Yesterday marked my first day back to school, the final half of my academic journey to becoming a certified Surgical technologist. I’ve been at the university for one year now. The surgical tech program is a 2 year associate’s degree. Looking back at all that I’ve done, it seems as if the pages in the books have flown by too fast, like it’s all a scholastic blur to me…how am I a mere five months away from graduating? How did that happen? It’s scary but exciting. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit intimidated.


My school operates on an accelerated whim, where the classes are seven weeks long and are roughly 3-4 hours a night. Luckily this semester I’ve only got one class to worry about until March, when I’ll take Patient Care and Surgical Procedures II. Right now I’m finishing up Surgical Principles & Practice. This class is all about demonstrations and evaluations. The lab at the school is a mock Operating Room, with two operating tables, donated surgical equipment and instruments from area hospitals, and a mannequin whose name changes weekly. Last night, looking over the syllabus, I realized, yes I’ll be quite busy. Condensed into a seven week time frame, the amount of reading, lab evaluations (breast biopsy, cholecystectomy, mid-term), and a 5 page paper among other things will definitely eat up my time. But I don’t mind it, I’m a person who would rather be busy than idle, lazy and bored. Of course I enjoy my free days like anyone else but I find myself easily restless and in need of some entertainment.

This semester I’m going to concentrate more on the sutures. Those damn things, so many and somewhat confusing. Last semester in Surgical Procedures I, we had an Ethicon suture representative come in to demonstrate the different types of suture, from nonabsorbable, absorbable, synthetic and natural, monofilament and multifilament…by the end of their lecture, my head was spinning. I’m an excellent note taker; to the point where, many of my fellow students begged to photocopy mine because they were more organized and legible than their own. With this being said, I’ve already got the skills, I’ve just got to internalize more of what I’m studying.

As far as my paper topic goes, I think I’m going to write a 5 page report about the history of suture, not only because it intrigues me to see the progression of wound closure technique, but also to grant me a better understanding of how sutures work.

Also, I’m looking forward to the mid-term evaluation, where we setup the O.R from beginning to end. There’s a method to the madness. As a Surgical tech, it’s all about organization and reciting, there’s steps one should recite almost meticulously. The number one goal is to maintain sterility, so there’s certain guidelines when it comes to opening your room. I’m one of those people who have to write down the steps, study them backwards and forwards, then actually do it, hands on. I can’t digest the order of things unless I’m actually doing it, tangibly. Last semester we practiced sequence of opening the O.R, that is…

  1. Donning PPE (Personalized Protective Equipment: goggles, hairnet, mask, shoe covers)
  2. Fetching the back table pack, basin set, instrument set and gloves, open these…
  3. Performing 5 minute surgical scrub
  4. Gowning and gloving
  5. Instrument count with circulating nurse
  6. Gowning and gloving the Surgeon
  7. Organizing Mayo stand appropriate to the procedure
  8. Anticipating the Surgeon’s needs

One of my back table setups

So with all that being said, these are some of my goals for this semester…

-Back table organization (I have to work on it leaving something in its place, not rearranging)

-Mayo stand setup (including the general instruments every Surgeon will need…Adson’s, Mixture, Hemostat, Mosquito, Kelley, Metzenbaum scissors and Mayo scissors, loaded suture needle…)

-Gain a better understanding of microinstrumentation (linear cutters, linear staplers)


Bring on the books! 😀