A good surgeon treats the disease; a great surgeon treats the patient who has the disease. In the majority of instances, however – neither is possible without a skilled Surgical Technologist by the physician’s side in the operating room. If you’re looking for career that allows you to help people on a daily basis, consider the critical role a Surgical Tech plays in the operating room and how, in many instances, can be the difference between a negative or positive outcome for the patient. Are you wondering how a Surgical Tech with an average of 18-24 months of training could possibly have such an impact, compared to an actual surgeon? After all, the average surgeon will spend 4 years in college, followed by 4 years in medical school and yet another 3-8 years of surgical residency at a hospital. To truly understand the importance of the Surgical Tech role in the operating room, let’s consider what they actually do on a routine basis.
It’s wise to sterilize – Probably one of the most important duties a Surgical Tech has is to ensure the operating room and every surface, every piece of equipment, surgical tools and personnel, are completely scrubbed, disinfected and sterilized. The most skilled surgeon can have a surgery go south if the patient sustains an infection from someone or something that was not properly sterilized.
Please pass the scalpel – If only it were that simple. There are hundreds of surgical instruments in the operating room a surgeon may need during a procedure, and the Surgical Tech – has to know them ALL. Imagine an emergency surgery where seconds count and the surgeon must quickly maneuver and change instruments with almost lightning speed. The Surgical Tech is a surgeon’s best friend in the operating room, passing the correct instrument without hesitation.
Speaking of instruments – Every surgeon is different and may not only specialize in different surgical disciplines, they also have completely different preferences in the operating room when it comes to what and how their instruments are laid out. Surgical Techs have to get to know each surgeon and prepare that doctor’s instruments correctly and also react accordingly to that surgeon’s needs and preferences.
Keep it moving – In the busiest of hospitals, being prepared for the next surgery patient quickly and efficiently is vital. Surgical Techs collect the used instruments for sterilization and prepare the operating room by restocking with fresh, sterile instruments and other surgical supplies, often having to move at a fast pace to keep things moving.
Wrap it up – Sometimes literally, the Surgical Tech will be wrapping it up by assisting the surgeon with bandaging patients post-op. They will often monitor a patient’s vital signs in some instances and even perform CPR when necessary. In a busy hospital, having the additional support from Surgical Techs allows the surgeons to focus their efforts on where they are needed most.
It’s difficult to imagine how an operating room would successfully function if there were no Surgical Techs performing all of the crucial and very detail-oriented tasks above. By now, it should be pretty clear they are an integral part of an operating room team and have a tremendous impact on patient care and hospital operations. If you’re thinking about a career in the medical field and love the idea of being on a team that helps people and saves lives every day, you may want to consider becoming a Surgical Tech. With Surgical Tech jobs on the rise, you’ll have job security and a rewarding career that will never be dull*.
If you’d like to learn more about what it takes to become a Surgical Tech, check out the Surgical Technology Program at City College. Available at City’s Altamonte Springs, Fort Lauderdale and Miami campuses. The Surgical Technology program is helping students get valuable, hands-on training in brand-new facilities with state-of-the-industry equipment. Students are taught core technical skills and surgical procedures, while they receive in-depth instruction in patient interaction and critical thinking. Graduates earn an Associate of Science Degree in Surgical Technology and are eligible to take the Certified Surgical Technology exam (CST), enhancing their employability even more! Call now to learn more about the Surgical Technology Program or one of the other great programs in the medical field offered at City College. Are you ready to make an impact? Schedule a tour of our campus and get started today!