This National Surgical Technologists Week, our very own Angie Drapeau, a Certified Surgical Technologist, Former Faculty Instructor – Surgical Technology Educator, and member of AST and the Florida State Assembly of Surgical Technologists, recognizes and celebrates how essential surgical technologists are in surgery and healthcare. Through her years of experience in healthcare as a surgical tech and educating surgical techs, Angie continues to be a patient safety advocate and recently joined Jackson Medical to support surgical fire safety as a Clinical Sales Associate.
The Heart Of It All
Surgical techs are the true heart and soul of the operating room (OR)! I’ve been asked multiple times what’s the best way to understand how an OR works, or what a surgeon likes….I always reply with ask their surgical techs! This isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle. Have you ever tried to explain your day to someone non-medical? They look at you with bewilderment and awe. Every person plays a vital role when it comes to the OR, BUT the duties we have and the high standards we perform them under as surgical techs are like nothing else. Without our training and unique skill sets, surgery couldn’t take place.
Who We Are
We love the sounds and smells of the OR (not all smells, but I do personally miss the smell of benzoin and chloraprep)…..we’re an odd group, we know! We work with new, greenhorn surgeons as they hone their skills and world-renowned surgeons who provide the newest, safest procedures for patients. We take the brunt of frustrations and get to witness the miracles and celebrations of successful operations. We work with patients at their most vulnerable moments, most never remembering our names and faces. We work long hours while standing in uncomfortable positions while sweating because of the gown, gloves, mask and eyewear we don. And it never fails that our noses itch when we’re fully scrubbed into a case. We have full conversations with our circulators using our eyes and eyebrows, a skill set far too unappreciated! We get overly excited when we get to work with our favorite surgeons, circulators, and anesthesia which usually correlates to great music choices for the day! We work with our sterile processing departments to coordinate what trays need to be turned over quickly and to make sure that one particular set of scissors that our doctor loves is ready for their case, because we all know our day goes smoother when we have it!
We’re Not Just Surgical Techs
On numerous occasions, I’ve had to stand up for my patients and advocate for their safety and security. Patient advocacy is what we do from the minute we locate our sterile indicator in the trays, to checking instrument integrity, setting up procedures, draping, gown and gloving surgeon(s), performing counts, passing instruments, holding a retractor, turning the mayo scissors to see the suture knot and cutting just above, then breaking it all down. We do all of that while maintaining sterility and being vigilant about patient safety, fire safety, sharps safety, medication safety and, just as important, our own safety.
Thank You Isn’t Enough
Jackson Medical and I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for what you do and celebrate why you’re crucial to the success of the OR! Surgical techs are the frontline workers of the OR; without their diligence, dedication, and selflessness surgical services would be incomplete. Our goal at Jackson Medical is to make your OR’s the safest, especially in regards to fire and burn safety and prevention. We welcome you to be a part of this movement with GloShield and continue being the safety advocates you’ve always been for your patients and fellow surgical staff.
By Angie Drapeau, Clinical Sales Associate at Jackson Medical