Surgical Technologist Careers Guide

The medical field offers many opportunities for those seeking a rewarding career in a growing field. While many people think of doctors and nurses, the field actually has an array of choices that you can select from, including a career as a Surgical Technologist (also known as a Surgical Technician or Surgical Tech).

A career as a Surgical Tech can be exciting and fast paced as well as extremely rewarding.

Your Surgical Technologist Career FAQ’s:

Surgical Tech Overview

Key FactsDetail
Educational RequirementsMinimum 1 year certificate program is required.
Average Annual Salary$45,940
Average Salary Range $23,040 to $63,410 (depending on experience and location)
Number in Employment (2016)101,754
Employment OutlookVery Good
Work EnvironmentsHospitals, Private Clinics
Related CareersPhysician Assistant, Emergency Medical Technician, Medical Assistant, Nursing Assistant, Licensed Practical Nurse, Pharmacy Technician, Veterinary Tech

What does a Surgical Tech do?

Any time a surgeon enters the operating room, various support members help to ensure that the procedure goes smoothly. Surgical Technologists are an important part of this team and generally work under the direct supervision of the surgeon. They are employed by hospitals and surgical centers across the country. Each State has regulations regarding what surgical technologists can and cannot do so make certain that you understand the laws governing where you work.

A Surgical Technologist has multiple responsibilities throughout the surgical procedure. Before anyone even enters the room, the Surgical Tech must make sure that everything is properly prepared for the upcoming surgery.

Among the tasks before the patient or medical staff enters is to make certain that the room and supplies are sterile. Additionally, the Tech must make sure that adequate supplies are on hand for anything that may arise during the procedure. They also set up the tray of tools and arrange for other potentially needed items to be readily available.

Depending upon the State in which they work, they may also participate in patient prep for the procedure. This may involve shaving hair or simply making sure that the skin is disinfected properly. Once the patient is ready, the Tech transports them to the surgical area and drapes the body so that the surgeon is focused on the site of the operation.

During the operation, the Surgical Technologist is responsible for passing tools to the surgeon, doctors and nurses present and taking tissue samples or anything else handed off by the surgeon. They provide everything that the surgeons need, and should be able to anticipate these needs.