Surgical Technologists

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Surgical Technologist (Surgical Tech)
  • Surgical Technician
  • Surgical Scrub Technologist (Surgical Scrub Tech)
  • Surgical Scrub Technician
  • Surgical Orderly
  • Surgery Technician (Surgery Tech)
  • Surgeon's Assistant
  • Scrub Technician
  • Operating Room Technologist (OR Tech)
  • Operating Room Technician (OR Tech)
View All

What They Do

  • Maintain files and records of surgical procedures.
  • Maintain supply of fluids, such as plasma, saline, blood, or glucose, for use during operations.
  • Observe patients' vital signs to assess physical condition.
  • Order surgical supplies.
  • Clean and restock operating room, gathering and placing equipment and supplies and arranging instruments according to instructions, such as a preference card.
  • Prepare dressings or bandages and apply or assist with their application following surgery.
  • Operate, assemble, adjust, or monitor sterilizers, lights, suction machines, or diagnostic equipment to ensure proper 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.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RSC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Social and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Support and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Education Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $43,210 with most people making between $31,230 and $58,880

Outlook

1.29%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 3,490 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 3,940 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 45 openings due to growth and about 35 replacement openings for approximately 80 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education