Surgical Orderly

Assist surgical patients with their non-medical needs.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$28,000 – $57,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Surgical Orderlies do?

An Orderly is someone who works in the medical field as an assistant to Doctors and Nurses, and a Caregiver to patients. A Surgical Orderly is someone who uses those skills in a facility with an operating room.

Being a Surgical Orderly means having a strong stomach. A Surgical Orderly spends their days in the operating room witnessing surgeries, so being squeamish about blood and other bodily fluids isn’t going to get you very far.

A typical day sees you spending time with the patient before, during, and after surgery. At the beginning of your shift, you review the patient charts and surgery schedule for the day. You help the patient get in and out of bed, eat meals, and clean up. You might also help transfer the patient to a different bed, and wheel him or her into the surgery room.

Once there, you hold a hand, offer comfort, and answer questions to help the patient relax. When the rest of the medical staff arrives, you help keep a sterile environment by assisting with gloves and masks, sterilizing supplies, and setting up equipment. During surgery, you might wipe the Surgeon ’s brow, put on his or her favorite music, or restock the gauze and other surgical supplies. Following surgery, you assist in cleaning up the operating room, and help the patient settle back into his or her room.

This highly supervised position gives you the unique opportunity to learn proper medical care skills under the guiding hand of experienced Nurses and Doctors.

Should I be a Surgical Orderly?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • How to become a Surgical Orderly

    Most Surgical Orderlies have a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:r9faaf&chl=no+college+%2815%25%29|certificate+%2853%25%29|associate%27s+%2827%25%29|||doctorate+%285%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,15,53
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