What is a Surgical Tech?

A surgical technologist is an allied health professional who works closely with surgeons, registered nurses and other medical staff to ensure that surgeries are performed safely and effectively.

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Job Description

A Surgical Tech is a member of the surgical team who works under the supervision of a licensed surgeon to ensure that the operating room is clean and sterile, the instruments are prepared and functioning properly, and the patient is ready for surgery.


A surgical technologist, also called a scrub, scrubs in to most surgeries. Scrubs are an important part of the surgical team. They prepare the operating room and the patient for surgery. They also hand the surgeon instruments during surgery.

Surgical technologists work in operating rooms, labor and delivery rooms, outpatient surgery centers and other areas of the hospital. They might work evenings, nights, weekends or holidays.


Surgical techs must have excellent people skills. They work closely with patients, surgeons, and other members of the surgical team. Techs must be able to put patients at ease and answer their questions. They also must be able to work well under pressure.


A surgical tech, also called a surgical technologist, is an allied health professional who works alongside surgeons, registered nurses, and other surgical staff in the operating room (OR). surgical techs are responsible for providing patient care before, during, and after surgery. They prepare the operating room for surgery and make sure that all of the necessary equipment is sterile and working properly.


The median pay for a Surgical Technologist is $17.21 per hour. A skill in Sterile Processing is associated with high pay for this job. Most people with this job move on to other positions after 20 years in this career.

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##according to Glassdoor, the median salary for a Surgical Tech is $47,272 per year.

Education and Training

Most surgical tech programs are associate’s degree programs that last about two years. These programs include both classroom and laboratory instruction in subjects such as medical ethics, sterilization techniques, and physiology.


There are certification programs available that can help you become a surgical tech, but they are not required in all states. These voluntary certification programs are usually offered by professional organizations, such as the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting or the Liaison Council on Certification for the Surgical Technologist. To be eligible for certification, you must have graduated from an accredited surgical technology program and pass a written exam.

On-the-job training

Many surgical techs receive on-the-job training, which can last from several months to a year. During this time, they work under the supervision of experienced surgical techs and learn the skills needed to perform their job. Some surgical tech programs include an externship, which gives students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a real-world setting.

Job outlook

The surgical technologist job outlook is excellent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that surgical technologist employment will grow much faster than the average for all occupations from 2016 to 2026. In 2016, there were about 106,000 surgical technologists in the United States. By 2026, the BLS expects this number to rise to about 148,000.

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Pros and cons

Surgical technicians, also called operating room technicians or scrub techs, work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists and registered nurses during operations. They prepare operating rooms and equipment, passing sterile instruments to surgeons during procedures and making sure that the operating room is clean once the operation is finished.

Most surgical techs have completed a postsecondary education program in surgical technology. Although certification is not required for employment, it may improve job prospects. Surgical techs typically work full time and may be on call for evenings or weekends.

-Close interaction with surgeons and other medical staff
-Potential for career advancement
-Can work in a variety of medical settings
-Full-time hours are common

-Exposure to infectious diseases
-Risk of exposure to radation and other hazardous materials

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