Surgical Technician Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Surgical Technician, or Surgical Technologist assists Surgeons and other healthcare professionals during surgeries. Their duties include preparing the operating room for surgery, preparing patients for surgery and sterilising surgical equipment. 


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Surgical Technician duties and responsibilities

The Surgical Technician plays a vital role before, during and after a surgical procedure. Their daily duties and responsibilities include:

  • Maintaining a sterile environment in the operating rooms 
  • Checking and verifying the list of instruments and surgical supplies before the procedure
  • Preparing patients for surgery, including washing and disinfecting incision sites and applying sterile drapes on the patient
  • Passing instruments and other surgical supplies to the Surgeon and other health professionals during operations
  • Ensuring patients receive excellent care before, during and after surgery
  • Improving the efficiency of Surgeons and other professionals in the operating rooms
  • Stocking adequate supplies for surgeries based on the Surgeon’s preferences 


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What does a Surgical Technician do?

Surgical Technicians help patients get ready for the procedure by preparing equipment and rooms. Surgical Technicians make sure that all of the equipment needed for the surgery is properly assembled and disinfected. They also make sure that the equipment is functional and in good condition. Surgical Technicians usually work in a hospital setting, outpatient settings and sometimes in an emergency department. 


Surgical Technician skills and qualifications

A successful Surgical Technician candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications needed to perform their duties effectively. These include: 

  • Exceptional knowledge of surgical technology and surgical procedures
  • In-depth understanding of medical terminology
  • Knowledge of surgical instrumentation
  • Knowledge of patient care
  • Understanding of aseptic technique and cardiopulmonary resuscitation 
  • Excellent collaboration and organisational skills
  • Active listening and time management skills 
  • Attention to detail


Surgical Technician experience requirements

A strong foundation in pharmacology, medical terminology, biology and anatomy is required for a Surgical Technician position. Most employers prefer candidates with proven work experience in operating room procedures. Some employers prefer candidates who have experience in pre-operation and post-operation procedures, such as positioning patients and sterilising incision sites. Other employers prefer candidates who have worked or volunteered in the NHS or charitable medical organisations. Surgical Technicians with formal training often get some level of hands-on experience as part of their studies, although employers may still need to provide in-house training. 


Surgical Technician education and training requirements

A Surgical Technicians can gain employment with a university course such as a Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science. Some employers consider candidates with A-levels in biology and chemistry. They may also consider candidates who have completed a healthcare science intermediate apprenticeship or higher apprenticeship. Other employers consider candidates who only have GCSEs or equivalent, but they must have the relevant skills and experience. Employers usually provide on-the-job training for applicants with no work experience. 


Surgical Technician salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a Surgical Technician in the UK is £33,306 per year. Actual salary varies depending on factors, including the employer, its geographical location, the candidate’s experience and qualifications. 


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Surgical Technician job description FAQs


What makes a good Surgical Technician?

Surgical Technicians must be able to function effectively in the operating room. Surgical Technicians must  be attentive and be able to anticipate the needs of Surgeons, Anaesthetists and other members of the operating room. They must be able to accept criticism with a positive attitude. without feedback without losing their temper. Surgical Technicians should be able to adapt appropriately, based on the flow of each procedure. They should also be good team players.


How can you make your Surgical Technician job description stand out?

To make your Surgical Technician job description stand out, describe your ideal candidate with the skills, education and experience they should have as well as the behaviour traits they need to fit into your company’s culture. For example, if your company’s culture places a value on individuals who don’t take themselves too seriously or have play-hard/work-hard mindset, indicate that in your job description. 

To really make your company’s job description stand out, include some information about how the applicant can advance in a few months to a year. If possible, include specific metrics that the candidate in the position must achieve, as well as details about potential growth opportunities for greater leadership or autonomy. This type of information usually gets the attention of career-driven individuals and it shows that your organisation promotes from within. 


Who does a Surgical Technician report to?

Depending on the exact work environment, a Surgical Technician can report to the Department Head of the surgical sterilisation unit, the Surgeon, Medical Director or other senior employees at the company or organisation.

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