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What is the role of the surgical technician in the OR?

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

If you are considering a career as a surgical technician, you may be wondering if you will be able to draw up medication in the operating room. Many people work in the operating room of hospitals. Most of these people do specific tasks, but they do not all involve the same job description. This article will provide information on whether or not you can draw up medications as a surgical technician and what kind of training you need to do that.

Surgical Technician drawing up medications in the operating room

What role does the Surgical Technician play in the OR?

A surgical technician is a healthcare worker who assists with surgery. They are on the medical team with the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and other medical professionals. The surgical technician may set up the operating room, prepare the patient for surgery, or assist the surgeon during an operation. Surgical technicians work in many healthcare settings, including hospitals, surgery centers, and doctor’s offices. Duties for surgical technicians vary by setting. Some examples of job duties for surgical technicians include:

  • Preparing operating rooms for surgery

  • Helping physicians during surgeries

  • Taking medical histories from patients

  • Checking patients’ vital signs

  • Preparing patients for surgery

  • Putting patients under anesthesia

  • Preparing patients’ incisions for surgery

  • Taking medical histories

  • Administering medication

  • Preparing medical instruments

  • Preparing doctors for surgery

  • Preparing and cleaning surgical equipment

  • Preparing patients for diagnostic tests, such as X-rays or MRIs

  • Storing and disposing of medical supplies

  • Providing first aid

  • Assisting doctors during medical procedures

Can Surgical Technicians Draw Up Medication in the Operating Room?

The short answer is no. Technicians have the potential to draw up medication, but they may not do it in all situations. Technicians are not always allowed to draw up medication in the operating room. The decision about whether or not a surgical technician can draw up medication is up to the determining factor; is the tech working in a private physician's office setting, or is the technician working in the hospital, surgery center, etc.?

When the technician is working in the doctor's private office setting, the technician can do so if the doctor physically supervises the technician. The surgeon takes on the responsibility for the work the technician does, much like working with medical assistants. Medical Assistants give injections, and draw up medications, but only for the private sector. When the technician steps foot into the operating room of a hospital, surgery center, or another state-regulated setting that is licensed by the department of health, then the technician loses the freedom to do these tasks; these tasks are realigned to the ownership of the LVN/LPN, and RN.

How to Become a Surgical Technician

If you want to become a surgical technician, you will need to complete a training program. These training programs are offered at vocational schools, community colleges, and online. In the role of a surgical technician, you can also study on the job as an apprentice. To become a surgical technician, you will need to complete an accredited program. These programs can be about a year long. You can find accredited programs online or through your local school board. You will need to be at least 18 years old when you begin the program. Admissions requirements for these programs vary by school. Some schools may require you to have a high school diploma or GED. You may need a certain GPA or have taken certain classes. You will also have to complete a health screening during the application process.

Role of a surgical technician


Surgical technicians are a critical part of the surgical team. They have many responsibilities in the operating room and beyond. Technicians may be able to assist with surgery by drawing up medication. They may also be able to assist with other parts of the surgical process, including preparing the patient for surgery. If you are interested in becoming a surgical technician, you will need to complete a training program. These programs offer hands-on experience in all parts of the surgical process. They are also a great way to network and meet people in the field.

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