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Surgical Assistant

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What You Need to Know About Surgical Assistant

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

  • Gather, arrange, or assemble instruments or supplies.
  • Monitor patient intra-operative status, including patient position, vital signs, or volume and color of blood.
  • Clamp, ligate, or cauterize blood vessels to control bleeding during surgical entry, using hemostatic clamps, suture ligatures, or electrocautery equipment.
  • Pass instruments or supplies to surgeon during procedure.
  • Determine availability of necessary equipment or supplies for operative procedures.
  • Remove patient hair or disinfect incision sites to prepare patient for surgery.

Skills Needed to be a Surgical Assistant

Below is a list of the skills most Surgical Assistants say are important on the job.

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

  • Surgery Technician
  • First Assistant
  • Certified First Assistant (CFA)
  • Certified Registered Nurse First Assistant (CRNFA)
  • Surgical Assistant

Job Outlook for Surgical Assistants

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 127,800 jobs in the United States for Surgical Assistant. 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. There will be an estimated 11,000 positions for Surgical Assistant per year.

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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.

Salary for a Surgical Assistant

The salary for Surgical Assistants ranges between about $28,130 and $72,720 a year.

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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
Alabama $46,230
Alaska $62,580
Arizona $48,840
Arkansas $42,300
California $50,150
Colorado $46,270
Connecticut $55,450
Delaware $48,900
District of Columbia $54,210
Florida $42,730
Georgia $46,960
Hawaii $54,660
Idaho $48,750
Illinois $47,590
Indiana $49,300
Iowa $42,590
Kansas $49,180
Kentucky $51,780
Louisiana $38,370
Maine $51,500
Maryland $44,590
Massachusetts $55,950
Michigan $45,640
Minnesota $55,940
Mississippi $36,900
Missouri $46,580
Montana $42,630
Nebraska $45,370
Nevada $45,980
New Hampshire $50,390
New Jersey $53,570
New Mexico $60,690
New York $55,700
North Carolina $39,230
North Dakota $46,370
Ohio $42,780
Oklahoma $43,960
Oregon $54,520
Pennsylvania $43,070
Rhode Island $55,490
South Carolina $42,820
South Dakota $54,290
Tennessee $64,010
Texas $43,990
Utah $41,150
Vermont $50,140
Virginia $48,050
Washington $59,950
West Virginia $43,490
Wisconsin $44,080
Wyoming $51,120

What Tools & Technology 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 to Become a Surgical Assistant

Individuals working as a Surgical Assistant have obtained the following education levels:

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How Long Does it Take to Become a Surgical Assistant?

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Who Employs Surgical Assistants?

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Below are examples of industries where Surgical Assistants work:

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References:

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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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