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Details Report for:
29-2099.07 - Surgical Assistants

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.

This title represents an occupation for which data collection is currently underway.

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Values  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings

Tasks   Save Table (XLS/CSV)

  • Adjust and maintain operating room temperature, humidity, or lighting, according to surgeon's specifications. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Apply sutures, staples, clips, or other materials to close skin, facia, or subcutaneous wound layers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Assess skin integrity or other body conditions upon completion of the procedure to determine if damage has occurred from body positioning. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Assist in the insertion, positioning, or suturing of closed-wound drainage systems. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Assist members of surgical team with gowning or gloving. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Clamp, ligate, or cauterize blood vessels to control bleeding during surgical entry, using hemostatic clamps, suture ligatures, or electrocautery equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Coordinate with anesthesia personnel to maintain patient temperature. See more occupations related to this task.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Incise tissue layers in lower extremities to harvest veins. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Maintain an unobstructed operative field, using surgical retractors, sponges, or suctioning and irrigating equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Monitor and maintain aseptic technique throughout procedures. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Monitor patient intra-operative status, including patient position, vital signs, or volume and color of blood. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Postoperatively inject a subcutaneous local anesthetic agent to reduce pain. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare and apply sterile wound dressings. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Assist in applying casts, splints, braces, or similar devices. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Assist in volume replacement or autotransfusion techniques. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Assist with patient resuscitation during cardiac arrest or other life-threatening events. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Cover patients with surgical drapes to create and maintain a sterile operative field. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Determine availability of necessary equipment or supplies for operative procedures. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Gather, arrange, or assemble instruments or supplies. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Insert or remove urinary bladder catheters. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Obtain or inspect sterile or non-sterile surgical equipment, instruments, or supplies. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate sterilizing devices. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Pass instruments or supplies to surgeon during procedure. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Remove patient hair or disinfect incision sites to prepare patient for surgery. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Transport patients to operating room. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Verify the identity of patient or operative site. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology   Save Table (XLS/CSV)

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Automated external defibrillators AED or hard paddles — Automated external defibrillators AED See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Autotransfusion units — Cell savers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Blanket or solution warmer cabinets — Blanket warmer cabinets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Blood warming or transfusion systems — Blood warming equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cardiac output CO monitoring units or accessories — Cardiac monitoring equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cardiac pacemaker generator or cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemaker CRT-P — Heart pacemakers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cast cutters or saws — Cast cutting saws See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Chemical or gas sterilizers — Ethylene Oxide sterilizers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Diagnostic or interventional vascular catheters or sets — Angiocaths See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Electronic medical thermometers — Telethermometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Electrosurgical or electrocautery equipment — Argon beam coagulators; Cauterizing equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Endoscopic video cameras or recorders or adapters or accessories — Endoscopic camera/video systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Eyemagnets for ophthalmic surgery — Eye magnets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Flexible endoscopes or accessories or related products — Fiberoptic endoscopes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Floor grade forceps or hemostats — Hemostat clamps See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Goggles — Surgical protective goggles See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hospital intercom systems — Hospital intercom equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hypodermic injection apparatus or accessories — Subcutaneous injection syringes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Intravenous or arterial fluid warmers or accessories — Fluid warmers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Intravenous tubing with catheter administration kits — Intravenous IV sets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Lap mayo trays or mayo stands for surgical use or accessories — Mayo stands See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laparoscopes or laparoscopic telescopes — Laparoscopes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Medical carts or accessories — Anesthesia carts See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Medical imaging dry laser printers or imagers — Medical image processing printers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Medical incision drains — Wound drains See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Medical staff isolation or cover gown — Sterile gowns See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Medical staff isolation or surgical masks — Surgical masks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Medical stapler for internal use — Medical staple kits See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Operating room patient fracture tables or orthopedic tables or accessories or related products — Surgical fracture tables See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Operating room patient positioning devices or accessories — Body stabilizers; Head stabilizers; Patient positioning devices See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Operating room patient procedure tables or accessories or related products — C-arm tables See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pagers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Patient stretchers or stretcher accessories — Patient transport stretchers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Specimen collection container — Specimen collection containers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Steam autoclaves or sterilizers — Flash sterilizers; Pressure steam autoclaves See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Surgical clamps or clips or forceps or accessories — Surgical clamps; Vascular clamps See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Surgical dermatomes or dermabraders or dermameshers or accessories — Surgical dermatomes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Surgical drapes — Sterile drapes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Surgical gloves See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Surgical lasers or accessories — Carbon dioxide CO2 lasers; Eye lasers; Neodymium-doped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet Nd:YAG lasers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Surgical nerve stimulators or accessories — Nerve stimulators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Surgical pneumatic or battery or electric saws or drills or pin drivers or accessories — Powered surgical drills See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Surgical pneumatic or electric tourniquets or accessories — Pneumatic tourniquets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Surgical power equipment sets or accessories — Surgical robots See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Surgical retractors for general use — Surgical retractors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Surgical scalpels or knives or blades or trephines or accessories — Surgical scalpels See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Surgical shave kits or prep razors or clippers — Surgical razors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Surgical suction machines or vacuum extractors or ultrasonic surgical aspirators or regulators or accessories — Suction machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Surgical trocars for general use or accessories — Surgical trocars See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Suturing kits or trays or packs or sets — Suture kits See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Therapeutic heating or cooling units or systems — Hypothermia units See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Urinary catheterization kit — Urinary catheters See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Medical software — Electronic medical record EMR software; Nursing documentation software; Supply documentation software; Surgery workflow communication software (see all 6 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.

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Detailed Work Activities   Save Table (XLS/CSV)

  • Verify accuracy of patient information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain sterile operative fields. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Protect patients or staff members using safety equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Implement advanced life support techniques. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Treat acute illnesses, infections, or injuries. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate on patients to treat conditions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain inventory of medical supplies or equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Position patients for treatment or examination. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Assist healthcare practitioners during surgery. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Administer anesthetics or sedatives to control pain. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare patients physically for medical procedures. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Administer blood or other fluids intravenously. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Administer intravenous medications. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Sterilize medical equipment or instruments. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Examine medical instruments or equipment to ensure proper operation. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Apply bandages, dressings, or splints. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Administer basic health care or medical treatments. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Move patients to or from treatment areas. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Credentials

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Interests   Save Table (XLS/CSV)


Occupational Interest
Interest
89 
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.See more occupations related to this interest.
67 
Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.See more occupations related to this interest.
50 
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.See more occupations related to this interest.
39 
Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.See more occupations related to this interest.
11 
Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.See more occupations related to this interest.
6 
Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Values   Save Table (XLS/CSV)


Extent
Work Value
83 
Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.See more occupations related to this work value.
61 
Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.See more occupations related to this work value.
56 
Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.See more occupations related to this work value.
56 
Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.See more occupations related to this work value.
47 
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.See more occupations related to this work value.
28 
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.See more occupations related to this work value.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other.
Employment data collected from Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other.
Industry data collected from Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other.

Median wages (2014) $19.91 hourly, $41,420 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 90,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Much faster than average (22% or higher) Much faster than average (22% or higher)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 33,100
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)
Health Care and Social Assistance (86% employed in this sector)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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