Essential Functions | Lackawanna College

Essential Functions

Gross and Fine Motor Skills

  • Must have the ability to use hand(s) for instrumentation assembly.
  • Must have coordination in hand(s) for equipment use and control for extended periods of time.
  • Must have the ability to maneuver fingertips with materials as fine as
  • eyelashes and human hair.
  • Must be able to use both arms and legs to insure patient safety when lifting, transporting, or moving patients.
  • Must have use of both hands for handling of, and operating surgical instruments in a fashion as not to hinder the progress of surgery and the operating room environment pace.

Physical Strength and Endurance

  • Must have the ability to stand for prolonged periods of time, anywhere from 2-8 hours
  • Must be able to lift instruments and instrument sets and pans ranging in weight of 10-50 lbs.
  • Must be able to twist, bend, and reach above head, below waist.
  • Must be able to lift patients from a stretcher or wheelchair to the operating room table and back.

Visual Acuity

  • Must have the ability to read surgeon’s preference cards, computer screens, medications labels, and visualize materials as fine as human hair (with or without corrective lenses).
  • Must be able to distinguish colors (with or without corrective lenses).
  • Must be able to see in a darkened room.


  • A normal range of hearing (with or without corrective aids) is needed to communicate efficiently in the operating room. Because OR personnel must wear masks at all times the surgical technologist must be able to respond to auditory as well as visual commands.
  • Must be able to hear and discern conversations with background noise such as anesthesia
    machines, surgical equipment running.


  • Must be able to converse, read and write in English.
  • Must be able to interpret instructional manuals related to surgical instruments, and equipment used in the operating room.
  • Must be able to effectively communicate with patients, surgeons, and other staff members, and follow written and verbal instructions.
  • Must be able to comprehend and exhibit non-verbal communication as used in the operating room.

Adaptability and Emotional Stability

  • Surgical technologist must be able to adapt to ever changing situations, sometimes critical in the operating room.
  • Must be able to multi-task and pay strict attention to the surgical procedures at hand.
  • Must be able to deal with other team members, patients and own emotional situations.
  • Must be able to work as an integral part of a surgical team.
  • Must be able to receive constructive feedback.
  • Must maintain a professional attitude and demeanor at all times.

AST. (n.d.). Retrieved July 5, 2016, from Assoctiation of Surgical Technology: