September 19 – 25, 2021 is National Surgical Technologists Week! In honor of the profession and its vital role in ensuring safe operating rooms, let’s “unlock” what it takes to become a surgical technologist. 

What is a surgical technologist?

A surgical technologist, also known as a surgical assistant, scrub technologist, or operating room technician, is a health professional whose primary function is preparing an operating room for a patient’s surgery. 

Surgical technologists work alongside surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists to deliver care before, during, and occasionally after surgery. They are responsible for setting up the operating room, arranging necessary equipment, and even assisting physicians, according to WebMD

What do surgical technologists do? 

Surgical technologists’ duties before an operation include 

  • Testing and setting up surgical instruments 
  • Gathering and preparing sterile solutions or medications as requested by the surgical team 
  • Transporting patients to the operating room and ensuring they are comfortable prior to beginning surgical procedures 

During the operation, a surgical technologist might assist with 

  • Cleaning and disinfecting any incision sites 
  • Supplying the surgeon with sterilized instruments 
  • Holding organs in place 

After the operation, a surgical technologist can assist with 

  • Patient aftercare 
  • Transporting patients to recovery rooms 
  • Restocking the operating room 

What are the necessary educations, skills, and training?

Surgical technology programs are designed to provide aspiring surgical techs with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the profession. These programs generally last from anywhere between six months to two years. 

According to WebMD, the process to becoming a surgical tech involves 

  • Taking classes in the sciences and learning about patient safety, infection prevention, and surgical equipment 
  • Earning a diploma, certificate, or associate degree from an accredited surgical technology program  
  • Taking part in supervised surgical technology clinicals 

What is the current job outlook for surgical technologists?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of surgical technologists will grow by about 9 percent in the next decade. 

As of May 2020, the median pay for a surgical technologist was nearly $50,000. 

Who can I talk to if I am interested in joining a surgical tech team? 

Great question! Reach out to Green Key Healthcare for the latest insights about surgical technologists and other hot jobs in healthcare. Our team is committed to connecting current and future healthcare professionals with their dream roles.  

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Green Key
Jun 6, 2023

Wide Scale Testing Beginning for COVID-19 Vaccines

Researchers are making so much progress in developing a vaccine against COVID-19 that the first wide-scale testing could begin in a matter of weeks.

The New York Times Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker says a vaccine developed by the 10-year-old biotech company Moderna expects to start wide-scale testing this month. If it does, it would mark an almost unprecedented acceleration of the clinical testing process.

Typically, testing and approving a new vaccine takes two or three years. Sometimes more. But under the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed, Modena received a fast-track designation from the Food and Drug Administration. It also got a $483 million award to further its Covid-19 vaccine.

Through its Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker The Times is updating the status of all the vaccines that have reached human testing, along with a selection of promising vaccines still being tested in cells or animals. Because of the number and especially speed at which bioscience and pharmaceutical firms are moving to develop a successful vaccine, the Tracker is being updated almost every day.

The World Health Organization lists 149 different vaccine projects underway worldwide. 17 are in clinical evaluation, meaning they are being tested in humans, either in small groups to ensure their safety and basic efficacy, or in hundreds to see the effect among different age groups.

The Vaccine Tracker lists five vaccine candidates that are in or about to launch Phase III testing, the broadest testing category where thousands of volunteers are enlisted to determine if the vaccine is widely effective and how well it protects people from becoming infected. That’s the test Moderna expects to begin soon.

A vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford is already in Phase III testing in Brazil and South Africa and is in a simultaneous Phase II and III study in Europe. This program, like Moderna’s, is part of Operation Warp Speed.

The Vaccine Tracker lists two Chinese firms – Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm – as ready to soon start broad testing of their respective vaccines. Sinopharm’s testing will be conducted in the United Arab Emirates. Sinovac plans to conduct its Phase III study in China and Brazil.

A fifth vaccine, which is not a vaccine specifically for COVID-19, but a sort of immune system booster, is being tested in Australia. Bacillus Calmette-Guerin, a vaccine originally developed for tuberculosis, has been found over its 100 year history to help fight off other types of infections and parasites. The Phase III testing will determine if it also helps protect against COVID-19.

Image by Angelo Esslinger


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Green Key