Annually since 1974, surgical technologists have been recognized for their work both before, during, and after a procedure has been completed in the operating room. Working in hospitals and clinics around the world, surgical technologists play a vital role in ensuring the procedure is being done, whether the surgery being performed is inpatient or outpatient. If you've been thinking about starting a career within the medical field and you’re unsure the area in which you’d like to go into or have been interested in becoming a surgical tech, here are some key aspects to be reminded of: 

Academic Requirements 

Training to become a surgical technologist can be offered by vocational schools, two-year community colleges or universities, the military, or hospitals themselves. Programs typically take anywhere from twelve months to two years, depending on whether a person is working towards a certificate or associates degree.  

Both a person studying towards a certificate or an associate degree to become a surgical technologist will have to graduate from a surgical technology program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). For those who are coming from the military, the military has their own accreditation program that is eligible for certification upon a passing score.  

Workplace Options 

Surgical technologists have a bit of flexibility when it comes to which environment they care to work in upon obtaining a certificate or degree to be a surgical technologist. Although over 70% are working within a hospital setting as of 2016, surgical techs are still highly valuable within physician offices, outpatient care centers, and dental offices. Regardless of where a surgical tech will start or continue their career, they will be working as part of a large team – both medical and non-medical – to provide the patient with the highest quality of care both before, during, and after a procedure.  

Duties for the Job 

A surgical technologist's job does not start and end when the patient is only in the operating room. Prior to an operation, surgical techs are responsible for preparing the operating room for surgery which can include sterilizing tools to ensuring the room is well stocked of any supplies necessary or that of which the performing surgeon requests. During the procedure, the technician helps with passing nurses and surgeons the tools they need while keeping everything sanitary and connecting drains if needed. Post-operative duties include dressing incision sites, assisting with a patient transfer, and going back to sanitize the room and preparing for the next operation.  

WSi Can Help  

Surgical technologists are an essential part in the medical field today and holds a projected growth of 12% within the field through 2026 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. WSi Healthcare Personnel specializes in placing healthcare professionals in necessary and rewarding healthcare positions. If you’re a surgical tech who is looking for a new path or assignment, WSi is here to guide you to exciting opportunities within your area.