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Surgical Technology Career

The Job of a Surgical Technologist
Surgical technologists prepare for and assist with surgical procedures, working under the supervision of surgeons and nurses. Before surgery, surgical technologists help to set up the operating room. They wash and sterilize instruments, place sterile linens and solutions, set up, adjust, and check equipment to make sure it works properly, and help prepare patients for surgery. In addition, surgical technologists also help the surgical team scrub and put on gloves, gowns, and masks.

During surgery, surgical technologists pass instruments and supplies to surgeons, hold retractors or cut sutures, and observe patients' vital signs. Surgical technologists also maintain supplies of fluid during surgery, such as blood or saline. Technologists may operate other equipment, such as lights or suction machines, and also may help apply dressings to patients' incisions. In addition, technologists help to count sponges, needles, and instruments to be sure none are left inside the patient, and prepare and care for specimens taken for lab analysis.

After surgery, technologists help transfer patients to the recovery room, and clean and restock the operating room for the next procedure.

To work as in a surgical technology career you must have a high school diploma or GED, as well as complete a surgical technology program. Technical schools, community colleges, and some universities offer surgical technology programs. These programs include courses in physiology, microbiology, and medical terminology. You will also learn about aseptic techniques, the care and safety of patients during surgery, and infection control and prevention. You will also get hands-on training by working under the supervision of an experienced technologist.

Certification is important in surgical technology careers, most employers prefer to hire surgical technologists who are certified. Most surgical technologists work in public or private hospitals, or in private doctors' or dentists' offices.

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