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Surgical Assistant or Technologist

Overview and Key Facts

Navy surgical technician handing surgical team instruments during an operation.
Education
Education
Associates Degree with Specialty Certification
Median Pay
Median Pay
$48,530
Job Growth
Job Growth
5.90%
(Above US Average)
Jobs in 2031
Jobs in 2031
117,200

What Do They Do?

A surgical assistant could...

Overview Listen to this section

Every surgical procedure, whether minor or major, requires a team of detail-oriented professionals, including the surgical technologist. From cleaning and setting up surgical equipment to assisting the medical team, the surgical technologist helps each surgery run smoothly. Job opportunities for surgical technologists continue to grow with advances in surgical techniques and technology.

Hear about the daily tasks and joys of being a surgical technologist from the point of view of three surgical techs.

Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of a Surgical Assistant or Technologist?


  1. Monitoring: ?
  2. Active Listening: ?
  3. Operation Monitoring: ?
  4. Coordination: ?
  5. Critical Thinking: ?

Core Tasks

Think about if you'd like the typical tasks a Surgical Assistant or Technologist might do:
  • Maintain a proper sterile field during surgical procedures.
  • Count sponges, needles, and instruments before and after operation.
  • Scrub arms and hands and assist the surgical team to scrub and put on gloves, masks, and surgical clothing.
  • Prepare patients for surgery, including positioning patients on the operating table and covering them with sterile surgical drapes to prevent exposure.
  • Provide technical assistance to surgeons, surgical nurses, or anesthesiologists.
  • Hand instruments and supplies to surgeons and surgeons' assistants, hold retractors and cut sutures, and perform other tasks as directed by surgeon during operation.
  • Prepare, care for, and dispose of tissue specimens taken for laboratory analysis.
  • Wash and sterilize equipment, using germicides and sterilizers.
  • Monitor and continually assess operating room conditions, including patient and surgical team needs.
  • Operate, assemble, adjust, or monitor sterilizers, lights, suction machines, or diagnostic equipment to ensure proper operation.
  • Prepare dressings or bandages and apply or assist with their application following surgery.
  • Clean and restock operating room, gathering and placing equipment and supplies and arranging instruments according to instructions, such as a preference card.
  • Order surgical supplies.

Salary & Job Openings

Steps to Get There: Becoming a Surgical Assistant or Technologist

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On the Job

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