SURGICAL TECHNOLOGISTS, called scrubs and surgical or operating room technicians, assist in surgical operations under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, and surgical personnel. They are members of operating room teams, which include surgeons, anesthesiologists, and circulating nurses. Surgical technologists pass instruments, sponges, sutures, and other sterile supplies to the surgeon. They help apply dressings and prepare specimens taken for laboratory analysis. Technologists must respond quickly and know procedures well so they have instruments ready for surgeons.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $40,000 average per year ($19.25 per hour)
- A medium occupation (92,300 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow rapidly (2.5% per year)
SURGICAL TECHNOLOGISTS receive their training in formal programs offered by community and junior colleges, vocational schools, universities, hospitals, and the military. High school graduation is normally required for admission. Programs last from nine months to two years and lead to a certificate, diploma, or associate degree. High school courses should include health, biology, chemistry, and mathematics. Surgical technologists are expected to keep up-to-date on new developments in the field. Technologists may obtain voluntary professional certification from the Liaison Council on Certification for the Surgical Technologist.