Here’s a quick quiz for you--when you see the word “scrubs,” in a medical context, it’s referencing:
- The uniforms worn by doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers
- Surgical technicians
- Both of the above
If you answered “both,” you’re right! In some quarters, surgical technicians are called “scrubs” or “operating room technicians” because they “scrub in” with surgical teams and work with them in the OR.
But how important are Surgical Techs? It turns out, they’re critically important to helping operating rooms run. They prepare operating rooms for surgery by setting up all the instruments, equipment, sterile drapes, and more. They also assist during the surgeries themselves. “When a surgeon asks for a scalpel, retractor or hemostat, he or she probably is asking for the help of a surgical tech,” a Houston Chronicle reporter wrote in a piece on why surgical techs are essential to OR teams.
How to Become a Surgical Technician
What sort of person does it take to become a surgical technician or technologist? According to the director of surgical services at Texas’ Christus St. Catherine Hospital: energetic, detail-oriented, team players who can cope with emergency situations while maintaining a passion for people. Because they spend much of the day on their feet and have to lift a minimum of 75 pounds in most facilities, being in good shape helps, too.
According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, the number of surgical procedures is expected to rise, creating growth in the career sector. And with surgical technologies advancing into fiber optics, lasers and robotics, there’s a growing need for technicians trained in the latest procedures.
Fortis Colleges and Institutes can help prepare you for a career in this rewarding field. Fortis campuses in Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia offer Surgical Technology programs that help prepare students to become members of operating room teams and provide care to patients during the crucial periods of surgery.