Surgical Technician Job Description

A surgical technician, also referred to as a surgical technologist, is a health professional who provides assistance during surgeries, being guided and supervised by surgeons and other surgical personnel.

Surgical Technician Job Description

The job of a surgical technician is not to be underestimated. These professionals have many responsibilities and their role in the well-being of patients is essential. A surgical tech is obliged to help surgeons prepare for the surgery in the aspect or sterilization and suitable clothing, as well as to provide all the conditions in the operational room needed for a proper operation at all times during surgery. The surgical technologist has to prepare all the equipment and make sure it is sterile and arranged as required. Also, the preparation of the patient for the surgery (washing, disinfection) is a part of the surgical tech job description, too. During the surgery, the surgical techs follow the surgeons’ instructions and pass instruments, provide bandages, operate lights, sterilizers, diagnostics equipment etc. They also constantly check the patient’s condition. The surgical technologist job description also includes thorough cleaning of the operating room after the surgery.

Some of the downsides of this profession are that surgical technicians are often required to stand for long periods of time during surgery and be fully concentrated. Also, they can be exposed to very repulsive sights and even to contagious diseases.

Important Characteristics

The sensitivity of this profession requires that surgical technicians are very philanthropic, with excellent people skills. It is recommendable that they are patient, understanding and very responsible and reliable. Also, since the surgeries are often very critical and stressful, a calm character is preferable, with the ability of coping under pressure, cooperating and detail spotting. Needless to say, one has to fulfil some physical criteria, too. Excellent vision and hearing are needed. One should be able to stand for a long while and be able to lift and handle equipment. Physical stamina is beyond necessary.

What Is A First Surgical Assistant?

The American College of Surgeons defines first surgical assistants as professionals who provide aid in exposure, hemostasis, closure and other technical functions during surgery, in order to help surgeons perform a proper operation. The duties of surgical first assistants include positioning the patient, so that he/she would be in the most suitable position for the surgery, but also safe, comfortable and with unimpaired circulation. Also the assistant has to make sure the operative site is clearly visible for the surgeon, he/she assists with hemostasis, autotransfusion techniques and body closure techniques. The surgical first assistants take care of the wound dressing and also secure the drainage systems to tissue. However, these are only the general responsibilities of the first surgical assistants. Their duties can vary due to the country’s legislative and the hospital policy.

A surgical technician could progress and become a first surgical assistant if he/she completes the necessary education - a CAAHEP accredited program and afterwards, obtain certification.

Career Path

The job of a surgical technologist, as well as the job of a surgical first assistant is a very prosperous one and there are many employment opportunities because the population is growing older and more surgeries will be needed, as well as because the technologic development that increases the number of performed operations, too. These professionals can work in hospitals, surgery centres, healthcare agencies, tech schools etc. Surgical technologists could work as physical therapists, medication assistants, clinical staff, counsellors and even go into the field of human rights and make evaluations of the staff work, study clients’ records, make reports etc. Since first surgical assistants are more qualified than surgical techs, they have even greater chances of career development and progress.

Being a surgical technician or a surgical first assistant is a profession that should not be taken lightly. It is highly stressful and exhausting, but at the same time very rewarding. If one considers himself/herself one with a desire to make a significant contribution and help others, this might be a very satisfying profession.

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