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Career as Operation Theatre Assistant

Career as a Operation Theatre Assistant

About Operation Theatre Assistant

An Operation Theatre (OT) assistant plays a significant role in supporting health care professionals while dealing with patient care. The concerned person has thorough knowledge regarding the various aspects of working in an operation theatre such as bio medical waste management and infection control. OT assistant will be able to prepare the operation theatre, maintain equipment, sterilization, personal hygiene and assist the nurses and surgeons in various procedures during and after the surgery such as filling in the forms.

An OT assistant needs to be courteous and empathetic as he/she may have to deal with patients and relatives who may be mentally, physically and emotionally distressed from time to time. Following are the requirements of an OT assistant

  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work under pressure and difficult situations
  • Good communication skills
  • Organised
  • Ability to work with minimum supervision
  • Ability to work as a part of a team

Operating room assistants are also known as operating room technicians make sure that the operating room is clean before, during and after the surgery. They also assist with the surgical procedures under the supervision of nurses, surgeons, and anesthesiologists. However, the primary duty of an OT assistant is to maintain a sterile environment for the surgical team and the patient, during and after the surgery. Before surgery, he/she washes and sterilizes all equipment and surgical instruments, then the assistant prepares the patient for surgery by washing and disinfecting the incision sites. And, finally, the assistant scrubs, masks, and gowns the surgical team. During the surgical process, the assistant passes the surgical instruments to the surgeon, applies dressing, cuts sutures and prepares specimens for lab analysis. Upon completion of the surgery, the assistant is responsible for taking the patient to the recovery room and cleaning the OT for the next surgery. 

Eligibility to become Operation Theatre Assistant

To become an OT assistant, you can choose to pursue a course after passing the 10th standard. Let’s take a look at the various course options that are available

Certificate in Operation Theatre Technology

This course can be pursued after completing class 10th to acquire some basic skills and for those who are interested in getting into this field can opt for this to get some entry-level jobs. The duration of this course ranges from 6 months to 1 year as it depends on the institute. To be eligible for this, you need to pass 10th with at least 50 % from a recognized board.

Diploma in Operation Theatre Technology

This course is popularly known as DOTT and it is a diploma certificate program. You can pursue this after class 10th or 12th. It is for 3 years and for this, you need to at least pass 10th and 12th with minimum 50 % from a recognized Board. After the completion of this course, you can opt for B.Sc programs such as B.Sc. in Operation Theatre and Anaesthesia Technology, B.Sc in OT Technology, B.Sc in Operation Theatre Techniques or B.Sc in Medical Technology (Operation Theatre). You can also go for M.Sc PG diploma or PG certificate courses.

Fees to Become An Operation Theatre Assistant 

The fees to pursue a course in operation theatre technology will range between Rs.5,000-Rs.10,00,000.

Types of Job Roles Operation Theatre Assistant

OT assistants can work in the following roles

Dental Assistants-OT assistants can work as dental assistants. The only difference is that it will be in a dental setting and not surgical. They are in charge of taking appointments, maintaining records and taking X rays.

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists- They are responsible for running clinical tests and maintaining laboratory equipment. They work with microscopes, laboratory machines and computers to analyse samples and bodily fluids to identify abnormalities and reach a diagnosis.

Medical assistants-Medical assistants are involved in taking medical histories, they monitor and record vital signs of patients. They are also responsible for completing the clinical and administrative tasks for physicians, in hospitals and clinics. 

Employment Opportunities for OT Assistants

Operation Theatre assistants work as a part of a team in government as well as private hospitals and clinics having surgical wards. They work with nurses, doctors, surgeons, anesthetists and other administrative staff.  They need to be calm and reassuring, be able to follow the procedures efficiently. 

Top Recruiting Companies for OT Assistants

OT assistants can work in the private as well as government hospitals. The list given below has some of the best government and private hospitals where one can work

Private Hospitals

  • Artemis Hospital
  • Moolchand Hospital
  • Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital
  • Lilavati Hospital
  • Ganga Ram Hospital
  • Fortis Malar Hospital
  • Medanta Hospital
  • Apollo Hospital, Chennai
  • Narayana Hrudhalaya

Government Hospitals

  • PGIMER Chandigarh
  • AIIMS
  • Christian Medical College, Vellore
  • Safdarjung Hospital
  • Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital
  • King Edward Memorial Hospital
  • Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital

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Pay Scale/Salary of Operation Theatre Assistant

The average salary of an Operation Theatre Assistant is roughly Rs. 4,48,828 per year. The number can go up after you gain considerable experience.

Note: The above figures are an estimate and may vary from individual to individual and company to company.

Books & Study Material to Become Operation Theatre Assistant

Some popular books which operation theatre assistants can refer to are listed below

  • Textbook for Operation Theatre Technicians (As per Paramedical Council Syllabus)
  • Operation Theatre Techniques and Management by MP Sharma
  • Ward Procedures by Mansukh B.Patel and Yogesh P.Upadhyay
  • Fundamentals of Operation Theatre Services by TK DattaManual of Anaesthesia for Operation Theatre Technicians by Pillai Ahanatha

Pros of becoming a Operation Theatre Assistant

  • One of the advantages of a career in this sector is that  OT assistants can work in various medical settings.
  • They are exposed to many medical procedures and contribute to saving lives. It will enable them to work and train in the Operation Theatre as a part of the team wherein they will get a chance to learn about some new procedures and surgeries.
  • All members work together with the same end goal i.e. is to treat the patient in the best possible manner.
  • A career in this field will also acquaint the OT assistants with the latest technologies and trends and has a lot of scope for learning.

Cons of becoming a Operation Theatre Assistant

  • An OT assistant may be required round the clock so one may have to work during evenings and nights or even weekends.
  • It can be a highly demanding and stressful job.
  • One has to be curious, ask questions and learn a lot of things on the job.
  • One has to be very responsible because the job involves keeping a track of all the drugs and equipment which are available. It also involves taking care of maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene standards. 

Paths for Being Operation Theatre Assistant

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