Surgical Tech

  1. I'm interested in finding out what a surgical tech does. I know that it requires going through a tech program, but that's about it! Any info would be great!
    Thanks, Leslie
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    About Lausana

    Joined: Feb '01; Posts: 3,747; Likes: 2


  3. by   ornurse2001
    Surgical techs scrub their hands and go into the operating room before the doctor does and usually before a second nurse(actually the first assistant)does if a first assist is needed.(not all surgeries require more than one person scrubbed in-who would be the surg tech).The surg tech. prepares the sterile field, sets up the supplies and instruments for the surgery, then assists the surgeon withdraping the pt.and doing the surgery by passing him/her instruments in their anticioated order of use and in the proper fashion.The surg tech loads the suture on the needle holders, assists the Dr. with the surgery.After the surgery, the sug tech puts the sterile dressing on the patient, helps get the patient undraped and washed off and onto a cart for transport to the recovery room.The surg tech then takes the instruments to the proper place for disinfection , cleaning, and sterilizing.The hospital I work at is small, and our surgery dept is also the central area, so we disinfect, clean and sterilize our own instruments after use-larger hospitals sometimes have a separate dept that does this-my experience in OR is limited to this small hospital.We use LPN's in our scrub positions, a position I functioned in as an LPN for 3 yrs.Hope this helps.
  4. by   nursebetti2001
    Hi Leslie,
    I was a surgical tech for about 19 years before becomming a RN. The surg tech role can be very rewarding and challenging but the areas of opportunity are limited to either the OR, surgi-center or a dentist office.My reason for continuing on to get my RN was not just for self gratification but also to open more doors of opportunity in the future.
  5. by   nursebetti2001
    I also wanted to add that many larger hospitals will have the RN function in the scrub role. Yes, I am trying to steer you more towards getting your RN, for the simple reason that you will have more doors of opportunity open to you. Good Luck.
  6. by   Y2KRN
    Hello Lausana,

    I agree with nursebetti 100%, I too started out as an OR tech, got wonderful experience and found the job chanllenging. I went to nursing school thinking that I would become an OR nurse. Once I got into nursing school I realized that there are many areas in nursing to choose from. In the OR you will be on the cutting edge of technology, and learn much about how the body, functions and heals. The surgeons can be wonderful teachers, you will learn a lot of organizational skills, and working as an important member of a team.

    On the down side, you will function primarily in the scrub role, get paid less wages, and have less open room for advancement. I have heard that some Surgical tech programs are two years now and when a candidate graduates from this type of program they can also function in a circulator role. Not too sure I agree with that. But, look at the program and think about what you want your options to be. Like nursebetti said nurses can scrub too, and
    have more options open to them.

    I didn't go back to the OR after graduation, and I found that I liked ER more. I worked on a med/resp floor for one year for experience and am getting ready to start my first job in the ER. I was truely grateful that I had surgical tech experience because when the patients I took care of came back from surgery I had a good understanding of what their experience was.

    I do admit I miss scrubbing often!!!!

    Goodluck in your decision and keep us posted.