Hand-Eye Coordination is Key While Assisting in Surgery

HealthcareJanuary 20, 2014

When working as a surgical technician, whether it's in a hospital, emergency operating room or even an ambulatory surgery facility, you are an important member of the surgical team. Consequently, having good hand-eye coordination is the most vital of skills. When you're training for this very specialized program, you will learn specific techniques to be able to perform certain functions. These include the following:

  • Monitoring a patient's condition during an operation
  • Knowing which tools a surgeon or physician needs to perform an operation
  • Making sure all the tools used are sanitary and the environment in the facility is also clean
  • Being able to find any necessary supplies a surgeon needs if they are not readily available
  • Properly disposing of any medical waste after a procedure
  • Assisting the surgical team in making sure that a patient is properly cleaned and medicated after a procedure.

When you are trained, you'll be able to assist surgeons in operating rooms and obstetricians in delivery rooms. As a surgical technician or technologist, you can also assist surgical assistants in a medical clinic as well as provide help to an anesthesiologist. Since there are often many people who need to take care of a patient in what is often referred to as an operating room "theatre," you would play an essential role within this important team.

Important Skills

The skills you learn, notably precise hand-eye coordination, are key to assisting in any type of surgical procedure. Hand-eye coordination involves using one's eyes to focus on a thing or a specific task, and then using one's hands to accomplish that task. While generally developed as an infant, the important correlation between seeing and doing increases as an infant goes through the various stages of childhood and is able to have better dexterity. Therefore, it's imperative that an individual possess extremely strong hand-eye coordination in order to excel in this field.

Here are some common ways to be strong in this area:

  • If you're wearing eye glasses or contact lenses, make sure that your prescription is correct. You'll want to be able to clearly see the tool or object the surgeon may need during a procedure.
  • Train yourself to focus and not get easily distracted. (For example, did the doctor say he wanted a tool or a towel?)
  • Once your eyes are able to see the object you need, don't rush to grab it. It may fall out of your hand during a procedure and become unsterile.
  • A firm clasp of a tool from your hand to a surgeon's hand when passing an object is also crucial.

Finally, as a surgical technician who plays a vital role in assisting patients and doctors in an operating room, it's your responsibility to make sure that your vision is perfect or corrected and that your hands are steady at all times. Since many surgical tech jobs also require working all hours (including nights, weekends and holidays) and fatigue could potentially be a problem, it's also good to routinely schedule a hand-eye coordination test to keep you in top shape.

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