Surgical Technologist Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

By | July 15, 2023
Surgical Technologist Job Description
Surgical technologists are involved in sterilizing and preparing equipment for use in the operating room.

This post provides detailed information on the surgical technologist job description, including the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities they commonly perform.

It also highlights the major requirements that candidates for the surgical technologist role may be asked to fulfill to be hired.

What Does a Surgical Technologist Do?

The surgical technologist job description entails assisting in surgical procedures.

This includes sterilizing and preparing equipment, administering medications, passing instruments, and ensuring sterility in the operating room.

Surgical technologists may also be required to clean up after surgery has been completed.

They must wear protective clothing such as gloves, gowns, and masks before entering the operating room.

This is to avoid coming into contact with bodily fluids or materials that could potentially contaminate the sterile environment of the operating room or themselves.

The surgical technologist job description also involves identifying all medication used during surgery.

It also includes understanding how each one affects the body under certain conditions or when certain medications should be avoided.

In a busy operating room, it is the duty of a surgical technologist to work quickly without compromising the quality of care given or safety issues at hand.

Further more, surgical technologists communicate with patients as well as other staff members involved in surgery.

They train others during their surgical career.

This will include training students and fellow surgeons on even simple tasks such as cleaning items in the operating room.

Part of the surgical technologist’s duty is to be up-to-date on all of the latest procedures and equipment used during surgery.

They are responsible for handling and storing medications during surgery.

As a surgical technologist, you are to inform the surgeon of any equipment malfunctions or other issues that may arise during surgery.

They follow and enforce all policies and procedures in place for the operating room.

And correctly document any changes made due to patient need, doctor request, or any other reason.

It is the surgical technologist’s job to document all procedures in a conventional, readable, and comprehensive manner.

Surgical Technologist Job Description Sample/Example/Template

The surgical technologist job description involves the following duties, tasks, and responsibilities:

  • Provide an in-depth explanation of critical steps and any aspects of the procedure to the patient or their family members
  • Maintain cleanliness during and after surgery. This includes scrubbing feet or hands, as well as changing patient linens and keeping all equipment sterilized
  • Administer medication that includes but not limited to numbing agents, anti-bacterial medications ,or pain medications
  • Make sure that all necessary equipment is on hand are ready for use in case a medical emergency arises during surgery; surgical technologists also need to ensure that they have proper security measures in place (i.e. identification badges) in case of a burglary
  • Don and doff surgical attire, including sterile gloves, gowns, and masks
  • Make sure equipment is accounted for after surgery, such as washing hands, making sure all equipment has been sterilized or disposed of correctly, etc.
  • Document all medical conditions that can arise during the patient’s recovery process or treatment in an organized fashion using proper terminology and documentation procedures required by their department or hospital to meet regulatory standards – i.e., HIPAA regulations of the health care industry (health care plans)
  • Make sure that all necessary equipment is on hand and ready for use in case a medical emergency arises during surgery; surgical technologists also need to ensure they have proper security measures in place (i.e. identification badges) in case of a burglary
  • Document procedures in a clear and complete manner using proper terminology and notify appropriate personnel when required to do so
  • Inform the surgeon of any equipment malfunctions or other issues that may arise during surgery
  • Provide patients’ family with all medical information related to the procedure and their recovery.

Surgical Technologist Job Description for Resume

If you are writing a resume or CV for a new job as someone who has worked previously as a surgical technologist, or are presently working in that role, you can apply the surgical technologist job description example provided above in making an effective Professional Experience section for your resume.

You can highlight the duties and responsibilities of a surgical technologist from the sample job description into your resume’s Professional Experience to show that you have been effective performing the surgical technologist role.

This piece of information can significantly increase your chances of getting an interview from the recruiter/employer or hired, especially if the new job that you are applying for requires someone with some surgical technologist work experience to be hired.

Surgical Technologist Requirements: Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities for Career Success

If you are seeking the surgical technologist job, here are major requirements employers/recruiters may want you to meet to be hired:

  • Legally able to work in the United States (age of majority) or able to provide a copy of your legal permission from a physician
  • High school diploma or equivalent and completed an accredited program in surgical technology
  • Sufficient experience working in a surgical setting, preferably at least 1 year
  • Excellent hand-eye coordination and dexterity, as well as good verbal skills – i.e., good communication skills needed in order to explain procedures to patients and their family members; surgical technologists must be able to memorize and give accurate information on procedure steps prior to each (surgeon’s) step so they will provide all pertinent information needed to understand what is going on during surgery
  • Physically able to stand for extended periods of time
  • Good understanding of medical terminology and anatomy, and can speak Spanish or other languages useful for handling foreign language patients
  • Current certification in surgical technology, CPR certification, and certification in infection control
  • Ability to communicate effectively, particularly in explaining procedures and medical terminology during the course of performing duties as a surgical technologist.

Surgical Technologist Salary

According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for a surgical tech in the United States is $86,345 a year.


Most surgical technologists are trained at an accredited vocational program and follow an accredited curriculum.

After obtaining certification, they typically work in a hospital or surgery center.

The job itself is very enjoyable as most surgical technologists have said that working in a hospital is fun and exciting.

Many also have said it’s stressful at times, especially when you aren’t familiar with the operating room or are handling patients or equipment from other surgeons you may not be comfortable with, but overall, there is no reason why someone shouldn’t go into this field.

This post is helpful to individuals interested in the surgical technologist career who want to learn about the duties and responsibilities of the job.

It is also useful to recruiters/employers who want to make a detailed job description for the role for use in their hiring process.

They can apply the surgical technologist job description example provided on this page in making a good one for their organizations.