A surgical technician - sometimes called a surgical tech, OR (operating room) tech or scrub tech - typically work in a large hospital, a day-surgery center, or a specialty outpatient center.
Surgical technicians generally report to RNs (registered nurses) and provide support functions to the members of an operating room team. The ability to anticipate the patient's and surgical team's needs during an operation is a crucial part of their job. Specifically, they often are responsible for providing support and comfort to patients about to have an operation, including transporting them to and from the operating room. They may also be involved in monitoring the patient during surgery and getting the patient into the proper position for a particular type of surgery.
They are responsible for helping to maintain a sterile surgery suite, including preparation of a sterile instrument table, as well as other supplies and equipment necessary for a given procedure; they also gather supplies for sterilization after the surgery is complete.
Surgical technicians are generally expected to have prior experience in a surgical setting; they are often required to hold LPN or RN designation themselves. However, some care providers hire and train individuals with only a high school diploma. There is also a Certified Surgical Technologist certification program, which certain facilities require before hire or shortly thereafter.
Surgical Technician Tasks
- Assist in the preparation of the surgical area.
- Apply specialized knowledge in various surgical procedures to expedite process and reduce patient risk.
- Scrub, assist, and anticipate physicians' needs during surgical procedures.