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Surgical technologists, or surgical technicians, are individuals who assist surgeons and nurses in operating rooms across the country. From handling surgical equipment to preparing the operating room, surgical technologists play a major role in the millions of surgeries that take place every year. With small surgeries like tonsillectomies to majo triple bypass heart surgery, it’s no wonder the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said the demand for the technicians is set to grow 12% by 2026.
Are you ready to pursue this growing and impactful career? Here are 4 traits you should have in order to be a successful surgical technician:
No matter the complexity of the procedure you’re assisting in, a surgical technologist must be able to handle the demands of any surgery. Operating rooms present high-pressure situations where just one wrong move can have a grave effect on the patient. Technicians are an integral part of these surgeries, and if you do not manage stress well, then you may want to pursue a different path. However, if you're the type of person that thrives in situations like these, who works well under pressure, then you might already be on the right track.
A good surgical technician is an attentive listener, ready to act on orders from surgeons and nurses during surgery. While the surgeons and nurses are the leaders of any surgical procedure, it is up to the Surgical Technologist to be alert and predict what is going to happen next in the surgical room. This job requires you to be on your toes and ready to change course at a moment’s notice. Without the skill of adaptability, you will likely only impede the efforts of the rest of the surgical staff.
Communication is key for each member of the surgical team. If someone fails to communicate properly, it could prove detrimental to the patient. As a surgical technician, you will not only need to be an active listener but also an effective communicator to quickly and efficiently convey your message. It is also important to “read the room” and know when it is appropriate to speak and when it’s best to wait until a task is complete before interrupting.
There is a reason they call the staff in the operating room the surgical “team.” Each individual has their role to play in tandem with everyone else to ensure tasks and the patient are taken care of. Surgical Technicians play an important part on this team by not only completing their assigned duties, but also keeping a watchful eye on fellow staff and the patient, always ready to jump in and help when needed. A successful operating room means each member of the surgical team is in sync.
Do these characteristics describe you? Then you may be a great candidate for a medical career as a Surgical Technician. At CHCP, we offer extensive training from knowledgeable professors, hands-on training through externships, and job placement assistance upon graduation. Read more about our Surgical Technology Associates Degree, offered at our Houston Northwest, Austin, and Northwest San Antonio campuses, on our website.