The profession of surgical technician

Surgical Assistant
A surgical technical assistant works primarily in the operating room, helping with procedures and also taking care of the patients before and after the operations. Therefore, surgical technicians work in hospitals, specialist practices and in all places where operations are performed. In addition to handing out various instruments to the doctors during the operation, surgical technicians have to do even more: Among other things, the patient's breathing and circulation must be closely monitored during the operation. The correct position for the procedure also counts when preparing the patient, and hygiene in the operating room is also part of the job. The procurement of surgical material and the stockpiling of all necessary materials for the various operations are also among the important tasks in this profession.

Personal requirements at work

Surgical technical assistants have an important job , which involves the precise implementation of the various instructions so that patients are not harmed and the operations can be carried out smoothly. In order not to endanger the operations, hygiene is of the utmost importance in this profession. But dealing with people properly is also a personal requirement of this job, since many people are afraid of operations and therefore want to be treated with care. A very important personal requirement in this job is the ability to work in a team with the doctors and other participants in the operation. In addition, absolute concentration must prevail at work and everyone in this profession must be able to follow all work steps attentively, even during hours of operation. Signs of tiredness or a lack of concentration can have serious consequences during an operation. A high level of resilience is therefore an important requirement in the work of surgical technical assistants. A structured and careful way of working is important for the entire work, since everything is not only very well structured during the operations, but also in the administration area with the documentation and the management of the materials in the operating room must be worked very precisely.

Prerequisites for the job / training / studies

As a rule, an intermediate school-leaving certificate is required for training as a surgical assistant . However, it is also possible to do this training with a secondary school leaving certificate, but then additional vocational training is usually required. If you have completed certain training courses, the training period for this profession can be shortened. Health suitability, which must be proven, is very important for training in this area. Sometimes an entrance exam has to be passed, and many hospitals require a suitable internship to be completed before the start of training. In order to prepare for the training at school and to simplify admission, the school subjects biology and chemistry are particularly important, with first aid training being an advantage. Knowledge in the field of anatomy is particularly important in order to be able to understand the doctors during the operation, as many technical terms are used.

The training / the qualification

In order to work as a surgical technical assistant, a dual training course is required, which usually lasts 3 years . The training is carried out dual, which means that there is a school part of the training in addition to practical assignments. In the school part of the training, a very wide spectrum is imparted, since a wide range of knowledge is imparted, from anatomy to surgery. For the training, very different subject areas have to be learned and it is necessary to acquire a fairly broad medical knowledge. The trainees also work out a great deal in projects in a team, since the topics involved are complex. In addition to medical knowledge, the legal framework also plays a role in the training, and a lot is taught about the correct way to deal with patients and the correct documentation and preparation and follow-up of the operations in school. This learned content can then be applied and deepened in the internship.


Surgical technical assistants can be used in very different places, since operations are the basis of this profession. First and foremost, people with this profession work in hospitals, in surgery centers and also in outpatient practices that perform surgeries. Specialization is often necessary after the training and the former trainees can decide in which area they ultimately want to work.

career development opportunities

After the training has been completed, a specialization is therefore primarily possible. You can work in the surgical service, in endoscopy and in the surgical outpatient clinic, to name just a few examples. Ultimately, almost all graduates of this course specialize in certain areas. Continuous further training and the expansion of specialist knowledge are of great importance for surgical technology assistants in order to always remain up to date. There are a number of ways to advance and develop in this profession. For example, further training as a specialist can be completed, which imparts additional specialist knowledge. These advanced training courses are possible in various areas. A degree in human medicine can also be an opportunity to move up the career ladder after completing your training.

The everyday life of the surgical technician

The day-to-day work of the surgical technology assistant revolves entirely around the operations at the respective workplace. In addition to the important assistance during operations, where doctors are given various instruments, it is also important that the patient is monitored at all times. Preparing the patient for the operation and direct follow-up care is also a typical part of the day-to-day work of a surgical technician. Otherwise, the organization and documentation of operations also plays a major role in everyday work, as does teamwork with other employees at the workplace. All essential materials for an operation must be available and stocks must be checked regularly. The core of the job is as a surgical assistant or as an assistant in operations. There is a lot of cooperation with other people and a broad medical knowledge is just as important as good teamwork. The everyday life of the surgical technology assistant is very varied and requires a lot of concentration and a high level of resilience.

Viet Trinh

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