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The operating room is not just for doctors and nurses.

Surgical technologists play a major role in high tech operating rooms across the country. They work under the supervision of surgeons. Also called scrubs and surgical or operating room technicians, they pass instruments, hold retractors, cut sutures and help count sponges, needles, supplies, and instruments.

Surgical technologists may also set up the operating rooms, run sterilizers, operate suction machines and help operate diagnostic equipment. After surgery, they restock and sterilize the operating room.

As the number of surgeries increases to meet the needs of our aging population, so will the opportunities for surgical technologists. Employment for this field is expected to grow 25% between 2008 and 2018, which is faster than average. In addition, medical advances and high-tech devices will allow surgical technologists to assist with a greater number of procedures.

Hospitals will continue to be the primary employer although much faster employment growth is expected in doctors’ offices and outpatient care centers, including ambulatory surgical facilities.

Do you have the discipline, concentration and stamina needed to succeed in this growing field?

As important members of the operating room team, surgical technologists spend most of their day on their feet. They may have to be at work very early in the morning as well as at night and on weekends. They must perform well under pressure and keep a cool head.

A career as a surgical technologist could be right for you if you:

  • Are well organized and can keep track of details
  • Are not squeamish about watching surgery
  • Have good hand-eye coordination
  • Work well in a team
  • Work well under pressure
  • Can quickly respond to multiple requests
  • Can communicate clearly and concisly 

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