What Does it Take to Be a Surgical Assistant?
Surgical Assistant Definition 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
- Clamp, ligate, or cauterize blood vessels to control bleeding during surgical entry, using hemostatic clamps, suture ligatures, or electrocautery equipment.
- Monitor patient intra-operative status, including patient position, vital signs, or volume and color of blood.
- Maintain an unobstructed operative field, using surgical retractors, sponges, or suctioning and irrigating equipment.
- Assist members of surgical team with gowning or gloving.
- Assist in applying casts, splints, braces, or similar devices.
- Postoperatively inject a subcutaneous local anesthetic agent to reduce pain.
Things a Surgical Assistant Should Know How to Do
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.
Related Job Titles for this Occupation:
- Surgical Assistant-Certified (SA-C)
- Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
- Gastrointestinal Technician (GI Technician)
- Surgical Technician (Surgical Tech)
- Operating Room Assistant
Are There Job Opportunities 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 11,000 job openings in this field each year.
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.
Average Surgical Assistants Salary
The salary for Surgical Assistants ranges between about $28,130 and $72,720 a year.
Surgical Assistants who work in New Mexico, Alaska, or Washington, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Surgical Assistants 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
Becoming a Surgical Assistant
What kind of Surgical Assistant requirements are there?
How many years of work experience do I need?
Where Surgical Assistants Work
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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