Choosing a Surgical Specialty Area as a Surgical Technologist

HealthcareJune 06, 2023

Working as a surgical technologist (surg tech for short) involves a lot of responsibility and attention to detail, but it can be a very rewarding career. Surgical techs work with surgeons, assisting them with surgical procedures in operating rooms. Many surg techs are generalists, but it’s also possible to specialize in a surgical subspecialty. 

Although a surgical technologist’s duties are varied within a specialty, they’re usually similar across specialties because the surg tech assists before, during, and after a surgery. That includes preparing the operating room with instruments, sanitizing the room, preparing the patient for surgery or baby delivery, transporting the patient before and after the surgery, helping the patient with post-operative care, and tracking paperwork. Here are four surgical subspecialties to learn more about.   

Cardiovascular. As a cardiovascular surg tech, you help cardiovascular surgeons as they perform heart-related procedures such as open-heart surgery or insertion of stents or pacemakers. You also may also tend to the patients before and after their procedure. The vast majority of cardiovascular surgical techs work in hospitals, while a much smaller percentage work in a physician office or outpatient clinic.

Obstetrics/gynecology. In this specialty, surg techs assist with labor and delivery of babies, helping physicians, nurses, and midwives. Typically, you assist with procedures during labor and any birth complications, as well as prep patients for Caesarian sections if they’re needed. If you love maternity wards and pre- and post-natal care with mothers and newborns, this might be a great specialty for you.  

Orthopedic. This field covers the musculoskeletal system, including bones, ligaments, and tendons. Surgical techs in orthopedics assist with surgeries to repair musculoskeletal injuries and then help patients with injury recovery. Duties might include assisting in the OR, applying and removing casts, and talking to patients about their recovery plan. 

Trauma/emergency. In this role, you help emergency room physicians and nurses with treating traumatic injuries that result from incidents such as a vehicle crash, fall, or other kind of accident. Surgical technologists need extra training in trauma care so they can assist with things like assessing the patient, controlling bleeding, splinting, and cleaning wounds. They also prepare rooms for emergency procedures, prepare patients for treatment, and transport patients to recovery rooms. They typically work in emergency rooms but can also work in outpatient surgical centers. 

A good surg tech has the ability to remain calm and steady, particularly in emergency situations, and also monitor details and respond as needed. If you’d like to learn more about this vital role in healthcare, click here for more information or call Fortis today at (855) 436-7847 to speak to one of our career advisors.