Surgical Technologist--Alisiha Mobley

Uploaded by PCCvideos on 15.11.2011


My name is Alisha Mobley.
And I’ve been a surgical technologist for about 4-1/2 years.
And I currently work at Southwest Washington Medical Center.
My specialty is in neuro or ortho type cases,
but depending on the schedule,
I may be in a general room or an E and T room.
We’re starting to do some plastics in here now.

A typical day starts about 6:30.
I have to be ready in my scrubs by 7.
And I check the schedule to see where I’m headed for the day.

Go to that room. You know, set up the instruments.
Pick my supplies – that are needed,
Open the room. So we open the instruments,
open the back table pack. Anything we open then becomes sterile.
Anything like the back table cover goes over the back table,
then it becomes sterile.
Anything inside that pack
and anything inside the instrument pans is sterile.

And then I go out and scrub.

Basically, you start with your nails.
Each side of your fingers gets cleaned, the tops of your hands,
the palms, and you kind of work your way up your arm
to your elbow on each arm.

I gown and glove myself, but them I need someone
to tie up the back of my gown,
because that part is not sterile, the back of me is not sterile.

… two four six…

Count with a circulator – get everything ready.
…four, five, six, seven….
So at the beginning of a case we count instruments
and at the end we count again,
to make sure we still have everything we started with.

That’s important – very important.

The back table is all of my instruments that I might need.
If you always set it up the same way
then you know where things are,
should you need them in a hurry.

Then the surgeon comes in.

Since I’m already gowned and gloved myself,
I gown and glove the doctor.
And the Mayo Stand is what I bring up over the patient.
And that’s what I’m going to be working off
– the instruments that I know for sure we’ll need, first.
And then I can grab more from the back table
and bring it on to the Mayo Stand.

The other people in the room with me
are the anesthesiologist, two surgeons and the circulating nurse.
We all sort of form a team.
The circulating nurse is in charge of the paperwork
and charting for the patient,
as well as, getting us extra supplies we may need.
And of course the anesthesiologist is in charge of keeping the patient asleep.

And then the surgeons and I are in charge of the sterile field
and keeping things sterile.
The sterile field is pretty much everything that is blue.
Everything in the sterile field is important for patient safety.
We’re trying to keep everything as clean and as sterile as possible,
including ourselves our hands –
anything that’s going to be touching the patient during surgery.
My main job is to pass instruments to the surgeon,
and we just keep using those same instruments throughout the case.

I’d say the challenges for this job would be the standing
in one place for a long period of time.
Also , that you’re right up there next to the surgeon,
so you can’t have a queasy stomach.
You have to be able to see blood and not pass out….

In closing this case, usually the surgeon will ask for suture.
And it’s usually anywhere from about 3 layers of different types
of suture that we’ll go through.
Two, three, four, five….
That’s when we initiate the count - is when we’re closing the first layer
– to make sure we still have all the same instruments
and all the same soft good, as we call them
– the lap sponges, the raytex, the suture, the knife blades, bovie tips….

Once a procedure is done, my job is to collect the drapes,
put them in the trash,
start packing up the instruments back into the trays,
to put those in the case cart.
And send it to “decontam”.

I can also help move the patient.

In between the cases, I grab my next case cart
and start gathering my next supplies for that particular case
– set up the back table, open the packs, open the instruments.

So when it’s just me and the doctor,
then I kind of have to take on two roles.
I have to assist him with the retractors and also pass the instruments.

I like working with the surgeons and the people in the room as a team.
We have a lot of great doctors and great nurses that I work with.
Knowing that you did all you could to help facilitate the surgeon
and in turn you helped a patient and keep that patient safe.
So it’s definitely a good feeling at the end of the day.

I think its a great job!