27 Jun 2009

Sample Essay: Pediatric Nursing.Allied Health Profession – Surgical Technologist

Allied health professions essentially include clinical healthcare professions that are not really medical and nursing professions but can be said to be allies in the healthcare team. Such professionals work together to ensure proper functioning of the health care system. Some professions of this kind include athletic training, medical physics, dental hygiene, diagnostic medical sonography, technicians, medical technologists, medical laboratory technicians, medical assistants , medical coders and billers, electrocardiographic technicians, hemodialysis medical secretaries, nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy, nuclear medicine technology, physical therapy, radiography, radiation therapy, respiratory therapy, speech therapy, and ultrasound. The way this profession id defined however varies from country to country. Surgical Technology is a significant occupational area belonging to this group. The job of a surgical technologist is essentially to assist in surgical operations under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses and/or other surgical personnel.

This is a fascinating profession mainly because it is related to surgery and one gets to observe it right before him. The activity involved in the process and the nobility of the consequence of a successful surgery can impart a satisfaction. For a person with plans to become a surgeon in future this experience should be of great help.

Employment of surgical technologists is forecasted to grow exceptionally fast through the year 2010 as the number of surgery cases increases. This number is expected to rise as the population grows and matures. Technological advances (such as fiber optics and laser technology) will also bring about new surgical methods. Though hospitals can be expected to continue as the primary employer of surgical technologists, rise in employment is coming up in other sectors like offices and clinics of physicians and even ambulatory surgical centers. According to a survey surgical technologists held about 84,000 jobs (median annual earnings – $34010) in 2004. Most of them were placed in hospitals while others were in offices of physicians or dentists. Surgeons who have special surgical teams, like those for liver transplants, directly employ some of them.

Most employers’ preference is biased towards hiring certified technologists. Voluntary professional certification may be obtained from the Liaison Council on Certification for the Surgical Technologist. In this case the person needs to graduate from a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)-accredited program and also pass a national certification examination. Persistent education or re-examination is required to maintain certification. Surgical technologists may opt for any specification such as open heart surgery, neurosurgery, organ transplantation, plastic surgery, and orthopedic surgery.

Surgical technologists’ responsibilities range from helping in preparation of the operating room (setting up surgical instruments, equipment, sterile drapes, and sterile solutions, getting patients ready for surgery) and observing patients’ vital signs to checking charts, assisting the surgical team with putting on sterile gowns and gloves, operating sterilizers, lights, or suction machines, and helping in operation of diagnostic equipment. Working hours per week is regular, although they may work in shifts or on holidays.

The career of a surgical technologist is thrilling for those who really want to work for a noble cause and is ready to spare some personal facilities (the challenge of flexible and unusual working shifts), if needed, for sheer humanism and not just money. Due to the growing prospects and also the satisfaction involved in watching a patient revive and the very nature of the job this area is bound to expand extensively.


“The U.S. Department of Labor”, http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos106.htm

“Association of Surgical Technologists”, www.ast.org

“Surgical Technologist Program”,


Jung Teri L., “Study Guide To Accompany Surgical Technology For The Surgical Technologist:

A Positive Care Approach.”

Roth rock Jane C., “Alexander’s Care of the Patient in Surgery”

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