Surgical Technologists

Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, cut sutures, and help count sponges, needles, supplies, and instruments.

Median Annual Wage: $43,350

Education: Associate's degree (41%); Post-secondary certificate (31%); Some college, no degree (23%)

Projected Growth: Much faster than average (22% or higher)

Related Job Titles: Surgical Technician; Certified Surgical Technologist (CST); Operating Room Surgical Technician (OR St); Surgical Scrub Technician; Operating Room Technician (OR Tech); Certified Surgical Tech/First Assistant; Certified Surgical Technician; Operating Room Technologist (OR Tech); Surgical Scrub Technologist (Surgical Scrub Tech); Surgical Technologist (Surgical Tech)

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Surgical Technologists.

More Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Careers

  • Count sponges, needles, and instruments before and after operation.
  • Scrub arms and hands and assist the surgical team to scrub and put on gloves, masks, and surgical clothing.
  • Provide technical assistance to surgeons, surgical nurses, or anesthesiologists.
  • Prepare patients for surgery, including positioning patients on the operating table and covering them with sterile surgical drapes to prevent exposure.
  • Hand instruments and supplies to surgeons and surgeons' assistants, hold retractors and cut sutures, and perform other tasks as directed by surgeon during operation.
  • Monitor and continually assess operating room conditions, including patient and surgical team needs.
  • Wash and sterilize equipment, using germicides and sterilizers.
  • Prepare, care for, and dispose of tissue specimens taken for laboratory analysis.
  • Operate, assemble, adjust, or monitor sterilizers, lights, suction machines, or diagnostic equipment to ensure proper operation.
  • Prepare dressings or bandages and apply or assist with their application following surgery.
  • Clean and restock operating room, gathering and placing equipment and supplies and arranging instruments according to instructions, such as a preference card.
  • Order surgical supplies.
  • Observe patients' vital signs to assess physical condition.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Surgical Technologists.

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Management of Material Resources - Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Surgical Technologists.

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