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What Does a Surgical Technologist Do?

If you aren’t squeamish and the idea of being in an operating room interests you, consider becoming a surgical technologist. Also called surgical assistants, operating room technicians or "scrub techs," they are critical members of a surgical team that includes a doctor, anesthesiologist and circulating nurse. Surgical technologists prepare the operating room before the surgery takes place. They also arrange medical equipment and assist doctors during surgical procedures. This includes routine operations as well as emergency procedures.

Surgical technologists work primarily in hospitals and outpatient care centers.

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Median Salary $
48,000
Jobs Available
9,790+
A surgical tech assists a doctor with a patient by an operating table
As baby boomers get older, their needs for surgical procedures will grow. The job outlook for surgical technologists is expected to grow 7% from 2019 to 2029. (Credit: UfaBizPhoto/Shutterstock)
Duties + Responsibilities
  • Prepare the operating room for surgery
  • Maintain a sterile environment 
  • Pass instruments and other supplies to surgeon during surgery
  • Set up robotic surgical equipment
  • Count and keep track of all surgical instruments during surgery
  • Take inventory of supplies
  • Maintain records of procedures
Education + Training

Education beyond high school is required for surgical technologists, but it can take many forms. Many community colleges, vocational schools, universities and hospitals offer accredited surgical technology programs that range in length from several months to two years. That could result in a certificate, associate degree or diploma. Coursework includes anatomy, microbiology and physiology. Students also learn about patient care, safety, sterilization techniques, how to set up equipment, and infection prevention and control. In addition to classroom study, students gain hands-on experience in supervised clinical settings. Many surgical technologist programs are accredited by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Certified Surgical Technologists (CST) earn additional certification, and continuing education is necessary to maintain it.

 

You May Be a Good Fit for This Position If You
  • Are a good listener and communicator
  • Are detail-oriented
  • Can maintain focus
  • Have good dexterity
  • Are calm under pressure

Surgical Technologist training in your area

Coordinates

Surgical Technology, A.A.S.

Lorain County Community College
Elyria (0.0 Miles)

Surgical Technology Certificate

Calhoun Community College
Tanner (0.0 Miles)
Gateway Community College

Surgical Technology Certificate

GateWay Community College (AZ)
Phoenix (0.0 Miles)

Surgical Technology, A.A.S.

Monroe Community College - SUNY
Rochester (0.0 Miles)

Surgical Technology, A.A.S.

Laramie County Community College
Cheyenne (0.0 Miles)

General Technology - Surgical Technology, A.A.S.

Piedmont Technical College
Greenwood (0.0 Miles)

Central Sterile Supply Processing Technician Technical Certificate

Atlanta Technical College
Atlanta (0.0 Miles)

Surgical Technology, A.A.S

Saint Paul College
St Paul (0.0 Miles)
Lincoln Land Community College

Surgical Technology, A.A.S.

Lincoln Land Community College
Springfield (0.0 Miles)

Surgical Technology, A.A.S.

Montgomery County Community College
Blue Bell (0.0 Miles)

Central Sterile Processing Technician Training

Craven Community College
New Bern (0.0 Miles)

Surgical Technology A.A.S

Southern University at Shreveport
Shreveport (0.0 Miles)
Meet Ambassador
Shana Frazee
Image
'My favorite part about my job is knowing that you are making a difference in someone’s life,' said surgical technologist Shana Frazee.
Meet Ambassador
Shana Frazee

Shana Frazee took a practical approach to learning about healthcare jobs. At the age of 20, she took a job in housekeeping at a hospital so she could see what was happening in the different departments. She shadowed a doctor and soon learned about surgical technology.

“I had never heard of one before, but I instantly became interested in the position,” says Shana.

She trained to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) and has been loving this fast-paced role ever since.

To do this job, she says you need to be highly organized, calm and having a strong backbone to deal with doctors.

“I always say it takes a certain person for this job. And honestly there aren't a ton of us around!” says Shana.

So if you want to learn about a satisfying job that keeps the surgery room running smoothly, read on.   

Find Surgical Technologist Jobs in Your Area

Coordinates

Certified Surgical Technician-FT Opportunity with Great Work-Life Balance (20065-147)

United Surgical Partners International
Okatie ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

Surgical Technologist, General Surgery, 6:40a to 5:10p, call required

Emory Healthcare
Atlanta ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

Anesthesia Technician

Medstar Research Institute
Washington ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

Surgical Technologist- Sign On Bonus!

Rochester General Health System
Rochester ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

OR Scrub Technician

Northern Arizona Healthcare
Flagstaff ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

Surgical Tech Supervisor- OMC - Jeff Hwy- GU, GYN, CRS and Robotics service line

Ochsner Health System
New Orleans ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

Supervisor Sterile Processing Surgical Technologist - Our Lady of the Lake RMC

Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center
Baton Rouge ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

Endoscopy Technician Commerce Township PRN Days Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital

Tenet Healthcare Corporation
Commerce ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago