What is Surgical Technology?

Operation room with surgeons performing surgery

Surgical Technology is the field of study encompassed by health professionals who work as a team to deliver surgical care. Surgical technicians, also known as surgical technologists, are members of an operating room team who work under the authority of a surgeon.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Surgical Technician

Surgical Technicians are active before surgery, during surgery, and after surgery. The roles and responsibilities are as followed:

Before Surgery

Prepare patient by sterilizing the area around the wound or where the incision is being made, sterilize equipment and instruments.

During Surgery

Provide operating surgeon with the appropriate instruments when requested, may be asked to hold organs in place.

After Surgery

Provide sterile clothing for the patient, transfer patient from operating room to recovery room.

Other roles include maintaining operating rooms, ordering supplies, and maintaining files and records of procedures.

Why Pursue a Career in Surgical Technology?

Quick Field Entry

Unlike many other careers in healthcare, being a Surgical Technician only requires a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree. The surgical technology associate’s degree program at Eastwick is extremely hands-on and includes both classroom and clinical training. It takes on average 18 months to graduate from this program taking day time classes.

High Demand

According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 70% of Surgical Technicians were employed in hospitals in 2016. Opportunities in this field are projected to grow 12% through 2026. It’s also said that as the Baby Boomer Generation ages, these individuals will require more medical attention from healthcare professionals.


A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the median salary in 2016 for those in surgical technology is $45,160, which is above the average of all median occupations, being $37,040. Like any other position, the higher up you move, the more you make. Being promoted to the position of “Surgical First Assistant” would come with a pay raise. A Surgical First Assistant is equivalent to being the surgeon’s “right-hand man”.