Surgical technologists and technicians ensure that medical procedures are performed efficiently within sterile environments. They prepare operating rooms, stock surgical equipment, and assist surgeons during actual procedures. Since most professionals specialize within a certain type of setting, there are many different surgical technology jobs available. A technologist might work in a general hospital, outpatient surgical center, critical care unit, or dentist's office. Most people who hold surgical technology jobs have received expert training at vocational schools or community colleges to learn the fundamentals of the occupation.
Most surgical technology jobs are found in hospitals, where workers assist nurses and surgeons with many different types of surgery. A surgical technician is often responsible for making sure that an operating room is clean and that instruments are sterilized according to hospital policy. They acquire the materials and supplies that surgeons will need, such as masks, gloves, and disposable tools like scalpels. During a procedure, the technician supplies surgeons and nurses with different instruments and monitors the patient's vital signs and general condition. To meet the needs of patients, it is typical for a technician to work long hours and maintain on-call status.
Individuals who work in critical care units or outpatient surgical centers perform many of the same duties as hospital surgical technicians. Ambulatory and critical care technicians are often involved in emergency, lifesaving surgical procedures. They must be able to work quickly and efficiently to ensure that surgeons can conduct procedures. In contrast, those who work in outpatient centers often participate in less intensive procedures, such as joint repair surgeries that are performed on an appointment basis.
Some surgical technicians and technologists are employed by dentists, eye doctors, and other specialists to aid in delicate procedures. They usually receive specialized training to learn about the different tools, equipment, and terminology involved in certain procedures. Most technicians in private doctor's and dentist's offices work during standard business hours and take part in routine scheduled surgeries. In the event of an emergency, however, a professional may be asked to come in at any time of day or night.
Individuals are required complete accredited training programs to obtain surgical technology jobs in most countries. Many community colleges and vocational training schools offer programs that prepare prospective technologists for the broad responsibilities of the job. A training program might last anywhere from six months to two years, and usually culminates in a certificate of completion or degree. After completing school, a person can pursue internships or entry-level surgical technology jobs at local hospitals. With experience and continuing education, many professionals are able to advance to supervisory positions.