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Surgical Tech Duties: During the Surgery

Now that we’ve covered what a surgical tech does before the surgery, you may be wondering what a surgical tech does during the surgery. That’s a good question, and we’re going to answer it for you here. This could be especially helpful to you if you’re considering this as a career, so read on.

Passing instruments – and more

A surgical tech is an important part of the team in the operating room. Just as the surgical tech worked prior to the surgery to create a sterile environment, that part of the job continues in the operating room, where the surgical tech might perform a surgical hand scrub, assist other team members with surgical gowns and gloves, and maintain a sterile field.

However, the duties don’t end there; a surgical tech does several other important tasks during the surgery. Surgical technologists pass instruments and supplies to surgeons and first assistants. They also hold retractors, hold internal organs in place during the procedure, or set up robotic surgical equipment. Technologists also may handle specimens taken for laboratory analysis.

Focus on the details

These responsibilities aren’t simple, and that’s why proper training and attention to detail are so important. To be truly successful, surgical techs have to be detail oriented with the medical equipment used, understand the medical terminology and procedures that are done, and have strong communication skills.

Given all of this, it’s easy to tell why the surgical tech is sometimes referred to as the surgeon’s right-hand person. In addition, it’s important to remember that the specific instruments and equipment depend on the surgical procedure itself. The surgical tech must have detailed knowledge of a wide range of instruments, as well as the surgical procedure, in order to meet the needs of the surgeon.

Expect the unexpected

An operating room can be a high-pressure, high-stress environment, and the entire surgical team must always be prepared for surprises. Even when two procedures are the same, the surgeries may be very different. A great surgical tech must be thinking one step ahead; this includes anticipating what the surgeon might ask for next and being alert for any complication.

As part of their vigilance, surgical techs must expect the unexpected. They must be able to think quickly and be prepared to respond immediately. For example, when one hospital experienced a blackout and emergency generator failure, a surgical tech gathered cell phones to provide enough light for the surgeon to complete the patient’s emergency appendectomy.

We’re here before, during, and after each assignment

At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in the recruitment and placement of healthcare professionals in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. We know how important surgical techs are before, during, and after surgery, so call us at 310.436.3650 when you’re ready for your next assignment. We would love to work with you!