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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  |  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.
  • 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.

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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
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)

See all 58 T2 categories

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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.
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.
  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.

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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.
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.

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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 (2013) $19.67 hourly, $40,900 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 2013 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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