5 Good Traits of an ST

Surgical Technologist

The role of the Surgical Technologist (ST), on the surface, sounds simple enough. The ST handles the instruments, supplies and equipment necessary during a surgical procedure. He or she has an understanding of the procedure being performed and anticipates the needs of the surgeon. He/she has the necessary knowledge and ability to ensure quality patient care during the operative procedure and is constantly on vigil for maintenance of the sterile field.

And yet, as our Concorde Surgical Technologist students learn every day, being an ST is so much more than that. An ST's duties, both preoperative and during an operation, are vast and varied and way too long to list in this space. They range from positioning the patient, to providing visualization of the operative site, to participating in volume replacement or transfusions, to applying appropriate wound dressings. And that just scratches the surface.

Becoming a great Surgical Technologist requires a special person with very distinct traits. We thought we'd reach out to a couple Concorde ST Program Directors and get their opinions on what makes a great ST.

5 good traits of a Surgical Technologist

Denise Perez, AS, CST, ST Program Director at Concorde's campus in Jacksonville, Fla., listed her five top traits any great Surgical Tech should possess.

  1. Anticipation skills. A good Surgical Technologist knows what the Surgeon needs before they ask
  2. Reliability. Patients and staff rely on dedication and someone who is passionate about their job
  3. Calm nature. Works well under pressure
  4. Outstanding dexterity. Ability to pass instruments, retract and complete a multitude of tasks during surgery which must be done with focus
  5. Team player. Surgery requires an ST to work with multiple disciplines such as an RN, anesthesiologist, radiology, multiple surgeons, etc. and is very dependent on the ability to work efficiently and effectively.

5 more good traits of a Surgical Technologist

Marsha Buchanan, Surgical Technology Program Director at Concorde's campus in San Bernardino, Calif., was more succinct in her assessment of five key traits an ST must have.
  1. Integrity
  2. Accountability
  3. Honesty
  4. Dependability
  5. A sense of humor

That last trait might be most important of all. An ST will find him or herself in a lot of heavy, life-or-death situations, and the pressure is intense. Sometimes, it will take a moment or two of levity to release some of that pressure so that you may press on and successfully complete the job.

If you think you have some or all of these traits, perhaps a career as a Certified Surgical Technologist is for you. If so, go to www.concorde.edu and check out our ST program. It could be the first step toward moving to an exciting, fast-paced and rewarding career in health care!

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