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Job description: what does a surgical technician do?
Surgical technicians are responsible for manufacturing and servicing medical-surgical or cosmetic instruments, devices, and aids. These are usually intended for solving medical problems. They are needed by doctors for their examinations and operations as well as for the treatment of illnesses. This includes, for example, precision instruments such as surgical instruments, endoscopes, artificial hip joints, or implants. Often these are standardized products. But it is also possible for surgical technicians to manufacture individual parts according to specifications.
The activities of surgical technicians are very demanding. Everything revolves around manufacturing products that have to correspond exactly to the specifications down to the smallest detail. In addition, high-precision, computer-controlled machines are used that have to be programmed before each order. Surgical technicians then select the necessary material and provide the appropriate quantities. From this, they form various parts before they assemble the devices. Next, they connect the individual pieces using various techniques, such as gluing, soldering, welding, or screwing. They often use prefabricated blanks that they process manually or by machine. For some orders, these are also deburred, ground, and polished. If necessary, surgical technicians insert electrical or optical components. Finally, they carry out a final inspection. If the products meet the required quality, they are prepared for transport. But that’s not all. The maintenance and repair of larger devices and machines are also part of the activities of surgical technicians.
Surgical technicians work primarily for craft businesses in the medical technology sector and industrial companies that manufacture medical devices. Places of use are workshops in larger companies.
Surgical technician responsibilities and requirements
The training takes place in the dual system. This means that it takes place at a vocational school and in a training company simultaneously. During their training, surgical technicians acquire the necessary knowledge and technical skills. You will learn everything about the production of components, instruments, and devices – from selecting materials to production and testing techniques to control and information technology. Afterward, the graduates can use the necessary equipment and manage computer programs. In addition, you can edit and connect components independently. They are also very familiar with the areas of materials, electrical, and surface technology.
In addition to their specialist knowledge, surgical technicians require special skills and social skills. Above all, they need manual skills and an interest in surgery. In addition, they have a technical understanding and enjoy working with tools and computers. Surgical technicians have to control special machines and program them before each order. Accuracy, a sense of proportion, and perseverance are also necessary. After all, surgical technology is precision craftsmanship that does not take place on the assembly line. Spatial imagination makes it easier to read construction plans while machining the components requires good hand-eye coordination and careful work. User understanding of numerical machines and sensitivity for measuring devices are also of great advantage. Most of the time, surgical technicians work independently on their orders. However, they often sit in a workshop with many colleagues. A friendly demeanor and the ability to work in a team are therefore helpful in creating a pleasant working atmosphere.