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How to Become a Surgical Tech

Surgical techs are important to the medical community. These professionals are responsible for the appropriation and preparation of surgical instruments and equipment. They ensure the operating room is ready for procedures. They may be responsible for assembling equipment, as well as monitoring instruments during a surgical procedure. Working mostly in hospitals and outpatient surgical centers, they know how to operate suction machines, may cut sutures and apply dressings.


Surgical techs have specialized training. They are not only expected to be familiar with the latest medical tools, equipment and procedures. They must have a thorough understanding of physiology and anatomy, and aseptic techniques. They will need to know how to efficiently sterilize an area and ensure equipment functions properly. They have to assist the medical staff in all aspects of an operation. They can also be responsible for the pre- and post-care care of patients, including handling the signing of consent forms, reviewing charts and ensuring treatment aligns with surgical preparations, and transport of patients to and from operating rooms.

The qualified surgical tech will impress with their communicative skills, as being able to receive and relay detailed instruction will be critical to patient care.

Education Requirements

While studies in sciences like biology will be helpful, the interested party should be looking at, the very least, an Associate’s in Surgical Technology. While many employers might be willing to go with a talented candidate that has successfully completed a certificate program, there are greater career opportunities if you have a degree. Certification programs can take about a year to complete. An exam will be required and the certificate will likely need to be renewed every few years.

Online schools and programs have become a great resource for study in the field. More and more accredited schools are turning to the Internet, providing a level of coursework that aligns with onsite class work. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs has a list of solid educational programs in any area with surgical tech programs. Of course, online schools offer the great advantage of not being limited by region. Attend a school of your choice with a curriculum that fits any schedule.

Clinical work will also be expected of the prospective surgical tech. Hands-on experience working with and studying under clinicians at a hospital or community clinic will provide an edge when looking for a job.

Continue Your Education

This is a field with constantly evolving technology and practices. Visit The Liaison Council on Certification for Surgical Techs website and stay abreast of available classes. An educated surgical tech is an invaluable asset.