From an early age, I dreamt about becoming a surgeon. As I grew older, I realized that I didn’t have the passion to complete the schooling to become a surgeon. After graduating high school, I took a year off and volunteered with FEMA to help with disaster relief. I realized during my time volunteering that I want to become a surgical technologist. Less schooling and I still get to be in the operating room. When I returned home after finishing my year of volunteer service, I got a job as a sterile processing technician to give myself relevant experience. My end goal is to travel and help with surgeries is developing countries.
Surgical technologists are a part of an operating room team, which include many individuals such as the surgeon(s), anesthesiologist and circulating nurse. They work under the supervision of the surgeon. Before an operation begins, the surgical technologist helps prepare the operating room by setting up sterile surgical instruments and the equipment/supplies. They also make sure everything is working properly. The surgical technologists also assist the surgeon with putting on his/her gown and gloves, as well as assisting the surgeon in placing the sterile drapes on the patient to create the sterile field.
During the surgical procedure, the surgical technologist is responsible for predicting the needs of the surgeon by passing instruments and providing needed supplies like sponges, performing counts of the instruments, receiving tissue specimens, and ensuring there are no breaks in sterile technique to prevent the patient from acquiring a surgical site infection. It makes the job of the surgeon easier when the surgical technologist is anticipating what move will happen next.
Surgical technologists may also fulfill the assistant circulator role. In this role, a technologist assists in transporting patients to the operating room, helps position the patient on the operating table and prepares the patient for surgery by shaving and disinfecting incision sites. During the procedure, the surgical technologist will assist with obtaining additional supplies that the first scrub surgical technologist needs, such as sponges or suture, assist with counts, provide sterile dressings at the end of the procedure, and assist with moving the patient from the operating room table to the stretcher for transport to the recovery room.