“Surgical Technologist” is a long title. What do they really do? You might be thinking of taking a Surgical Technology training program at ACHT; before you do, do a little homework. Read this blog post to find out what it’s like to be a professional surgical technologist.
Surgical Technologists can actually play one of three roles: scrub surgical technologist, circulating surgical technologist, and second assisting surgical technologist. They all have somewhat different duties and responsibilities, and your own career path will depend on the facility you choose to work at as well as your preferences for responsibilities. For now, let’s take a look at the average day for a scrub surgical technologist who works with a general surgery team.
Surgical Technologist Before the Surgery
Every surgery, even if it’s the same procedure, is a little different, but the preparation is usually similar. You’ll need to set up the operating table in a specific way, making sure that it’s sterile. You will also ensure sterility of the operating room. You’ll know which medications and equipment will be necessary for each surgery, so you’ll make sure that they are all available and accessible in the right numbers and quantities. After you have set up the operating room, you’ll gown and glove yourself (believe it or not, all medical professionals must use a specific system to put their gowns and gloves on!). You’ll gown and glove the other members of your team – the surgeon and his or her assistants – as well. Immediately before the surgeon makes the first incision, you’ll count all of the medical supplies and equipment and keep tabs on how many tools are out.
Surgical Technologist During the Surgery
During the surgery, you’ll pass instruments to the surgeon when he or she needs them. You’ll also pay close attention to the sterility of the room, making sure that the patient is not infected as a result of the surgery. You’re responsible for this aspect of patient safety. You’ll also prepare the sterile dressings that the surgeon will use after the surgery.
Surgical Technologist After the Surgery
Here’s one of the most important responsibilities of a scrub surgical technologist: counting the equipment immediately before the incision is closed. Did you know that surgical tools have been lost inside people accidentally? Scrub surgical technologists make surgeries run smoothly, but they also protect patients from nightmarish consequences afterwards. After the incision is closed, you also help clean and sterilize the operating room for the next patient.
As you can see, surgical technologists are invaluable in the medical world. Without you, the surgery couldn’t have happened, and if it had, it would have been extremely unsafe. By the way, California is one of the two states (New York being the other) that pay the highest salaries to surgical technologists. If you’re interested in some of the other responsibilities you might have as a surgical technologist or want some more information about ACHT’s surgical technology program, drop us an email today! We’d love to hear from you.