Definition of Surgical Case Roles

First Scrub Role

The student surgical technologist shall perform the following duties during any given surgical procedure with proficiency. The following list is provided to identify the items that must be completed in order to document a case in the first scrub role. A student not meeting the five criteria below cannot count the case in the first scrub role and the case must be documented in the second scrub role or observation role.

  • Verify supplies and equipment needed for the surgical procedure.
  • Set up the sterile field with instruments, supplies, equipment, medication(s), and solutions needed for the procedure.
  • Perform counts with the circulator prior to the procedure and before the incision is closed.
  • Pass instruments and supplies to the sterile surgical team members during the procedure.
  • Maintain sterile technique as measured by recognized breaks in technique and demonstrate knowledge of how to correct with appropriate technique.

Second Scrub Role

The second scrub role is defined as the student who is at the sterile field who has not met all criteria for the first scrub role, but actively participates in the surgical procedure in its entirety by completing any of the following:

  • Sponging
  • Suctioning
  • Cutting suture
  • Holding retractors
  • Manipulating endoscopic camera

Observation Role

The observation role is defined as the student who is in the operating room performing roles that do not meet the criteria for the first scrub or second scrub role. These observation cases are not to be included in the required case count, but must be documented by the program.