Life As a Surgical Assistant
Job Description: Assist surgeons during surgery by performing duties such as tissue retraction, insertion of tubes and intravenous lines, or closure of surgical wounds. Perform preoperative and postoperative duties to facilitate patient care.
List of Surgical Assistant Job Duties
- Monitor and maintain aseptic technique throughout procedures.
- Assist members of surgical team with gowning or gloving.
- Cover patients with surgical drapes to create and maintain a sterile operative field.
- Clamp, ligate, or cauterize blood vessels to control bleeding during surgical entry, using hemostatic clamps, suture ligatures, or electrocautery equipment.
- Adjust and maintain operating room temperature, humidity, or lighting, according to surgeon’s specifications.
- Pass instruments or supplies to surgeon during procedure.
What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Surgical Assistant?
When polled, Surgical Assistants say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Types of Surgical Assistant Jobs
- Registered Nurse First Assistant (RNFA)
- Surgical First Assistant
- Certified Surgical First Assistant (CSFA)
- Operating Room Technician
- Gastrointestinal Technician (GI Technician)
Is There Going to be Demand for Surgical Assistants?
In the United States, there were 127,800 jobs for Surgical Assistant in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 19.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 25,100 new jobs for Surgical Assistant by 2026. The BLS estimates 11,000 yearly job openings in this field.
The states with the most job growth for Surgical Assistant are Utah, Arizona, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Illinois, Rhode Island, or Kansas. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Surgical Assistant Average Salary
Surgical Assistants make between $28,130 and $72,720 a year.
Surgical Assistants who work in New Mexico, Alaska, or Washington, make the highest salaries.
How much do Surgical Assistants make in different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$54,210|
What Tools do Surgical Assistants Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Surgical Assistants may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Word processing software
- MEDITECH software
- Electronic medical record EMR software
- Palm OS
- Patient tracking software
- Nursing documentation software
- Patient scheduling software
- Supply documentation software
- Surgery workflow communication software
How do I Become a Surgical Assistant?
What kind of Surgical Assistant requirements are there?
How many years of work experience do I need?
Where do Surgical Assistants Work?
The table below shows the approximate number of Surgical Assistants employed by various industries.
More about our data sources and methodologies.