A Certified Surgical Technologist works under the supervision of various surgical personnel, including the surgeons themselves, registered nurses, and even anesthesiologists. The need for qualified Certified Surgical Technologists is on the rise, owing to an impressive expected growth rate of 25 percent by the year 2018 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ estimates.
What is a Certified Surgical Technologist?
A Certified Surgical Technologist is a specially trained technician that assists physicians during surgical procedures. They may prepare the operating room for surgery by sterilizing the room, obtaining the appropriate surgical equipment, and taking inventory of all of the surgical items. They might help to prepare the patient for surgery by cleansing, shaving, and disinfecting the site of the incision. Some Certified Surgical Technologists may keep written documentation of the procedure. Others may restock and clean up the operating room after the surgery. Many Certified Surgical Technologists will do all of these duties and more.
Misc Surgical Technology Job Duties
In addition to those duties detailed above, a Certified Surgical Technologist may be responsible for:
- Assembling and inspecting surgical equipment, both sterile and non-sterile, to ensure it is functioning properly
- Transport of the patient to the operating room, including the transfer from the hospital bed to the operating table
- Observing and recording patients’ vital signs and researching charts for required information
- Helping scrubbed nurses, surgeons, and other surgical personnel put on their sterile gloves and gowns
- Perform minor surgical tasks such as cutting sutures and holding retractors
- Select and give specific surgical tools to the surgeon when asked for
- Keep a constant inventory of all items in the immediate surgical area so as to ensure no item is inadvertently left inside a patient
- Handle any specimens or samples taken for analysis in the laboratory and ensure their proper disposal
- Assist in the application of dressings or bandages
- Operate select surgical equipment
Certified Surgical Technologist Working Conditions
Certified Surgical Technologists must be able to handle the strain of standing on their feet the entire day. When in surgery, the environment will be cool, brightly lit, and sterile. When performing other misc surgical technology duties, Technologists will encounter conditions like one would expect in any hospital or physician office. A Certified Surgical Technologist will spend much of their time walking, but most of them work a typical 40 hour per week schedule. There will sometimes be risks of exposure to infectious diseases, so it is important that all Certified Surgical Technologist is aware of the proper procedures for protecting themselves against infection.
Becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist
Students must complete an accredited Certified Surgical Technologist training course prior to taking the National Certification Exam. These courses will cover the obvious classes of anatomy, surgical procedures, and microbiology, as well as many other misc surgical technology classes. Programs are available both on campus and online, although the selection of accredited online programs is slim. Anyone interested in becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist should first explore what options for training are available in their area.