Surgical technologists are a part of the surgical team composed of
surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses and other surgical
personnel. They help the surgeon put on gloves and gowns; place
instruments, supplies, and equipment on sterile tables and stands; and
pass instruments and supplies to the surgeon.
Surgical technologists also assume primary responsibilities for
maintaining the sterile field. They may assist surgeons in the retraction
of tissues, cutting sutures, and operating special surgical equipment.
Surgical technologists must work with speed, accuracy, skill and
concentration. They also must work well under pressure, be able to stand
for long periods of time, and respond effectively and efficiently to
Most surgical technologists work in hospitals, but some may work in
surgical centers or physician offices.
High School Preparation:
Individuals interested in surgical technology should prepare themselves by
taking high school courses in algebra, biology, chemistry, nurse aid
training, psychology, English, geometry, computer skills and health
occupations/ medical professions education.
Surgical technologists receive formal training in programs that last from
9 months to 2 years. Individuals in a 2-year program are eligible to
receive a certificate or an Associate Degree. Hospital based surgical
technology programs last from 6 months to 1 year and are for licensed
practical nurses or other health professionals with a medical background.
Certification is not always required but is accomplished by passing an
examination after completion of all program courses.
Students interested in surgical technology should contact schools for
information on admission and course of study.
For educational institutions in
offering this course of study
The job forecast is good for individuals interested in surgical
technology. It is estimated that career opportunities in this field will
grow by an average rate of 32% over the next 10 years. This is a growth
rate that is faster than the average rate for all professions in the
United States. It is estimated that a total of 25,000 jobs will be open
for this specialty by the year 2010.
Average Annual Salary
$28,300 - $38,400
Association of Surgical Technologists
7108-C South Alton Way
Englewood, CO 80112-2106
Phone: (303) 694-9130
Phone: (800) 637-7433
Fax: (303) 694-9169
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