What is a Surgical Technologist? Explained

What is a Surgical Technologist? Explained

What is a Surgical Technologist?

Have you ever wondered who assists surgeons during surgical procedures? That's where surgical technologists come in. A surgical technologist, also known as a scrub tech or operating room technician, plays a crucial role in the operating room. They are responsible for ensuring that the surgical environment is safe, sterile, and well-prepared for the procedure at hand.

What Does a Surgical Technologist Do?

From preparing the operating room to handing surgical instruments to the surgeon, surgical technologists are involved in every step of the surgical process. They work closely with the surgical team, including surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists, to ensure a smooth and efficient operation.

Before the surgery begins, surgical technologists help sterilize and set up the necessary equipment, such as surgical instruments, drapes, and suction devices. They also help to prepare the patient by cleaning and disinfecting the incision site. During the surgery, they pass instruments to the surgeon, hold retractors, and may assist with suturing and wound closure.

Why Are Surgical Technologists Important?

The role of surgical technologists is vital in maintaining patient safety and preventing surgical site infections. They are trained to follow strict aseptic techniques to minimize the risk of contamination during surgery. By ensuring that the operating room is properly sterilized and all instruments are correctly handled, surgical technologists help reduce the chances of post-operative complications.

Moreover, surgical technologists provide valuable support to the surgical team, allowing surgeons to focus on the procedure itself. Their expertise in anticipating the surgeon's needs and efficiently passing instruments helps maintain the flow of the operation, saving valuable time and ensuring the best possible outcome for the patient.

How to Become a Surgical Technologist?

If you're interested in pursuing a career as a surgical technologist, there are a few steps you need to take. First, you'll need to complete a surgical technology program, which typically takes around 9-24 months. These programs are offered by community colleges, vocational schools, and some hospitals.

After completing your education, you'll need to become certified. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting offers the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) credential, which is widely recognized in the field. To become certified, you'll need to pass an exam that assesses your knowledge and skills in surgical technology.


The role of surgical technologists in the operating room cannot be overstated. They are the unsung heroes who work behind the scenes to ensure that surgeries run smoothly and safely. If you're considering a career in healthcare and enjoy working in a fast-paced environment, becoming a surgical technologist may be the perfect path for you.

Next time you find yourself in an operating room, take a moment to appreciate the hard work and dedication of these skilled professionals. Without them, surgeries would be far more challenging and risky. The surgical technologists truly make a difference in the lives of patients and contribute to the success of surgical procedures.

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