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Surgical Techs Working w/SURGEONS - SurgicalTechSuccess
May 17, 2006


In today's Newsletter:

~Working with Surgeons~

~So You Want to be a Traveler...

~Quick Reminders~




I'll bet that if I were to do a poll on how Surgical Tech's feel about working with surgeons, especially Surgical Techs with less than a year of experience, the overall feedback would probably be that of discontent.

Now, I say this primarily based on e-mails from ST's who are just getting their career started AND also based on my own personal experience.

OK, heres' a quick war story of my own;

There was a time in my surgical tech career, many - many years ago when I had a very difficult time working with surgeons. Not any specific specialty or group of surgeons, but just surgeons in general.

My attitude towards surgeons started to develop pretty early in my career, and I must say, it took me many years to get past my own attitude and "surgical ego" before I finally started to mature into a true surgical professional.

I'm sure many of you out there can relate to how "belittling" it feels to have a surgeon start getting on your case and/or "somewhat losing it" during a procedure.

Yep, I've seen it from time to time throughout my surgical career. And I can surely say that I was (and I do mean was) the type of sensitive young guy who would take it to heart and really take it personally...

I truly felt like it was all my fault and that the surgeon was on my case because I royally screwed something up. Hey, maybe I was moving too slowly or didn't have something ready when the surgeon wanted it. OR maybe they even tagged a little vessel and the field was temporarily ALL RED...

Whatever the case, I always felt like it was all being blamed on me and the surgeon was the judge, jury, and executioner.

In my mind, the surgeon was just being a big, you know, a%$&#*...

All I could see at the time was this crazy surgeon going off for absolutely no reason, so I just blamed myself.

But you know something, as my experience level grew (which automatically increased my surgical confidence), and I started to mature into a true surgical professional, it seem that the surgeons were not quite as "nasty" and they didn't seem to be going off as much.

Now, do you think it was because the surgeons attitudes were changing and mellowing as the times progressed, or do you think it was because I was becoming a more skilled and proficient Surgical Technologist..??..

Hmmm, I'll let you think about that one and come to your own conclusion~

I will tell you this, there are some really nasty, ego driven, maniacal surgeons out there (and just to be fair, there are those types of personalities in most career fields).

HOWEVER, once you start to understand the surgeon and figure out how to work with them, your life as a Surgical Tech will become much easier.

You see, all surgeons have one primary goal.

That goal is to correct, diagnose, remove, repair, or adjust something in, on, or around their patient through a surgical procedure.

Please realize, that is a very basic description but I want you to kind of think about the surgeons goal in general.

So, all of that being said, I can assure you that the surgeon is not going into a surgical procedure with the goal of belittling their O.R. team and/or going off on some crazy tangent.

Most surgeons have a thousand things on their mind, i.e., office schedules, patient load, upcomning procedures, insurance issues, O.R. scheduling, and of course thier own personal family lives - just to name a few.

So, when that surgeon starts a procedure, most often they are 100% focused on the patient and the course of action they will take to help that patient.

I think it's only fair to say that most surgeons deal with a great amount of stress and it's no wonder that they may tend to go off a little when things start to interfere with their surgical course of action.

OK, OK, I know some of you may think I'm a bit "touched in the head" to sit here and defend or explain the ill actions of a surgeon.

Well, I can speak from my own personal experience having worked in operating rooms from coast to coast when I say, it's not always the surgeon...

Sometimes it is one of us pushing that last button.

BUT the bottom line and my overall main point is this:

Try to understand the surgeon and their unique professional attitudes and also apply this same understanding to all of your O.R. coworkers and you'll soon start to have a different outlook about working with O.R. pro's in general.

Instead of taking things too personally, become the best surgical tech you can possibly be and get as much experience as you can.

The operating room is a very unique and specialized area of the hospital.

It is one of high stress at times, where people's lives are literally on the table every single day.

And if you really think about it, the surgeon is the captain of the ship and is ultimately responsible for that patient.

If you were to put yourself in that position, you may just understand the actions of an "irked" surgeon.

Please note this too, there is a line between being PROFESSIONALLY ABUSED and Professionally reprimanded.

Nobody likes to be reprimanded but it does happen.

Nobody should ever be abused though and this shold never happen.

Before you start getting into an attitude with the surgeon or begin a battle, try to see things from their perspective.

Also, as I always say, be the best Surgical Tech you can be.

Scrub whenever you get the chance.

Continue to build upon your expereince.

Never stop learning.

**And always ask questions **(one of the best methods to prove to a surgeon you are trying to learn and improve your skills and surgical knowledge)

I believe there are far more patient and understanding surgeons out there than "nasty - ego - driven" maniacs.

You will find a few of the not so nice ones, but when you do, hold your head up high, continue to try your to be at your best, and learn from every surgeon you work with.

And on one final note, once you really understand the surgeon and their unique personalities, you'll be amazed how they can help you open up doors to enhance and/or further your surgical career. (that's a whole 'nother newlsetter though...).

Thank you once again for your time and your continued support!

Until Next Time~

Your friend,

Robert Prince, CST

p.s. SEE why the Surgical Tech Success Handbook continues to be a Number One source of motivation, inspiration, and resource guide for Surgical Technologists on all levels. THERE is an entire section on O.R. attitudes too...

Take a look here:

And don't forget, you can order any of our books as individual items here:



"Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything." - Napoleon Hill



So You Want To BE A Traveler???

************************* has launched a page for Surgical Tech's interested in traveling.

Take a look here:


~Quick Reminders~


The -SURGERY NEWS- page continues to GROW, actually I should say EXPLODE...

If you haven't taken a look recently, the number of surgically related news articles & resources is growing.

From how a tonsillectomy affects a child's sleep to Robotic surgery. This page has a ton of information. AND we continually add more...

Take a look at our Surgery News page and let me know what you think...

The fre'e Questions, Answers, Tips, & Resources ebook is still available for newsletter subscribers here:

If you would like to order the printed hardcopy edition of the Surgical Tech Success Handbook, the bonus digital download material IS included as digital downloads.





NEW JOBS continue to be posted!

If you have a Surgical Tech position available or know of a facility that is looking for Surgical Tech's, visit the following page for a FRE'E Surgical Tech Job posting.

POST your Surgical Tech position today OR if you know of a facility that is looking for Surgical Tech's, visit the following page for a FRE'E Surgical Tech Job posting.

Currently, there is absolutley no cost to place a Surgical Tech Job - Help Wanted listing on our site.






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