Can an LPN Work as a Surgical Tech?

Can an LPN work as a surgical tech? The answer is yes, but there are some important things to keep in mind. Here’s what you need to know.

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Job Description of an LPN

As an LPN, you will be responsible for providing direct patient care under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician. Your duties will include taking vital signs, performing medical check-ups and administering injections. You will also be responsible for ensuring that surgical equipment is sterilized and ready for use.

Duties and Responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of an LPN can vary depending on their place of employment, but there are some common duties that are typically included in the job description. These duties may include:

-Assisting doctors and nurses with patient care
-Taking vital signs
-Drawing blood
-Administering injections
-Changing dressings
-Assisting with medical procedures
-Educating patients and their families about their health condition
-Documenting patient care records

Education and Training

Most LPNs complete a one-year education and training program. This program typically includes classroom instruction and clinical experience in a medical setting. Some states allow LPNs to complete an apprenticeship instead of a formal education and training program. Apprenticeship programs combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction.

LPNs must complete a state-approved education and training program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) before they can be licensed.

Job Description of a Surgical Tech

Surgical technologists, also called operating room technicians, work under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, and other surgical personnel. They prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment, and help surgeons during surgery. Let’s take a look at the job responsibilities of a surgical technologist.

Duties and Responsibilities

A surgical technologist, also called a scrub tech, is an allied health professional who works alongside surgeons, registered nurses and other surgical personnel during medical procedures. Surgical technologists typically enter the field with a postsecondary certificate or associate’s degree in surgical technology. Some states have certification requirements for surgical technologists.

The duties of a surgical technologist include preparing the operating room for surgery, sterilizing equipment, handling instruments and supplies, and assisting surgeons during procedures. Surgical technologists must be able to work quickly and efficiently while maintaining sterile conditions. They must also be able to adapt to changing situations and think on their feet.

In addition to their technical skills, surgical technologists must have good interpersonal skills and be able to work well as part of a team. They must be able to communicate clearly with surgeons and other members of the surgical team, as well as with patients and their families.

Education and Training

Prospective surgical techs must complete a formal education program to earn a diploma, certificate or degree. Most programs take about 1 year to complete, although some diploma programs can be finished in as little as 9 months. Surgical tech programs are commonly found in community colleges and technical schools, and some hospitals offer on-the-job training programs.

Most surgical tech programs include coursework and laboratory sessions in human anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, sterile processing and infection control. Once these basic courses have been completed, students begin to receive more hands-on training in the surgical setting. Clinical rotations provide students with the opportunity to work alongside experienced surgical techs and surgeons in a real-world setting. During their clinical rotations, students learn how to set up the operating room, care for patients before and after surgery, and maintain sterile conditions during surgery.

Can an LPN Work as a Surgical Tech?

Surgical techs are in demand and the job outlook is positive. If you’re a licensed practical nurse (LPN) who’s thinking about a career change, you may be wondering if you can use your skills as a surgical tech. The answer is yes! Many LPNs make the transition to surgical techs. Here’s what you need to know.

Job Shadowing

Job shadowing is a short-term experience where you observe someone working in a particular job or profession. It usually lasts anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days. During that time, you’ll have the opportunity to see what the person does on a daily basis, what their working environment is like, and what kind of skills and knowledge are required for the job.

If you’re considering a career in healthcare, job shadowing is a great way to get started. It will give you a chance to explore different careers, learn about the day-to-day reality of working in healthcare, and make an informed decision about which path is right for you.

One question we often get asked is whether it’s possible for an licensed practical nurse (LPN) to job shadow a surgical technologist (ST). The answer is yes! Job shadowing provides an excellent opportunity for LPNs to learn about the ST profession and decide if it’s something they’re interested in pursuing.

If you’re an LPN who’s curious about surgical technology, we encourage you to reach out to your local hospital or surgery center and ask if they offer job shadowing opportunities. You may also want to contact your state’s Board of Nursing to see if there are any specific requirements or regulations regarding job shadowing for LPNs.

On-the-job Training

In order to work as a surgical tech, you will need to have on-the-job training in addition to your nursing license. This training will generally be provided by the facility where you are employed, and it will cover topics such as infection control, sterilization techniques, and basic surgical procedures. Once you have completed your training, you will be able to work alongside surgeons and other medical professionals in the operating room.


The surgical technologist scope of practice is much more closely defined than that of the licensed practical nurse, and LPNs who wish to pursue a career in this field must obtain specialized training and certification. Surgical tech certification is offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, and candidates must have completed an accredited surgical technology program to be eligible to take the certification exam.

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