Projected Growth: Much faster than average
Projected Job Openings
Medium Preparation Needed
Your job is to 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.
Common job titles of Surgical Assistants include:
Experience and Education
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
24.96% said they needed a Associate's Degree.
16.12% said they needed a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate.
Maintain an unobstructed operative field, using surgical retractors, sponges, or suctioning and irrigating equipment.
Adjust and maintain operating room temperature, humidity, or lighting, according to surgeon's specifications.
Coordinate with anesthesia personnel to maintain patient temperature.
Remove patient hair or disinfect incision sites to prepare patient for surgery.
Monitor and maintain aseptic technique throughout procedures.
Verify the identity of patient or operative site.
Cover patients with surgical drapes to create and maintain a sterile operative field.
Obtain or inspect sterile or non-sterile surgical equipment, instruments, or supplies.
Pass instruments or supplies to surgeon during procedure.
Coordinate or participate in the positioning of patients, using body stabilizing equipment or protective padding to provide appropriate exposure for the procedure or to protect against nerve damage or circulation impairment.
Clamp, ligate, or cauterize blood vessels to control bleeding during surgical entry, using hemostatic clamps, suture ligatures, or electrocautery equipment.
Determine availability of necessary equipment or supplies for operative procedures.
Gather, arrange, or assemble instruments or supplies.
Apply sutures, staples, clips, or other materials to close skin, facia, or subcutaneous wound layers.
Assess skin integrity or other body conditions upon completion of the procedure to determine if damage has occurred from body positioning.
Operate sterilizing devices.
Assist members of surgical team with gowning or gloving.
Prepare and apply sterile wound dressings.
Discuss with surgeon the nature of the surgical procedure, including operative consent, methods of operative exposure, diagnostic or laboratory data, or patient-advanced directives or other needs.
Monitor patient intra-operative status, including patient position, vital signs, or volume and color of blood.
Insert or remove urinary bladder catheters.
Assist in applying casts, splints, braces, or similar devices.
Postoperatively inject a subcutaneous local anesthetic agent to reduce pain.
Assist in the insertion, positioning, or suturing of closed-wound drainage systems.
Transport patients to operating room.
Assist in volume replacement or autotransfusion techniques.
Assist with patient resuscitation during cardiac arrest or other life-threatening events.
Incise tissue layers in lower extremities to harvest veins.
Surgical scalpelsAll Tools
Surgical protective goggles
Surgical fracture tables
Subcutaneous injection syringes
Specimen collection containers
Pressure steam autoclaves
Powered surgical drills
Patient transport stretchers
Patient positioning devices
Neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet Nd:YAG lasers
Multi-line telephone systems
Medical staple kits
Medical image processing printers
Intravenous IV sets
Hospital intercom equipment
Ethylene Oxide sterilizers
Endoscopic camera/video systems
Cast cutting saws
Cardiac monitoring equipment
Carbon dioxide CO2 lasers
Blood warming equipment
Blanket warmer cabinets
Automated external defibrillators AED
Argon beam coagulators
Electronic medical record EMR software
Nursing documentation software
Patient scheduling software
Patient tracking softwareAll Technologies
Supply documentation software
Surgery workflow communication software
Word processing software
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.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension
Keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Fine Manipulative Abilities › Psychomotor Abilities › Arm-Hand Steadiness
Precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Fine Manipulative Abilities › Psychomotor Abilities › Finger Dexterity
See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Near Vision
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.