In the Air Force:
Aerospace Medical Service Manager; Dental Superintendent; Surgical Service; Surgical Service Apprentice, Orthopedics; Surgical Service Apprentice, Urology; Surgical Service Craftsman, Orthopedics; Surgical Service Helper; Surgical Service Helper, Otolaryngology; Surgical Service Journeyman; Surgical Service Journeyman, Otolaryngology; Surgical Service Superintendent
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. May, in accordance with state laws, help surgeons to make incisions and close surgical sites, manipulate or remove tissues, implant surgical devices or drains, suction the surgical site, place catheters, clamp or cauterize vessels or tissue, and apply dressings to surgical site.
On the job, you would:
Verify the identity of patient or operative site.
Monitor and maintain aseptic technique throughout procedures.
Cover patients with surgical drapes to create and maintain a sterile operative field.
medicine and dentistry
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
talking to others
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
changing what is done based on other people's actions
looking for ways to help people
Hand and Finger Use
keep your arm or hand steady
put together small parts with your fingers
listen and understand what people say
communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
order or arrange things
pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Electronic medical record EMR software
Office suite software
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
You might like a career in one of these industries: