Tips for Surgical Technologist Externs

February 26, 2019

Tips a Surgical Technologist Extern Should Know

Surgical Technologists get thrown into their career field. Once you step foot onto your externship site, it is all up to you to put that training to good use. Sure we have externship site coordinators, but you have to be prepared to take on the operating room on your own. Working your first day in an OR is unlike anything else. There’s always a bit of hesitancy but you know that you’re going to power through and do what needs to be done. It’s how you were trained in the Community Care College Surgical Technologist program.

Though we know all of the students will do great, it doesn’t make the first day any easier for a newbie surg tech. However, it does help to know what you’re getting into when you start working in the healthcare industry. Above all, if you’re just starting your journey with a hospital surgical staff, you’ll need to know these eight things.


1) There isn’t a mock surgery or ease into surgery.  


2) On your very first day of the externship, you are going into surgery to do surgery.


3) You are working. Meaning that you are going to be standing on your feet for a very long time. Most students after their first day can’t believe how long they have to stand during surgery.


4) You must be professional, self-motivated, a team player, and a good role model for the school.


5) Students should expect to treat every surgery as though it were a job interview.


6) Students should expect to wake up earlier! You don’t get time to wake up as your day goes on. You are dealing with someone’s life and you need to be fully alert before you step into any OR.


7) The operating rooms are COLD! One thing we cannot simulate at school is how cold the ORs actually are.


8) You will be under a microscope. Every single move that you make, even in the break room, is being watched by employees, managers, and/or surgeons.


This list may seem pretty brutal but it’s all true. In the Community Care College Surgical Technologist program, our students are put through intense training. With our brand new state of the art surg tech lab, we are able to train students in an incredibly realistic environment. These two things combine to produce work-ready surgical technologists.


Interested in a career as a surgical technologist? Learn more about our Surgical Technologist program, here!


From the desk of Jon Studdard, Surgical Technologist Department Head and Instructor.