Your First Day as Surgical Technologist

HealthcareApril 30, 2022

After celebrating your graduation from the surgical technologist program and passing your national certification exam, the next exciting moment on your career path will be your first day on the job. You’ll likely be filled with anticipation, excitement, and nerves. And you may be wondering what to expect. 

While you were in school, you likely spent plenty of time in mock operating room labs or your clinical rotations. While your first day will likely vary by employer, orientation usually lasts three to six months. 

The first day or two of any job generally involves a series of human resources onboarding tasks, such as receiving your badge and security credentials, getting an overview of hospital policies and procedures, being given a tour of the facility, and meeting the team. You may also receive information on benefits, career planning, disaster planning, and employee rights and safety protocols. 

Surgical tech orientation programs are often customized based on the new employee’s experience and knowledge level. It may also differ by the size and type of facility and procedures performed. 

Over the course of your orientation period, you’ll work with a preceptor or mentor to understand your daily routine and responsibilities to ensure optimal patient outcomes. During this time, you’ll be given competency assessments that are both role and scope specific. While there are universal standards for many of these processes, facilities may have additional or slightly different protocols to follow. Orientation will often cover:

  • An overview of equipment such as operating room tables and lights and instruments like suction units, lasers, and endoscopic tools. 
  • Safety protocols like patient positioning and instrument handling. 
  • Infection prevention, including hand and instrument hygiene, proper use of personal protective equipment, and sterilization and disinfection of tools.
  • And scope of practice information, such as team roles and terminology.

Techs will shadow their surgical tech preceptors during procedures, working together under the supervision of a surgeon, helping to ensure patient safety before, during, and after procedures. 

Before a procedure, for example, a surgical tech will make sure the operating room is safe and stocked with the proper tools. The tech will bring the patient to the room and properly position them for their procedure.

During the surgery, a tech will scrub in and hand instruments to the doctor as needed. They may also help with suctioning and dressings.

And when a procedure is complete, the surgical tech may apply bandages and dressings to the incision site. They’ll also take patients to the recovery room and then return to restock the operating room.

Does the role of a surgical technologist sound interesting to you? Fortis currently has training programs at our Florida, Louisiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia campuses. To learn more, please visit our site, or call us today at (855) 436-7847 and speak with one of our admissions representatives.