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Being a surg tech can be incredibly rewarding; but it is no easy task. There are key qualities that the most highly sought after surg techs possess.  If you want to be the kind of surg tech that every hospital and surgeon wants to work with, here’s what you should be able to do…

  1. Have confidence about your knowledge, your skills, and yourself.

Surgical Techs are involved in surgery for a reason and definitely bring value to the table. Their specialized knowledge compliments the knowledge and skills of the surgeon as well as everyone else in the OR. Because of this, they are highly trusted and depended on which is crucial in the OR because unexpected things can happen. Great surg techs are comfortable with expecting the unexpected. They’re confident that they have the ability and skills to do their job well whether the surgery goes exactly as planned or not.

To take this even further, it’s important to have thick skin in this career, especially during unexpected occurrences in surgery. Stakes are high in the OR and that can create a high-stress environment for everyone involved. Knowing what stress can do to people, it’s possible that some surgeons may share their thoughts and frustrations in a completely unfiltered manner if something unexpected happens. It’s also possible that their frustrations may be about or directed towards the surg tech in the room. The best surg techs can take angry criticism, learn from it, and let it roll off their back without it affecting their performance or confidence in what they know they can do.

  1. Be observant and adaptable.

Different surgeons may use different terminology or have a different way of doing things that other surgeons. Staying present in the surgery and being meticulously observant keeps top surg techs at the top. They always know where they are in the surgery and what comes next to make it easier to follow what’s going on and what needs to be done, regardless of what the surgeon is saying or doing.

This next piece may come with time, but getting to know the surgeons (their tendencies, their pace, their personality and behavior) is what sets top surg techs apart from average surg techs. Most surgeons don’t want to feel like they need to hold a surg techs hand in surgery and walk them through the steps. Surgeons will expect their surg techs to anticipate exactly what they want and need at any point of the surgery without them having to explain themselves.This can get tricky when working with new surgeons or working with a multitude of different surgeons because chances are each surgeon handles the same procedure a little differently. The best surg techs will know that and be ready to adapt to any surgeon or hospital.

3.  Have a calm, no-drama sense about you

Surgery is intense enough as it is. A great surg tech will be a calming force in the room and be able to keep tension as low as possible. Being anything but calm may distract the surgeon (or other medical professionals in the room) and make him or her lose focus on the task at hand. If something goes wrong in the surgery, the surg tech should be able to remain in a calm state and leave the expressive dramatizations to the soap operas on TV.

So there you have it! The (not so) secrets of being an exceptional surg tech! If you know you already have these qualities then you are well on your way to being a top surg tech that anyone would love to work with! Enjoy the exciting ride that being a surg tech provides.  But …. calmly 😉

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