So You Want to Be a Surgical Technician

The operating room is not a place for those with a weak stomach. Beneath the whitewashed walls, the smell of chemicals and the bright operating lights is a body that is incised, cut, sutured and suctioned. Though the images you see in the operating room can be quite graphic, rest assured that nothing unsafe happens in the table as long as it is under the careful watch of a surgical technician. The surgeon may earn the fame and the glory for successful operations, but it is the surgical technician who is credited for making sure that the operation goes smoothly.

Surgical technicians ensure that the surgical area is prepped and ready before, during and after the operation. They are the keepers of order in the operating room. When a patient arrives at the dressing area, they are the ones who dress the patient and oftentimes, they are the ones who spot something that the ward nurses may have missed before endorsing the patient. The surgical technician ensures that all the materials used for the operation are complete, sterile and ready to be replaced in case the surgeon drops it.

If you are considering taking up a course to become a surgical technician, you must have a love for books, research and studying because that’s exactly what’s going to take up most of your time. A surgical technician needs to be knowledgeable about medical conditions, pharmacological reactions, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and even math. The best lessons are not in the books, but it the actual operating field.

In the operating room, the surgical technician can either join the sterile field to work directly under the surgeon. He needs to be physically fit in order to retract tissues for the surgeon to gain better view of an organ. Another work for the surgical technician in the sterile field is to directly hand the surgeon the instruments needed for the operation. During the operation, he must actively anticipate the next step of the surgery and hand out the specific instrument needed. A circulating surgical technician is someone who works outside the sterile field and adds instruments into the table and helps keep a close watch on the sponges, forceps and needles used during the operation. He is also responsible for charting the progress and obtaining the vital signs of the patient.

When looking for a job as a surgical technician, your salary will be dependent on the amount of experience and credentials you have. Those who have graduated under schools that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and are Certified Surgical Technicians stand to earn better salary options. Another way to get ahead of the competition is to join trainings and seminars that are directly related to your field of interest. This shows potential employers that you are involved and are passionate about your career.

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