Here are a few of the most commonly used instruments surgical techs learn how to handle, use and maintain:
Forceps: A hinged instrument resembling either a small pair of scissors or a pair of tweezers, meant for grasping tissue.
Hemostat: A type of forceps that locks closed, acting as a clamping device. It is designed to temporarily close off blood vessels, controlling bleeding.
Vascular Occluder: These small, clamp-like devices are used to slow or stop the blood flow through a blood vessel for longer periods. They are attached, tied shut, and inflated with air or fluid, pinching the vessel closed.
Retractor: A hooked instrument used to hold open an incision, or to hold an organ to one side so the surgeon can work on the tissue behind or below it. They can be held by the surgical tech or positioned on a stationary arm.
Scalpel: A small, thin blade resembling an Exacto knife, used to make incisions.
Metzenbaum scissors: A small pair of scissors, with blunted tips, used for cutting delicate tissue.
Injection needle: A syringe with an attachable needle tip. The tip can be color-coded, and the needle can vary in size (gauge) for different uses.
Ligature needle: A curved needle with an eyelet at the end, used for passing a ligature (thread) around an artery in order to tie it off.
Dermatome: An electrical or air-powered device used to slice off thin layers of skin, which can then be grafted onto a damaged area.
Endoscope: A fiber-optic device used to see inside smaller body cavities or through small incisions. They are used during endoscopies, as a less invasive means of surveying a body cavity.