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Surgical Technician Interview Questions

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  1. What credentials do you have that qualify you as a surgical technician? See answer
  2. What is the protocol for the discovery of an infectious disease, such as TB, during a surgery? See answer
  3. As a surgical technician, explain the role of the first scrub and why they are vital to the surgery. See answer
  4. Why is it critical for all technicians and surgical staff to wear PPE and perform a surgical scrub before and after surgery? See answer
  5. Why is it necessary to account for all medical equipment and waste after a surgery? See answer
  6. What is the most important aspect of a surgical technician’s responsibilities? See answer
  7. Considering the high-stakes and tense atmosphere prevalent in the surgical theater, it is easy to become anxious and lose control. How do you manage the stress?
  8. What problems have you encountered in the operating room? How did you address them?
  9. How will you prepare an operating room for a major surgery?
  10. Have you ever disagreed with a member of the surgical team? How did you resolve the situation?
  11. What new technologies have you used recently on the job?
  12. Tell me about a time when you intervention helped a surgical staff prevent a surgery from resulting in a catastrophe. What actions did you take?
  13. Tell me about a situation in which your due diligence in checking waste and instruments after a surgery helped save a patient’s life and your hospital from lawsuits.
  14. How do you identify a surgeon’s needs before and during an operation?
  15. You are in the middle of a surgery and a call comes in informing the team the patient is infected with a super bug. How will you react to this new information to ensure the infection doesn’t spread to other parts of the facility?
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6 Surgical Technician Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What credentials do you have that qualify you as a surgical technician?

A:

Any applicant who qualifies for the position has completed a surgical technology degree program. By completing other certification programs, the potential employee may have additional credentials with a specialty. Pay attention to extra credentials they discuss and determine if the individual meets your prerequisite requirements for the position. What to look for in an answer:

  • Has at least an associate’s degree
  • Possesses board certification
  • Experience working in a medical facility
Example:

“I completed an associate degree program in surgical technology. Upon completion of my degree program, I completed an internship at a local hospital. I have two years of experience in the operating room since I finished my internship.”

Q:

What is the protocol for the discovery of an infectious disease, such as TB, during a surgery?

A:

When hiring a technician, it is best to test their ability to think quickly in a crisis. By asking this question, you’re able to evaluate their knowledge of CDC regulations and operating room safety. Pay attention to how they answer the question. If they become overly panicked, then they aren’t the best choice for the position and could make a grave error during surgery. What to look for in an answer:

  • Understanding of the importance of proper protocols
  • Ability to work well with a team
  • Quick response time in an emergency
Example:

“First, we quarantine all medical staff inside the operating room and contact the CDC. If possible, the surgical procedure is completed, and then the patient is transferred to a protected area of the hospital. All workers who were present are tested for TB before they are allowed around the general public.”

Q:

As a surgical technician, explain the role of the first scrub and why they are vital to the surgery.

A:

Potential hires know the role of each technician present during surgery. Each individual has a specific duty they perform during the procedure that is critical to the outcome. An applicant who knows the exact job duties of a first scrub has either worked closely with them or was in the position themselves. When hiring a technician, look for employees who comprehend what part each worker plays and aspires to complete each role. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience working in different positions during surgeries
  • Evidence of preparing for each procedure completely
  • Understanding of all possible outcomes
Example:

“The first scrub provides all tools to the surgeon and is basically their right-hand person. He or she must understand what is happening at all times and anticipate the needs of the doctor and the patient on the table.”

Q:

Why is it critical for all technicians and surgical staff to wear PPE and perform a surgical scrub before and after surgery?

A:

Individuals who are interested in a technician job at your facility must know and complete tasks as directed in their job description, hospital policies and medical safety regulations. Listen to the exact steps provided by the applicant to determine if they are in line with your own policies. Do not hire a tech that is willing to take shortcuts and create liabilities for you or your facility. What to look for in an answer:

  • Follows all safety policies
  • Has knowledge of how quickly bacteria spreads
  • Doesn’t place patients or themselves at risk
Example:

“It is proper protocol to scrub before and after every surgery to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. Personal protective equipment is required by federal regulations and prevents the staff from becoming exposed to biohazards that could put our health or the health of the patient at risk.”

Q:

Why is it necessary to account for all medical equipment and waste after a surgery?

A:

The potential employee explains why the protocol is in place and steps that they followed in the field. This step has prevented hospitals and doctors from facing medical malpractice lawsuits. It is critical that the worker comprehends how to prevent risks and keep all patients safe. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to pay attention to details and help reduce serious liabilities for the hospital
  • Compliance with surgical protocol
  • Desire to protect the patient from further negative outcomes
Example:

“At the end of all surgeries, I worked with the surgical team to locate and dispose of all towels, sponges and materials used during the surgery. We also ensured that all instruments were visible and ready for sanitation. The purpose of the task is to make sure that no foreign objects or hazards were left inside the patient during the surgery.”

Q:

What is the most important aspect of a surgical technician’s responsibilities?

A:

Every aspect of the surgical technician’s duties are important because they often have to deal with life and death situations. Interviewers can use this question to determine the experience and professionalism of the candidate. A skilled surgical technician candidate will prioritize the most important duties based on the situation in the surgery suite. The candidate’s answer should emphasize:

  • A deep understanding of surgical technician duties and responsibilities
  • Situational awareness and being proactive
  • Professional style
Example:

“A surgical technician plays a vital role in the operating room, and every aspect of their job is important. From preparing patients for surgery by washing incision sites, to passing the correct instruments to surgeons during the surgery and helping to apply sterile supplies after the procedure, one must always stay alert and be on top of the game to ensure that surgeries are performed without issues.”

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