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Become An Operating Room Assistant

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Working As An Operating Room Assistant

  • Getting Information
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Deal with People

  • Stressful

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • $54,400

    Average Salary

Example Of What An Operating Room Assistant does

  • Served as both a Room Assistant and Room Leader in a class room setting;.
  • Passed instruments to the surgeons as needed.
  • Receive and transfer phone calls to customers' respective department.
  • Assist with preoperative care of patient in operation room.
  • Assist surgeons in OR to include aseptic techniques and patient care.
  • Helped position and prepare patients for surgical procedures.
  • Prepared, cared for, and disposed of tissue specimens taken for laboratory analysis.
  • Transport medical equipment interdepartmental and within operating room.
  • -Inventoried, ordered, and stocked operating rooms/sterile supply room with surgical supplies.
  • -Assisted PACU nursing staff in the transfer of patient, and direct patient care.
  • Maintained surgical equipment, supplies in proper areas.
  • Obtained patients weight and vital signs.
  • Bring specimens to lab and pathology.
  • Supervised phone calls, messages and reservations Animal care Customer Service
  • Delivered vital specimens to and from the OR, lab, and blood bank in emergent situations.
  • Cleaned the rooms for surgical cases.
  • Transport patients to and from surgery Prep patients for surgery Prepare/clean room before and after surgery
  • Maintain a safe and sterile environment.
  • Enforced the weight room rules Provide General Maintenance
  • Facilitated and assisted with the admission and discharge process of patients and operating room turnover.

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How To Become An Operating Room Assistant

Surgical technologists typically need a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree. Certification can be beneficial in finding a job. A small number of states regulate surgical technologists.


Surgical technologists typically need postsecondary education. Many community colleges and vocational schools, as well as some universities and hospitals, have accredited programs in surgical technology. Programs range in length from several months to 2 years, and they grant a diploma, certificate, or associate’s degree upon completion. Admission typically requires a high school diploma or the equivalent.

Surgical technology education includes courses in anatomy, biology, medical terminology, pharmacology, and other topics. Surgical technologists are trained in the care and safety of patients, sterilization techniques, how to set up technical or robotic equipment, and preventing and controlling infections. In addition to classroom study, students also work in supervised clinical settings to gain hands-on experience.

First surgical assistants may complete a formal education program in surgical assisting. Others may work as a surgical technologist and receive additional on-the-job training before becoming a first assistant.

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Surgical technologists must pay close attention to their work at all times. For example, they need to provide the correct sterile equipment for surgeons during an operation.

Dexterity. Surgical technologists should be comfortable working with their hands. They must be able to provide needed equipment quickly.

Integrity. Because they are trusted to provide sterile supplies and quality patient care during surgical procedures, surgical technologists must have integrity.

Physical stamina. Surgical technologists should be comfortable standing for extended periods.

Stress-management skills. Working in an operating room can be stressful. Surgical technologists should be able to work well under pressure while providing a high level of care.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification can be beneficial in finding a job. Surgical technologists may earn certification through credentialing organizations.

Certification through The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting allows the use of the title “Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).” Certification typically requires completing an accredited formal education program or military training program and passing an exam.

Certification through the National Center for Competency Testing allows the use of the title “Tech in Surgery - Certified (NCCT).” Applicants may qualify through formal education, military training, work experience, or other eligibility paths. All require documenting critical skills and passing an exam.

Both certifications require surgical technologists to complete continuing education to maintain their certification.

In addition, many jobs require technologists to become certified in CPR or basic life support, or both.

A small number of states have regulations governing the work of surgical technologists or surgical assistants, or both.

The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, the National Commission for the Certification of Surgical Assistants, and the American Board of Surgical Assistants offer certification for surgical first assistants.


Surgical technologists may choose to advance to other healthcare occupations, such as registered nurse. Technologists may also choose to become a postsecondary teacher of health specialties.

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Operating Room Assistant jobs

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Operating Room Assistant Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • German

  • Chinese

  • Bengali

  • Swedish

  • Portuguese

  • Vietnamese

  • Bosnian

  • Hebrew

  • Ilocano

  • Japanese

  • Tagalog

  • Russian

  • Polish

  • Cantonese

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Operating Room Assistant

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Operating Room Assistant Education

Operating Room Assistant

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Top Skills for An Operating Room Assistant


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Top Operating Room Assistant Skills

  1. Operation Room
  2. Surgery
  3. Direct Patient Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assist with preoperative care of patient in operation room.
  • Transport all necessary materials and instruments to Tucson Medical Center's ambulatory surgery for General Sedation dentistry.
  • -Assisted PACU nursing staff in the transfer of patient, and direct patient care.
  • Delivered surgical specimens to lab.
  • Supported surgical staff: Surgeons, nurses and OR technicians.

Top Operating Room Assistant Employers

Operating Room Assistant Videos

Nurse (Operating Room), Career Video from drkit.org

Cleaning the Operating Room Between Cases

A Career in Hospital and Operating Theatre (JTJS32008)