427 - The Surgical Need - 50 Years of Surgical Technology

TheSurgicalNeed– 50YearsofSurgicalTechnology James Steele , cst L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E S s Examine the last 50 years of the surgical technology profession s Recall why the role of the scrub tech was created s List some of the major advancements in surgery over the years s Learn about when surgical robots were introduced s Reflect on the scrub tech’s past and where it’s headed in the future As AST celebrates 50 years this month, it is only natural to ponder about the history of “the tech.” How did cultures defer in how a sur- gery was performed or better yet, what was performed and why? Trephination was believed to be the cure all and “perhaps the first surgery to exist”; 3 but historical archives show that this profession was a peppered past of magical tinctures, painful experimentation and new discoveries. Before the operating room even existed, the surgeon and the procedures he performed were seen as heroic. G reek’s Iliad Book XI states that a surgeon “who knows how to cut out darts and relieve the smarting of wounds by sooth- ing unguents was to armies more in value than many other heroes.” 3 Gradually the operating room did come into creation, but not to what is available today. Spectacles of barbaric interest took form as the “theatre,” and held intrigued viewers that spanned professions even outside of medicine. For what was once a side job for the local barber, surgery held a more prominent intent. From inside the canvas tent of a M.A.S.H. Surgical Unit to the solid white walls of the most technologi- cally advanced OR suite, the field of surgery has continuously main- tained a common theme – the surgical need. This one short phrase has established a field that was once revered as borderline evil, to what is now seen at times as one’s only hope for survival. Amongst the mem- bers of almost any surgical suite, the surgical technologist’s beginnings parallel much of the same traits. This profession was established during JULY 2019 | The Surgical Technologist | 301