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What Skills Do Surgical Techs Need in a Digital Operating Room?

Advances in technology have brought many changes to healthcare, and the momentum is continuing. The operating rooms of the future will be very different than operating rooms of the past, and they’ll even be different from what we’re accustomed to today. What skills do surgical techs need for the digital operating rooms of tomorrow?

Strong Communication Skills

The OR can be hectic on a good day, and the patient’s life may hang in the balance. Tensions can run high, and there’s no room for error. Even in the most serious situations, surgical techs must be able to speak up, articulate concerns, and understand what others are saying. Anyone who’s ever been in this environment knows that one misunderstanding or misinterpretation in the operating room can have dire consequences.

Communication has always been important in the OR, and it will continue to be so. However, emerging technology will play a role in communication in the operating room of the future: with the help of new digital technologies, inefficiencies and frustrations can be quickly pinpointed to help OR teams work more effectively. This development has the potential to improve all aspects of the operating room.


Surgical techs have to be able to deal with stress, think on their feet, and solve problems. This includes being able to adapt to quickly-changing situations in the operating room. When unexpected things happen, they have to react quickly and calmly, no matter how intense the situation may be. Not surprisingly, that will still be true in the operating rooms of the future, but there will be a new element.

What if a patient’s situation suddenly becomes more serious? What if a minor procedure suddenly shifts and the patient requires major surgery? The OR of the future will change as the situation changes. In new hybrid operating rooms, doctors will be able to immediately shift from the less-invasive interventional procedure to open surgery.

Willingness to Learn

For surgical techs, learning isn’t limited to continuing education opportunities; learning happens during every shift. Surgical techs working with talented surgeons and dedicated nurses learn a lot, whether they’re discovering new techniques to repair the spine or assisting with a trauma victim. That will be true in the OR of the future, as well.

The OR of the future will involve new equipment and tools that maximize the use of technology to make surgery safer, less invasive, more efficient, and more effective. Examples include making it possible for a surgeon to control robot cameras with eye movements or creating a GPS-like map and projecting it onto a patient’s body to allow the surgeon to virtually see the anatomy for a more precise operation.

Today and in the Future

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’re here today, and we’ll be here when ORs are completely digital, too. We’ll be ready to help when you’re looking for your next assignment; just call us at 310.436.3650.