If you’ve decided on a healthcare career and are targeting Surgical Technology for your studies, there are a few things you should know before enrolling. The most important is whether you’re a good fit for the career. Here is an overview of the skills you’ll need to succeed as a surgical technologist – or operating room technician, as they also are called.
The Role of a Surgical Technologist
As the abbreviated name – surgical tech – implies, you’ll need to be technically inclined. Operating, adjusting and troubleshooting surgical equipment will be a must. As is maintaining a sterile environment; so being able to properly drape patients and equipment also is a key skill. Being manually dexterous when selecting, passing and manipulating surgical instruments will be a primary attribute as well.
You don’t exactly have to be a mind-reader, however, being able to anticipate what the surgeon will need next is a skill that you’ll have to develop. Now, that’s not something you can pick up in class…or even during an externship. It will be specific to the team you’ll be assisting, but an important skill to develop quickly once assigned to a surgical team. Knowing what’s involved in each surgery will help you anticipate what the surgeon will do, and need, next.
As a surgical tech, you can expect to be on your feet for long periods of time, especially during complicated surgical procedures. Also, expect to be under a good deal of pressure and stress when in the operating room (OR), plus you’ll need to be prepared for potentially unpleasant experiences. It isn’t uncommon to witness the sight of blood and organs – or possibly worse in emergency situations. Surgical techs need to have a strong stomach so they can remain calm and effective in situations such as those, while still being able to multi-task.
To recap – surgical technologists must have the ability to work in a group; possess calm nerves; communicate clearly and quickly; offer excellent dexterity to the surgical team; expect the unexpected, without becoming squeamish; be dependable and reliable, and show a willingness to learn. Do you still think you’re cut out to be a surgical technologist?
Becoming a Surgical Technologist
You won’t face the same challenges as the surgeon, but you will be vital to how well the surgeon performs. Some skills should be innate, but others can be learned through classes and training. If you’ve got the temperament to become a surgical technologist, but need help with a some of the “learned skills,” perhaps Fortis Colleges and Institutes can help.
Fortis offers Surgical Technology programs at campuses in Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Visit our site to learn more about your career opportunities, what prerequisites are involved, and to find the program offered nearest you. Oh, and, good luck!