Surgical Scrub Technician

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A surgical scrub technician is just another name for a surgical technician. The word “scrub” refers to how the technician ensures that all surgical instruments are sanitized and prepared for the surgeon before use. Most educational institutions and hospitals simply refer to this position as the surgical technician, operating room technician, or sometimes even just the word “scrub.”

Surgical Scrub Technician Training

Attending accredited surgical technician schools will help prepare you for a career working alongside surgeons and operating room nurses. During a surgical technician training program, you will be required to study many different areas of medical science. Some of the courses that may be required include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medical Laws & Ethics
  • Microbiology
  • Sterilization, Asepsis, and Surgical Instrumentation
  • Different types of surgery

After completing your coursework, many surgical scrub technician training programs require hands on experience. One way new surgical scrub technicians get operating room experience is through mock surgeries. After several courses of performing mock surgery, an externship in an actual medical facility may be required before you can be licensed/certified.

Surgical Scrub Technician Duties

The main role of the surgical scrub technician is to support the surgical team during a surgery. The surgical scrub technician does not ever actually operate on a patient. Instead he/she assists the team by helping the operating room function well and flow smoothly. Most of the duties include providing surgical materials (gauze, thread, etc.) and being able to anticipate the needs of the surgeon so there is minimal waiting. With every surgery, there is always risk. By helping the surgery flow more smoothly and allowing the surgeon(s) to operate more quickly, the surgical scrub technician can help reduce surgery time and minimize risk.

Surgical Scrub Technician Salary

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual surgical scrub technician salary is $39,920, or about $19 per hour. The BLS has indicated that some surgical scrub technicians can earn as much as $57,330 annually in some areas. The BLS also projects a 19% growth of surgical scrub technician jobs between 2010 and 2010. This increase is average compared to other occupations in the country.