Celebrating Surgical Technologist Week 2015

Sept. 20-26 marks National Surgical Technologist Week, and that means another occasion to celebrate both Trocaire’s own Surgical Technology program and the profession in general.

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The Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) first designated this week in 1984 as a way to honor surgical technologists and publicize the importance of the work they do. On its website, the AST calls surgical technologists “an integral part of the team of medical practitioners providing surgical care to patients.”

“Surgical technologists work under the supervision of a surgeon to facilitate the safe and effective conduct of invasive surgical procedures, ensuring that the operating room environment is safe, that equipment functions properly, and that the operative procedure is conducted under conditions that maximize patient safety,” the AST explains.

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Day-to-day duties of a surgical technologist include:

  • Checks supplies and equipment needed for surgical procedure
  • Scrubs, gowns, and gloves and sets up sterile table with instruments, supplies, equipment, and medications/solutions needed for procedure
  • Performs appropriate counts with circulator prior to the operation and before incision is closed
  • Gowns and gloves surgeon and assistants and helps in draping sterile field
  • Passes instruments, etc., to surgeon during procedure
  • Maintains highest standard of sterile technique during procedure
  • Prepares sterile dressings and cleans and prepares instruments for terminal sterilization
  • Assists other members of the surgical team with terminal cleaning of room and prepping room for the next patient

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The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the job outlook for surgical technologists will increase 30 percent from 2012-2022, a much faster rate than the average for all occupations. The median pay is about $40,800 per year, or $20 per hour.

Trocaire’s Surgical Technology student are celebrating this week by volunteering to speak at Public School #197 (the Math Science Technology Preparatory School), located at 666 East Delavan Ave. in Buffalo. The students will speak about what it takes to be a surgical technologist and their experiences as students currently attending Trocaire.

Trocaire’s surgical technology program currently offers an associate’s degree through both daytime and evening classes and a variety of Western New York clinical sites. Soon, Dr. Linda Kerwin, program director and dean of Health Professions, hopes to add a Rochester location to her students’ clinical options—Rochester General Hospital.

There is currently a tentative agreement to begin allowing Trocaire students to complete their clinical hours there as early as Spring 2016. Kerwin also has the framework in place to offer surgical technology courses at Trocaire’s Transit Road location, pending interest from the program’s enrollees.

Kerwin said the goal behind expanding the offerings is to offer more options for students—for instance, someone coming from Genesee County could travel to Williamsville for their classes and then do their clinical hours in Rochester if that were easier for them.

“It’s all about looking ahead to the future and doing the best we can for our students,” she said.

For more information about Trocaire’s Surgical Technology program, click here!