Which Medical Technology Program is Right for You? An Overview of Becoming a Surgical Technologist

HealthcareFebruary 07, 2020

One of the most important functions that is performed in a hospital is surgery. To ensure a smooth and successful procedure, having a team of highly trained professionals is critical. A key component of this team is the surgical technologist. Working under the supervision of surgeons and registered nurses, the surgical technologist performs essential duties in the operating room and provides care to patients before, during and after surgery. 

Before Surgery

Before anyone goes into surgery, the operating room must be prepared, and this is a key responsibility of the surgical technologist. Surg techs are trained on the latest medical technology and are tasked with testing the equipment to ensure it is working properly before the procedure begins. The surgical technologist also equips the operating room with gowns and gloves for the surgical team, sets up the surgical instruments, and prepares any needed solutions and medications.

A surgical technologist also brings the patient into the operating room, positions them on the table, covers them with sterile drapes, and prepares the incision site by washing and disinfecting the skin. Once the surgical team enters the operating room, the surgical technologist will help everyone put on their sterile gowns and gloves.

During Surgery

During surgery, the surgical technologist is in charge of maintaining the instruments and supplies. They must anticipate the needs of the surgical team by being ready to hand items, such as sponges, scalpels and solutions, to the surgeons and assistants. Additionally, they may be asked to hold suction tubing or even a patient’s internal organs during the procedure. The surgical technologist is also responsible for performing counts of all instruments and supplies to ensure nothing is left behind. 

After Surgery

After surgery, a surgical technologist may be asked to dress the incision site with bandages and will transfer the patient to the recovery room. Once the patient is safely situated in recovery, the surgical technologist will return to the operating room and restock it for the next procedure.

The Career 

Surgical technologists can work in hospitals as well as offsite surgical centers and medical clinics. To become a surgical technologist, candidates must complete an accredited program.  Depending on the state regulations and accrediting standards the length of the typical program can fall between 12 or 15 to 18 months with associate degree programs sometimes running even longer than that. 

As surgeries become safer and more successful and new technology creates medical advancements, the demand for well-trained surgical technologists is expected to grow. Employment of surgical technologists is projected to increase by 9 percent over the next decade, which is faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

If the fast-paced environment of the operating room interests you, you may find a career as a surgical technologist to be a rewarding one. Fortis offers programs that will put you on the right path to a career in the operating room. Click here for more information or call us today at (855) 436-7847 and speak to one of our career advisors.