So, you want to work in medicine. The arena of healthcare is absolutely enormous, with more job titles, specialties, and fields than you can shake a tongue depressor at.

We might think that the medical team at a hospital or clinic is staffed only by doctors and nurses. However, some of the lesser-known technical and assistive positions are also the most in-demand.

For example, the job outlook for Surgical Technicians is expected to grow 15% in the next five years. So, if you want to work in medicine, but you’re not sure about the cost or time-commitment of acquiring full medical credentials, this title might just be for you.

What is a Surgical Technician?

A surgical technician is, essentially, a surgical assistant. Prior to a surgical procedure, an ST will prep the OR by:

  • Assembling sterile equipment such as drapes, gloves, gowns, suction tubing, etc.
  • Laying out surgical tools required by the surgeon and OR nurse.
  • Receiving solutions and medications.
  • Helping surgeons to don surgical garb, such as gown and gloves.

During surgery, a surgical tech:

  • Anticipates the needs of the surgeon.
  • Passes suction tubing, tools, sponges, and other equipment to the surgeon.
  • Keeps count of sharps, sponges, and other loose items.
  • Collects tissue specimen to deliver to circulation, while being careful to uphold the sterile technique.

Surgical Tech certification requires a diploma or Associate’s degree in Surgical Technology from an accredited institution which supplies both classroom and practical learning methods, such as experiential internships. Surgical Tech hopefuls should be proficient in medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, medical procedures, and pharmacology. A program may take between 12 months and two years to complete.

Surgical Tech Interview Questions

If you have your certificate, you’ve done your training, and chances are you’re ready to go. But just to give you a little extra assistance, we’ve put together some sample questions to help you prepare for your first interview as a Surgical Technician.

What credentials do you have that qualify you as a surgical technician?

A straightforward question, the interviewer is asking you, the interviewee, to give a basic outline of your practical and academic experience. Here, you should list any relevant degrees or certificates you possess, name work experience, and explain your board certification.

Describe your duties performed as a surgical tech in the past.

Again, straightforward. With this question you are expected to give a more detailed account of your prior work and practical experience. You aren’t expected to tell any specific stories at this point, however. What you should do is give a detailed account of day-to-day tasks and responsibilities you had during your previous position or internship.

What is the most essential aspect of a Surgical Technician’s duties?

Every aspect of an ST’s job is important. There is very little room for error when human lives are on the line. With this question, the interviewer is looking to ascertain how and what you prioritize when you’re working in the operating room. Your answer should reflect your professional style, and demonstrate how you apply your expertise in an active surgical suite.

Performing in a surgical setting is high-stakes and hard work. How do keep calm under pressure?

This question can have two answers – the interviewer wants to make sure that you can perform your job effectively, even in the event of a surgical emergency. Surgical technicians need to leave their emotions at the door to keep a level head while they’re working.

Additionally, it’s easy for any medical professional to burn out if they don’t maintain a healthy work/life balance, so it’s important that you employ methods to de-stress while you’re at home. So your answers may weave into one another. A healthy home life can help a surgical technician to be calm and present while in surgery.

Talk about a time where you experienced difficulty as a Surgical Technician. What problems arose, and how did you address them?

This question determines skill, ability to receive and respond to criticism, and improve. Here, you might talk about a time when your techniques, efficiency, or competence were called into question, for whatever reason, and how you worked to solve the issue, or how you learned from your mistakes and improved.

Why do you feel you are a good fit for the Surgical Technician position at our organization?

Always do your homework when applying to any position at any facility. With this question, you should not only discuss your qualifications, competence, and why YOU are a good fit for the organization, but additionally why the ORGANIZATION is a good fit for you. Learn about the hospital or clinic before you go into your interview, and explain why you want to work HERE, specifically, and why you’re a good fit for their team.

Final Thoughts: Surgical Tech Interview Questions

If you’re interviewing for a Surgical Technician position, you definitely know what you’re doing. But it’s always better to over-prepare than to under-achieve. Use our practice interview as a reference to help you ace your next interview.

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