Your view: Thanks and appreciation for the surgical tech

October 9th, 2017 5:00 pm

Last month, we celebrated another vital member of the health care team.

Although most people have no recollection of the many members of a surgical team, each plays a vital role to a successful surgical outcome. Please allow me to introduce a critical member of that team — the surgical tech.

Picture an operating room. You probably envision a surgeon, a patient on the table, a nurse and some sterile drapes. You might think of bright lights, anesthesia personnel and a lot of fancy equipment. But that picture would not be complete without the presence of the surgical tech. He or she is right there, intimately participating in your surgery.

Think of the many medical programs you may have seen on television. Think of the dramatic OR scenes where the surgeon requests a scalpel, scissors, sponge or suction. You know that person who quietly passes those instruments along – that is your surgical tech.

Surgical techs perform numerous functions, all extremely important to the successful completion of your procedure. Their day starts out by obtaining all the instrumentation necessary for each procedure. Not only is the tech expected to know which instruments are needed, they are also expected to remember the nuances of each surgeon. The next step is to count all the instruments, assure their sterility and place them in specific order on the instrument table. They help gown and glove your surgeon.

Once the surgery begins, they carefully pass instruments to the surgeon. Often, they help retract tissue and cut suture, and hand off any specimens to the circulating nurse. Your tech is also accountable for assuring correct instrument and sponge counts at the completion of the surgery. As you can see, they are a vital and necessary member of the entire team. I personally have performed thousands of surgeries and couldn’t or wouldn’t want to perform one without that tech present.

It gives me great pleasure to recognize my many colleagues who perform this role. Your work is demanding, stressful and tiresome. You are essential, valued and greatly appreciated.

On behalf on the administrative team and all members of the operating team, thank you for all you do.