Purpose and Mission
An operating theatre technician is trained to supports the surgical team in a broad range of functions before, during and after surgical procedures.
Some of the main responsibilities of operating theatre technicians (sometimes called surgical techs) include preparing the operating room, transporting the patient, ensuring that allrequired supplies and surgical tools are sterile and ready, monitoring all items used during surgery to make sure nothing gets misplaced, transporting the patient to recovery, and cleaning and sterilizing the operating theatre following the procedure.
Given that operating theatre technicians are typically employees of hospitals, larger clinics and surgery centers, they typically report to a department head or service chief. They are also under the direct supervision of the surgeons and/or a senior surgical nurse during procedures.
Senior operating theatre technicians and technologists often have some supervisory responsibilities, especially in terms of training and oversight of colleagues or trainees. Most OTTs, however, are more focused on patient care, and have relatively few direct supervisory responsibilities.
Operating theatre technicians must have a Certificate I, II, II or IV in Operating Theatre Technical Support to work in this profession in Australia. Most employers prefer candidates who have at least a diploma level of training in the field, and candidates who have completed two- to four-year college programs strongly preferred at major hospitals.
Many employers also prefer candidates who have passed the exams to qualify for membership in the Australian Institute for Medical Scientists.
Responsibilities of an Operating Theatre Technician
The operating theatre technician is responsible for the instruments, supplies, and equipment used during surgical procedures. She has a basic understanding of the specific procedure and anticipates the needs of the surgeon. Specific professional responsibilities include: