Have you ever seen footage of surgeries and wondered who all those people in the operating room were? Surgical technologists and surgical assistants ensure the operating room is ready for each procedure, and work under the direction of surgeons to assist with surgical procedures. Surgical technologists and assistants know the terminology and tools needed for many different types of surgeries. They prepare the equipment and supplies, and assist the surgical team to scrub and put on gloves, masks, and sterile gowns. During the operation, they make sure surgeons have the instruments they request at a moment’s notice. They may hold retractors, cut sutures, and apply or assist with applying bandages, then transfer patients to recovery. They are also responsible for counting sponges, needles and other instruments before and after the operation. In addition to technologist tasks, surgical assistants may operate suction equipment or suture a wound. Surgical technologists and assistants work in hospitals and outpatient surgery centers. Their work environment requires a comfort level with blood, body fluids, and critically ill patients. They sometimes work overnight shifts, or are on call for emergencies. Surgical technologists need a certificate or associate’s degree in surgical technology. Surgical assistants typically have experience as a surgical technologist or have completed a formal education program in surgical assisting. Surgical technologists’ work spans from the mundane and routine to urgent and critical, all with the focus on saving lives and aiding healing.
What they do:
Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, cut sutures, and help count sponges, needles, supplies, and instruments.
On the job, you would:
Maintain a proper sterile field during surgical procedures.
Count sponges, needles, and instruments before and after operation.
Scrub arms and hands and assist the surgical team to scrub and put on gloves, masks, and surgical clothing.
medicine and dentistry
Arts and Humanities
Education and Training
teaching and course design
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Hand and Finger Use
keep your arm or hand steady
hold or move items with your hands
listen and understand what people say
communicate by speaking
pay attention to something without being distracted
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Electronic medical record EMR software
Electronic mail software
associate's degree or certificate after high school usually needed
Examples of Registered Apprenticeship programs include:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.