STEM Forward >>> The Pathway to Career Success - Where is the scalpel?

Surgical Technologists

Someone has to make sure that the Surgeon has the rights tools. In this episode, we take a look at Surgical Technologist.

Surgical technologists typically do the following:

  • Prepare operating rooms for surgery
  • Sterilize equipment and make sure that there are adequate supplies for surgery
  • Ready patients for surgery, such as by washing and disinfecting incision sites
  • Help surgeons during surgery by passing them instruments and other sterile supplies
  • Count supplies, such as surgical instruments, to ensure that no foreign objects are retained in patients
  • Maintain a sterile environment to prevent patient infection

The median annual wage for surgical technologists was $48,300 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,420, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $71,400.

In May 2019, the median annual wages for surgical technologists in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Outpatient care centers  $51,840

Hospitals; state, local, and private $48,010

Offices of physicians $47,640

Offices of dentists $46,090

Most surgical technologists work full time. Surgical technologists employed in hospitals may work or be on call during nights, weekends, and holidays. They may also be required to work shifts lasting longer than 8 hours.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Surgical Technologists, on the Internet at (visited October 25, 2020).

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