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.
- Adjust and maintain operating room temperature, humidity, or lighting, according to surgeon's specifications.
- 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.
- Assist in the insertion, positioning, or suturing of closed-wound drainage systems.
- Assist members of surgical team with gowning or gloving.
- Clamp, ligate, or cauterize blood vessels to control bleeding during surgical entry, using hemostatic clamps, suture ligatures, or electrocautery equipment.
- 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.
- Coordinate with anesthesia personnel to maintain patient temperature.
- 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.
- Incise tissue layers in lower extremities to harvest veins.
- Maintain an unobstructed operative field, using surgical retractors, sponges, or suctioning and irrigating equipment.
- Monitor and maintain aseptic technique throughout procedures.
- Monitor patient intra-operative status, including patient position, vital signs, or volume and color of blood.
- Postoperatively inject a subcutaneous local anesthetic agent to reduce pain.
- Prepare and apply sterile wound dressings.
- Assist in applying casts, splints, braces, or similar devices.
- Assist in volume replacement or autotransfusion techniques.
- Assist with patient resuscitation during cardiac arrest or other life-threatening events.
- Cover patients with surgical drapes to create and maintain a sterile operative field.
- Determine availability of necessary equipment or supplies for operative procedures.
- Gather, arrange, or assemble instruments or supplies.
- Insert or remove urinary bladder catheters.
- Obtain or inspect sterile or non-sterile surgical equipment, instruments, or supplies.
- Operate sterilizing devices.
- Pass instruments or supplies to surgeon during procedure.
- Remove patient hair or disinfect incision sites to prepare patient for surgery.
- Transport patients to operating room.
- Verify the identity of patient or operative site.
Tools used in this occupation:
|Automated external defibrillators AED or hard paddles — Automated external defibrillators AED|
|Cardiac pacemaker generator or cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemaker CRT-P — Heart pacemakers|
|Cast cutters or saws — Cast cutting saws|
|Chemical or gas sterilizers — Ethylene Oxide sterilizers|
|Diagnostic or interventional vascular catheters or sets — Angiocaths|
|Electronic medical thermometers — Telethermometers|
|Electrosurgical or electrocautery equipment — Argon beam coagulators; Cauterizing equipment|
|Endoscopic video cameras or recorders or adapters or accessories — Endoscopic camera/video systems|
|Floor grade forceps or hemostats — Hemostat clamps|
|Operating room patient positioning devices or accessories — Body stabilizers; Head stabilizers; Patient positioning devices|
|Steam autoclaves or sterilizers — Flash sterilizers; Pressure steam autoclaves|
|Surgical clamps or clips or forceps or accessories — Surgical clamps; Vascular clamps|
|Surgical dermatomes or dermabraders or dermameshers or accessories — Surgical dermatomes|
|Surgical drapes — Sterile drapes|
|Surgical irrigation or suction handpiece or cannula or tip — Suction machines|
|Surgical lasers or accessories — Carbon dioxide CO2 lasers; Eye lasers|
|Surgical pneumatic or battery or electric saws or drills or pin drivers or accessories — Powered surgical drills|
|Surgical trocars for general use or accessories — Surgical trocars|
|Suturing kits or trays or packs or sets — Suture kits|
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)|
|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.|
|67||Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
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 (2012)||$19.57 hourly, $40,700 annual|
|Employment (2012)||90,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Much faster than average (22% or higher)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||33,100|
|Top industries (2012)||
Health Care and Social Assistance (86% employed in this sector)
State & National
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "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.