A Surgical Technologist or Operating Room Technician is a second pair of hands to the surgeon. A surgical technologist assists the surgeon and other members of an operating room team. Surgical technologists prepare the operating room before a surgery takes place. They also move and prepare patients for surgery, arrange medical equipment, and assist doctors during procedures.

Skills required:

  • Stamina. It is a physically demanding job. Expect to spend long hours on your feet. Work hours could include nights, weekends and holidays. Shifts often last longer than eight hours.
  • Must be comfortable working with medical instruments
  • Need to able to understand instructions from surgeons and operating room team
  • Must be able to notice smallest details
  • Must be able to solve problems and think critically
  • Must be able to manage stress and work under pressure

Employers: Since surgical technologists support the surgeon in an operating room, most surgical technologists work in hospitals.

Education: Students are eligible to sit for the national certification examination offered by The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.

Job Outlook: Employment for surgical technologists is expected to grow by 12% over the next decade relative to other occupations. The growth is driven by technological developments that are increasing the number of surgeries performed, as well as aging baby boomers in need of surgeries. This growth rate compares to the projected 7% average growth for all occupations between 2016 and 2026.

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