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Surgical Technologist

Become a vital part of the operating room team

Did you know that today there are more people than ever who require health care services? This means that there are more career opportunities in the health care industry than ever before.

Surgical Technologists (also called surgical techs, operating room technicians and OR techs) assist in surgical operations, preparing operating rooms and assisting surgeons, nurses and physicians before and during surgical procedures.

Advances in medical technology have made surgery safer, and more operations are being done to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries. In addition, the number of individuals who have access to health insurance is expected to continue to increase because of federal health insurance reform, which should in turn lead to increased demand for surgical services. As a result, there is an increasing need for trained Surgical Technologists.

The aging of the large Baby Boomer generation also is expected to increase the need for Surgical Technologists, because older people usually require more operations. Moreover, as these individuals age, they may be more willing than those in previous generations to seek medical treatment to improve their quality of life. For example, an individual may decide to have a knee replacement operation in order to maintain an active lifestyle.

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Job Growth Outlook:

Employment of Surgical Technologists is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Several factors will lead to demand for Surgical Technologists.

Advances in medical technology have made surgery safer, and more operations are being done to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries. In addition, the number of individuals who have access to health insurance is expected to continue to increase because of federal health insurance reform, which should in turn lead to increased demand for surgical services.

Surgical Technologists

Percent change in employment, projected 2016-26*

Surgical Technologist
12%
Health technologists and technicians
14%
Total, all occupations
7%
Number of Jobs, 2016:
107,700
Employment Change, 2016-26:
12,600
Job Growth Outlook:(Faster than average)
12%

Surgical Technologist Overview

Surgical Technologists, also called operating room technicians, prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment, and assist doctors during surgeries. Surgical Technologists are responsible for preparing the operating room by setting up surgical instruments and equipment, preparing patients for surgery, helping the surgical team put on sterile gowns and gloves, and preparing sterile solutions and medications used in surgery.

Once the operation is complete, surgical technologists may apply bandages and other dressings to the incision site. They may also help transfer patients to recovery rooms and restock operating rooms after a procedure.

Surgical Technologists routinely perform a variety of important tasks, including:

  • Preparing operating rooms for surgery.
  • Sterilizing equipment and make sure that there are adequate supplies for surgery.
  • Reading patients for surgery, such as by washing and disinfecting incision sites.
  • Helping surgeons during surgery by passing them instruments and other sterile supplies.
  • Counting supplies, such as sponges and instruments.
  • Maintaining a sterile environment.

The Surgical Technologist program at North-West College is a career-focused program that teaches technical skills and provides the hands-on training experience required to begin working with surgeons, anesthesiologists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, registered nurses and other surgical personnel as a member of a surgical team.

The Surgical Technologist program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP - www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA).

 

* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Surgical Technologists, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/surgical-technologists.htm (visited March 2019).

** North-West College cannot guarantee employment.

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The Surgical Technologist program is available at the following campuses:

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