Everything You Need to Know About a Surg Tech Career

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Allied Health Professionals - Surgical Technologist

A career as a Surgical Technologist (Surg Tech) offers the unique opportunity to assist in life-saving procedures, working closely with nurses, surgeons, and anesthesiologists. 

Surgical Technologists, also known as Operating Room Technicians or Scrub Techs, are essential members of the surgical team. They perform a variety of tasks to ensure successful surgeries and positive patient outcomes. 

Are you interested in becoming a Surg Tech? Read on to learn more about the roles of a Surg Tech and the benefits of becoming a traveling Surg Tech. 


As part of the surgical preparation process, Surg Techs are the first to enter the operating room and prepare the space for the procedure. The Surg Techs will use a list of necessary supplies to organize the tools and orient the room per the surgeon's preference. This process includes:  

  • Sterilizing, counting, and arranging surgical instruments  
  • Ensuring the availability of necessary supplies  
  • Setting up the operating table and lighting  

Additionally, surgical technicians may be responsible for transporting patients to and from operating rooms or assisting with patient positioning and preparation, such as applying sterile drapes to the patient. 


During surgery, Surg Techs maintain a sterile environment and provide support to the surgical team by: 

  • Passing sterile instruments and supplies 
  • Retracting the incision site 
  • Handling specimens for lab analysis 
  • Anticipating the needs of the team and patient 

Surg Techs may also troubleshoot equipment issues and manage inventory to ensure necessary supplies are available. 


After surgery, Surg Techs assist with bandaging, transporting patients to recovery, and cleaning the operating room. Their duties often include: 

  • Counting instruments and tools used during surgery 
  • Suturing incisions 
  • Applying dressings 
  • Disposing of used supplies like needles and gauze 
  • Restocking OR materials 
  • Cleaning and sterilizing the OR 

What Certifications Do Surg Techs Need?

To become a surgical technician, you need a certificate, diploma, or associate degree from an accredited program. Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) both provide directories for finding accredited programs. 

Upon completion of your program, the next step is to get certified. While only some states require the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) designation, most facilities require their Surg Techs to have the certification.  

If you're looking for exam prep tools, the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) website provides a multitude of helpful resources. Additional certification is available through the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT).

Benefits of Being a Traveling Surg Tech

With nationwide staffing shortages, there's an unprecedented demand for allied health travelers, including Surg Techs. This high demand leads to competitive salaries and pay packages, often offering greater earning potential than permanent positions. 

Beyond pay, being a traveling Surg Tech provides incredible learning opportunities, allowing you to grow your career by building skills and knowledge at leading healthcare facilities. It also lets you combine your passion for healthcare with your love for adventure, enabling you to explore new cities, visit national parks, and discover the country in ways not possible with a permanent position. 

Whether it's your first or twelfth assignment as a traveling Surg Tech, FlexCare's S1NGLEPOINT Recruiters are here to help advance your allied health career. In addition, we believe in providing an exceptional High Pay, Hassle Free experience for our travelers, meaning you never have to negotiate for the pay package you deserve. You'll receive our highest available compensation every time. If an available assignment's pay package doesn't align with your career goals, your recruiter will work to find your perfect assignment and save you time from negotiating.  

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Team FlexCare

Since 2006, FlexCare Medical Staffing has become a nationwide leader in travel nursing, allied health, therapy, and LVN / LPN staffing services for top healthcare facilities. With office locations in Roseville, California and Charlotte, North Carolina, FlexCare is committed to creating a transparent environment that prioritizes clinician experience. As a result, industry authorities like BluePipes, Staffing Industry Analysts, and Travel Nursing Central continually recognize FlexCare as a top healthcare staffing company.