Essential Skills

A candidate for a certificate in surgical technology must have the abilities and skills necessary to complete the educational requirements as defined by the national accrediting body for national certification.  The following is a representative list of the essential skills, with or without accommodation, expected of students enrolled in the surgical technology program.

  1. Communication Skills
    • Effectively communicate with surgeons and co-workers regarding requirements and supplies for surgical procedures while all are wearing masks
    • Effectively communicate directions to peers
    • Give, receive, understand and be understood regarding relevant verbal English and nonverbal feedback
    • Accurately and efficiently follow directions
    • Provide effective, coherent, legibly written communication

  2. Conceptual and Analytical Reasoning
    • Apply didactic knowledge effectively in the clinical setting
    • Demonstrate ability to analyze distinct situations and utilize critical thinking in the process of delivering safe and appropriate care to clients
    • Exercise good judgment in problem solving

  3. Social Skills
    • Perform effectively under stress
    • Display flexibility
    • Demonstrate compassion
    • Develop positive and effective relationships with physicians, staff, and peers

  4. Manual Dexterity and Motor Skills
    • Demonstrate ability to perform surgical scrub using standard equipment
    • Gown, glove, and mask appropriately
    • Perform surgical procedures employing sterile technique
    • Identify and pass instruments, supplies, and suture/needle combinations in rooms dimly lit or very bright
    • Attach and manipulate power equipment and endoscopic cameras

  5. Physical Strength
    • Assist with transferring anesthetized patients
    • Lift, move, and carry instrument trays weighing up to 17 - 21 pounds
    • Stand, sometimes with little movement, for four - five hours

  6. Observation and Sensory Skills
    • React/respond to signals, alarms, and other displays indicating immediate patient need
    • Judge obstacles encountered during movement around sterile area, i.e. cords on floor, low ceiling lights
    • Immediately identify and respond to breaks in aseptic technique by anyone in the sterile area