, including surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and radiologists. These professionals will be dependent on your ability to efficiently collaborate with others. Team players need to listen to instructions and respond quickly and accurately to requests.
2. You Pay Attention to Detail
You will be responsible for setting up the operating room for surgery and ensuring all the necessary tools are ready. To be effective, you must have a keen attention to detail. You will need to pay close attention to the surgeon's actions and instructions. Good surgical technologists will be able to anticipate what the surgeon will need before they even ask. While this skill will be developed with experience, being alert to one’s surroundings and thinking about what could happen next can help you become an asset on the surgical team.
3. You Work Well Under Pressure
The operating room can be a stressful place, particularly when life-or-death situations arise. Responding with frustration or fear when you are under stress can negatively impact the patient’s outcome. Surgical techs need to be able to remain calm when they are feeling pressured. This requires the ability to keep emotions in check and stay focused on the tasks at hand.
4. You Have Steady Hands
During a procedure, you will be asked to pass instruments to a surgeon and retract them when they are no longer needed. To do the job, you must maintain a strong focus and have steady hands. It is important to keep your nerves in check as they can impact your ability to be precise with your movements.
5. You Have a Strong Stomach
As you might imagine, procedures in an operating room can be graphic. If the sight of blood makes you ill, this may not be the right job for you. Instead, good surgical technologists are fascinated by operations and can witness procedures without feeling faint or becoming nauseous.
6. You Have Good Communication Skills
During a procedure, you must be able to communicate clearly with the surgeon, understanding what they are saying and concisely answering questions. Misunderstandings can lead to dangerous complications. Surgical technologists also need to be able to communicate well with patients and their families. Since you will be transporting patients to and from the operating room, they may ask questions, and you need to know how to interact with them with care.
7. You Have Stamina and Patience
Some surgeries can last for hours, and you will be required to stay on your feet and pay attention for the duration of the procedure. Plus, surgical techs may get called into emergencies where they are needed to work long shifts without breaks. To be successful, you need to be able to maintain your focus, keeping your mind on the situation instead of your own physical or mental fatigue.
If a surgical technologist's role sounds appealing and like a fit for you, Fortis can help you prepare for this meaningful career. The program is available at many campus locations across the country. To learn more, please visit our site.