Surgical technologists, sometimes referred to as operating room technicians, assist the surgical team by preparing a patient for surgery, placing equipment and supplies in operating room, arranging instruments, and handing instruments to the surgeon during surgery and performing other supportive tasks.
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Surgical technologists work in hospitals and clinics. They are responsible for preparing the operating room for surgery including monitoring supplies, arranging equipment and instruments, assisting the surgical team with sterile gowns and gloves, handing instruments and supplies to the surgeon and counting sponges and other instruments before, during and after surgery. Surgical technologists are also responsible for sterilizing equipment and cleaning the operating room. They must be alert throughout operations and usually work a 40-hour work week. Technologists are sometimes on call and may work evenings, weekends and holidays on a rotation basis. Some surgical technologists may specialize in an area of surgery or they may work as a circulating technologist, who assists as an "unsterile" member of the surgical team. Circulating technologists perform a variety of tasks during surgeries including helping open packages and monitoring and assisting the needs and activities of the surgical team. Surgical technologists work under the supervision of an RN, and set up before surgery, pass instruments, cut sutures, maintain supplies and dispense fluids.
High school students should study health and the sciences. A high school diploma or equivalent is required for entry into training programs. Individuals receive training at accredited community and junior colleges, vocational and technical institutes or hospitals. Formal post secondary programs last 9 months or 2 years and lead to a certificate, diploma, or associate degree. Course work includes classes on anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, microbiology, ethics, medical terminology, instruction on instrument handling and sterilization, and infection control. Students who have successfully completed a formal training program may earn certification as a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) after passing a national certification exam.
Chippewa Valley Technical College
Gateway Technical College
Madison Area Technical College
Mid-State Technical College
Milwaukee Area Technical College
Milwaukee Career College
Moraine Park Technical College - Fond du Lac
Northcentral Technical College
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Waukesha County Technical College
Western Technical College
Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting
6 W. Dry Creek Circle, Suite 110
Littleton, CO, 80120-8031
Association of Surgical Technologists
6 W. Dry Creek Circle, Suite 200
Littleton, CO, 80120-8031
303/694-9130 or 800/637-7433
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
1361 Park St.
Clearwater, FL, 33756
National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting
: 6 West Dry Creek Circle, Suite 100
Littleton, CO, 80120
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