S urgical technologists can go by several different titles, operating room technician, surgical tech, scrub tech or surgical assistant, but whatever term is used, they all play an essential role on the OR team.
But what exactly does a surgical technologist do? Here are some facts that can answer some of your questions.
What Do Surgical Technologists do?
Set up surgical equipment
Sterilize equipment and maintain a sterile environment to prevent infection
Ensure there are adequate supplies and instruments
Assist the surgical team put on sterile gowns
Transfer patients and set them up on the operating table
Cover patients with sterile drapes and disinfect the incision site
Pass instruments and other sterile supplies to surgeons
Handle specimens to be taken to the lab
Count supplies and surgical instruments, to ensure that all instruments are accounted for
After the surgery is completed, may apply dressings to the incision site.
Education Required to Become a Surgical Technologist
Surgical Technology programs are usually between 12 and 24 months, and have three education level options, a certificate, diploma or associate degree. Certificates and diplomas are usually earned in a year, while earning an associate degree typically takes 24 months, however a degree can be earned in less time at some colleges.
Do I need Certification?
Some states regulate surgical technologists and they are required to register with the state or become certified. Certification is voluntary in the states who have not yet regulated this profession however many hospitals require or give preference to candidates who are certified.
How do I Get Certified?
Surgical technologists may earn certification through the following credentialing bodies:
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