Surgical Technology Career Information
Surgical Technologists are allied health professionals who are an integral part of the surgical team. Their primary role is to work with surgeons, anesthesia care professionals, registered nurses, and other surgical technologists in delivering patient care and assuming appropriate responsibilities before, during, and after surgery. Specifically, surgical technologists:
- Apply and maintain the principles of sterile technique and safety in the operating room.
- Prepare, handle, sterilize, and care for surgical instruments, supplies, and equipment.
- Set up instrumentation, equipment, and supplies for various surgical procedures.
- Prepare and pass surgical instruments, medications, and supplies to the surgeon.
- Anticipate the surgeon’s needs by analyzing the progress of the surgical procedure.
Surgical Technology Profession Essential Functions
The following is used as a guideline for the prospective student so that he/she may understand the requirements and essential job functions necessary for successful completion of the Surgical Technology Program. This list is not all-inclusive, but rather provides some detail of the basic requirements of the profession of surgical technology. Surgical technologists must be able to:
- Stand, bend, stoop, and/or sit for long periods of time in one location with minimal or no breaks.
- Bend, twist, and lift a minimum of 50 pounds.
- Function without nourishment or rest room breaks for up to eight hours.
- Demonstrate sufficient visual ability to load a fine suture onto needles with or without corrective lenses and while wearing protective eyewear.
- Demonstrate sufficient peripheral vision to anticipate and function while in the sterile surgical environment.
- Hear and understand muffled communication without visualization of the communicator’s mouth/lips and within 20 feet with significant background noise.
- Hear activation/warning signals on equipment.
- Detect odors sufficient to maintain environmental safety and patient needs.
- Manipulate instruments, supplies, and equipment with speed, dexterity, and exceptional eye-hand coordination.
- Ambulate/move around the surgical environment without assistive devices.
- Assist with, and/or lift, move, position, and manipulate, with or without assistive devices, the patient who is unconscious.
- Communicate and understand fluent English both verbally and in writing.
- Be free of reportable communicable diseases and chemical abuse.
- Function without allergic reaction in an environment with substantial latex exposure.
- Demonstrate immunity to rubella, rubeola, tuberculosis, varicella, hepatitis B, and other diseases according to CDC guidelines and clinical site requirements.
- Possess short- and long-term memory sufficient to perform tasks such as, but not limited to, mentally tracking surgical supplies and performing anticipation skills intraoperatively.
- Demonstrate the use of positive coping skills under stress.
- Demonstrate calm and effective responses, especially in emergency situations.
- Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills during interactions with patients, staff, and faculty members.
- Make appropriate judgment decisions in surgical patient care situations.
If the applicant is unable to perform any of the designated tasks, upon request DSU will make reasonable accommodations if these accommodations do not constitute an undue hardship on DSU and if those accommodations do not interfere with the performance of any essential job functions of a surgical technologist.
For more information on wages and employment outlook, please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook on Surgical Technology at: