Guide to National Surgical Technologists Week: Date, Activity & Gift Ideas

Updated

The surgeon usually gets all the glory but there are a lot of people who work hard to make sure that patients have successful operations. 

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Surgical technologists make sure all the equipment is available to the surgeon and that all tools and equipment are sterile. They pass equipment to the surgeon during an operation and assist if something goes wrong. They complete a lot of work involved in surgery and even make sure that no supplies are left inside a person before he or she is sutured back together.

When is National Surgical Technologists Week?

According to the Association of Surgical Technologists’ website, National Surgical Technologists Week is celebrated every year on the third week of September. 

Here are the dates for National Surgical Technologists Week for the next six years:

  • 2020: September 14-18
  • 2021: September 13-17
  • 2022: September 12-16
  • 2023: September 11-15
  • 2024: September 16-20
  • 2025: September 15-19
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What is National Surgical Technologists Week?

The National Association of Surgical Technologists works to enhance the profession to ensure quality patient care — in fact, that’s the organization’s mission statement. This week in September is set aside for everyone else in the medical community and the general public to celebrate these professionals. 

How it got started

The Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) was established in 1969 by the American College of Surgeons, the American Hospital Association, and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses.

In 1984, the board of directors of the AST decided to set aside the third week every year to promote and celebrate their profession.

How to celebrate or get involved

As the third week of September approaches each year, check AST’s website to learn about educational activities that the group may host throughout the country to celebrate National Surgical Technologists Week.

If there aren’t any activities planned for your location, keep reading to come up with things you can do on your own.

Activity Ideas for National Surgical Technologists Week

If you know someone who works in this profession, this is an excellent week to thank him or her. Here are some great activities you can do during this week.

Continue learning

Surgical methodology constantly evolves. New research helps professionals learn best practices that make surgery safer and more successful and surgical techs must know all of it. 

Go to professional training. Read healthcare books and articles. Keep learning for the benefit of your career, your profession, and your patients. 

Promote your career

If you’ve been established in your career for a while, you have a vested interest in the quality of job candidates who replace retirees. Promote the surgical tech career to the best and brightest young people in your area.

Attend high school and college career fairs. Volunteer to speak to students. Tell students what they should do in high school and college to prepare for a career as a surgical tech.

Let students who are interested in the career interview you. Even though job shadowing is probably not a possibility, do what you can to teach others about your day-to-day responsibilities.

Volunteer in a classroom

Introducing careers in medicine and science can begin as early as kindergarten. Work with colleagues, develop a presentation or activity that would be appropriate for grade-school students. Ask a principal at a local school if you can present your material to students.

Encourage children to study science and health. Talk about all the different jobs they could choose from that fall under this broad umbrella. 

Spread the word

Your friends and family may not know or understand what you do. Promote your career by sharing little-known facts about it on social media. 

Share a list of your responsibilities. Check the websites of your professional organizations to see if there are any infographics that you can easily share. Talk about job training and the positive aspects of working in your profession.

Have an operation tournament

You work in a very serious job in a solemn profession. It’s important to blow off steam every once in a while. Get your friends or colleagues together and see who is the best at playing the game Operation! 

See who can remove the funny bone and the spare rib the quickest — and enjoy a few adult beverages, too.

Gift Ideas for National Surgical Technologists Week

Three main groups may be interested in purchasing gifts for National Surgical Technologists Week:

  1. Surgeons who know how important it is to have qualified professionals working in the operating room and may want to show their appreciation.
  2. Patients may become especially close to the surgical staff. They may understand that it takes a team of people working together to have a successful hospital stay.
  3. Finally, family members may want to purchase a gift for National Surgical Technologist Week. Your family and close friends know the long hours you work and how physically demanding it is. 

Here are some gift ideas — they’re similar to gifts that you would give to doctors. Or, you can read our guide on surgical tech gifts for more.

A meal

One of the best ways to show appreciation to a group of people is to provide a meal. Order a tray of sandwiches, have a local Mexican restaurant cater burritos and tacos, or make a variety of soups and chili to share with the staff.

Try to accommodate a variety of food preferences and allergies. Have vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free choices. 

A hot drink bar

Hospital coffee is notoriously bad, so cater coffee from an area coffee shop. Bring in fine teas (black, green, and herbal). Provide high-quality hot chocolate, fancy creamers, and biscotti to dunk.

Purchase personalized travel mugs that the surgery techs can keep. 

Massages

Book time with a local masseuse. Have the individual give 15-minutes chair messages to the staff. Working in an operating room is stressful and hard on the body.

Periodic messages can enable the surgery techs to work out the kinks so they’re more comfortable on their feet for long periods of time.

Health club memberships

More than anyone else, surgery techs understand how important it is to stay healthy. They see the effects of poor habits every day they’re at work and know how important it is to exercise regularly.

Purchase health club memberships for the surgery techs. Make sure the health club is close to to the hospital. Also, make sure if offers extended hours to accommodate someone who doesn’t have a nine-to-five job. 

Showing Thanks for Your Surgical Tech

As a surgery tech, you can see how fast life can change and how important it is to be prepared for the unexpected. You know how stressful it is when families unexpectedly lose a loved one.  

That’s why it only makes sense that you complete your own end-of-life planning. Make your funeral choices so your loved ones don’t have to do it for you.

If you're looking for more days dedicated to health care, read our guides on National Healthcare Decisions Day and National Physician Assistant Week.


Sources

  1. “National Surgical Technologists Week.” Association of Surgical Technologists. www.ast.org/AboutUs/NSTW/

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