What Are the Duties of a Surgical Tech?

A surgical technologist, also called a scrub tech, is an allied health professional who works alongside surgeons, registered nurses and other surgical personnel.

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Surgical technologists, also called operating room technicians or OR techs, prepare operating rooms for surgery and care for patients before, during and after surgery. They work under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses or licensed practical nurses. Most surgical technologists work in hospitals, but some work in outpatient surgeries and doctor’s offices.

Surgical tech job description

The surgical technologist, also called a scrub, scrub tech, surgical technician, or operating room technician, is part of the surgical team. The surgical technologist works closely with the surgeon, certified registered nurse anesthetist, circulating nurse, and other surgical personnel to ensure that the operating room is safe, that equipment functions properly, and that the patient is relaxed and comfortable.

Pre-operative duties

A surgical technologist is an integral member of the surgical team. The main duties of a surgical technologist are to prepare the operating room and sterilize surgical instruments and equipment. They also transport patients to the operating room, position them on the operating table, and cover them with sterile drapes. Once the patient is prepped, the surgical technologist hands the surgeon the instruments he or she needs during the operation.

During surgery, a surgical technologist may also be responsible for counting sponges, needles, and other items used during the procedure. He or she also monitors the patient’s heart rate and blood pressure and may apply suction to keep the operating area clear. In some cases, a surgical technologist may close incisions or apply dressings.

After surgery, a surgical technologist may help transfer the patient to the recovery room and clean and restock the operating room.

Intra-operative duties

The intra-operative duties of a surgical tech include preparing the operating room for surgery, sterile draping of the patient, andset up of the sterile field. The surgical tech also hands instruments and supplies to the surgeon during the surgery, and helps to maintain a sterile environment. After the surgery, the surgical tech may assist in transporting the patient to the recovery room and in cleaning and sterilizing the operating room.

Post-operative duties

After the surgery is complete and the patient is in the recovery room, the surgical tech’s duties might include:
-Assisting with patient transfers
-Applying dressings
-Changing bandages
-Cleaning and sterilizing instruments
-Monitoring patients’ vital signs

Surgical tech job outlook

A surgical tech, also called a surgical technician or scrub tech, is a member of the surgical team. They work alongside surgeons, anesthesiologists, and registered nurses to ensure that the operating room is clean and sterile and that the patient is prepared for surgery. Surgical techs also play a role in patient care before and after surgery. They are responsible for making sure that the surgical instruments are sterilized and that the operating room is clean.

Employment opportunities

Surgical techs are in high demand and that trend is expected to continue. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment for surgical techs will grow by 12% from 2018-2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. An aging population and advances in medical technology are two factors that will lead to this growth.

As baby boomers age, they will need more medical procedures, such as hip and knee replacements, which require the skills of surgical techs. In addition, new medical technologies are being developed all the time, which means more procedures that require the assistance of surgical techs.

Salary expectations

Earnings for surgical techs can vary depending on the setting in which they work, their experience, and their location. The median annual salary for surgical techs was $47,300 in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The highest-paid 10 percent of surgical techs earned more than $68,820 per year, while the lowest-paid 10 percent earned less than $33,760.

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