The Life of a Surgical Technician Student

HealthcareJanuary 08, 2014

Everyone's school experiences differ, often depending on an individual's background, level of motivation and amount of support they receive. The school itself and the program's faculty shape the experience of a surgical technician student, but the most important variable is the student. As a surgical technician student, you've chosen a rewarding field, both personally and financially, and you will want to stick with this career path.

In the classroom

The single most important thing to remember about classroom learning, regardless of the course, is preparation. That means having completed and understood all homework, especially reading. Be proactive in completing assignments. When it comes to reading and writing papers, any procrastination would be detrimental. Get a good night's sleep the day before classes, and eat a good breakfast with plenty of protein. Make an effort to find ways to make yourself relax, especially on days you have exams. Have all of your books and other belongings in order the night before, and recheck your bag for them before you start class.


Students often blame a "bad" instructor for their poor performance, but in truth, hard work and solid preparation can overcome practically any barrier. Expect excellence from yourself, and remember this is your program, not that of your instructors or classmates. You are using this program to build your future, so don't let anything or anybody get in your way. Enthusiastic students engaged in classroom discussion not only garner greater support from faculty, but they also tend to do better personally.

Clinical training

Like most students studying in a clinical practice setting, surgical technician students initially dread or are intimidated by clinical learning. It is helpful to keep in mind that it is similar to on the job training. Instead of currency, you will earn educational skills. If you've worked hard and done well in the classroom, chances are that you will be just fine during clinical practice. Confidence in yourself will carry you through many situations.


Be prepared for some long days. That means fueling up and adequately hydrating to stay on top of your game. Watch out for too much fluid though, especially in regard to coffee. Having to use the restroom repeatedly is a problematic interruption. You have to be strong enough to endure criticism, and appreciate it for the learning value it provides.  Know your instruments and do your best to understand the differences and nuances between different surgeons and service lines.

Life outside of school

Remember your entire life is not going to be about being a surgical technician student. Maintaining your physical and mental health is vital to both your personal and professional well being. Find healthy ways to release the stress of class and clinical demands. If you had a particular hobby prior to school, remain active in this interest as best you can. Make it a point to exercise, eat well and get plenty of sleep.


It's very easy to become so engaged in schoolwork that you neglect important relationships. Remember your commitments to others, and make the time to be with the people you care about. Unless it is necessary, don't talk "shop" when you are out of school. Honor confidentiality by not talking about patients, and avoid the topic. 

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