Summary 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.
Sample of reported job titles: Certified First Assistant (CFA), Certified Registered Nurse First Assistant (CRNFA), Certified Surgical Assistant (CSA), Certified Surgical First Assistant (CSFA), Certified Surgical Technician, Gastrointestinal Technician (GI Technician), Registered Nurse First Assistant (RNFA), Surgical First Assistant, Surgical Scrub Technician (Surgical Scrub Tech), Surgical Technician (Surgical Tech)
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 & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Automated external defibrillators AED or hard paddles — Automated external defibrillators AED
- Autotransfusion units — Cell savers
- Blanket or solution warmer cabinets — Blanket warmer cabinets
- Blood warming or transfusion systems — Blood warming equipment
- Cardiac output CO monitoring units or accessories — Cardiac monitoring equipment
- 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
- Desktop computers
- 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
- Eyemagnets for ophthalmic surgery — Eye magnets
- Flexible endoscopes or accessories or related products — Fiberoptic endoscopes
- Floor grade forceps or hemostats — Hemostat clamps
- Goggles — Surgical protective goggles
- Hospital intercom systems — Hospital intercom equipment
- Hypodermic injection apparatus or accessories — Subcutaneous injection syringes
- Intravenous or arterial fluid warmers or accessories — Fluid warmers
- Intravenous tubing with catheter administration kits — Intravenous IV sets
- Lap mayo trays or mayo stands for surgical use or accessories — Mayo stands
- Laparoscopes or laparoscopic telescopes — Laparoscopes
- Medical carts or accessories — Anesthesia carts
- Medical imaging dry laser printers or imagers — Medical image processing printers
- Medical incision drains — Wound drains
- Medical staff isolation or cover gown — Sterile gowns
- Medical staff isolation or surgical masks — Surgical masks
- Medical stapler for internal use — Medical staple kits
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Operating room patient fracture tables or orthopedic tables or accessories or related products — Surgical fracture tables
- Operating room patient positioning devices or accessories — Body stabilizers; Head stabilizers; Patient positioning devices
- Operating room patient procedure tables or accessories or related products — C-arm tables
- Patient stretchers or stretcher accessories — Patient transport stretchers
- Personal computers
- Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems
- Specimen collection container — Specimen collection containers
- 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 gloves
- Surgical lasers or accessories — Carbon dioxide CO2 lasers; Eye lasers; Neodymium-doped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet Nd:YAG lasers
- Surgical nerve stimulators or accessories — Nerve stimulators
- Surgical pneumatic or battery or electric saws or drills or pin drivers or accessories — Powered surgical drills
- Surgical pneumatic or electric tourniquets or accessories — Pneumatic tourniquets
- Surgical power equipment sets or accessories — Surgical robots
- Surgical retractors for general use — Surgical retractors
- Surgical scalpels or knives or blades or trephines or accessories — Surgical scalpels
- Surgical shave kits or prep razors or clippers — Surgical razors
- Surgical suction machines or vacuum extractors or ultrasonic surgical aspirators or regulators or accessories — Suction machines
- Surgical trocars for general use or accessories — Surgical trocars
- Suturing kits or trays or packs or sets — Suture kits
- Therapeutic heating or cooling units or systems — Hypothermia units
- Urinary catheterization kit — Urinary catheters
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)
Detailed Work Activities
- Verify accuracy of patient information.
- Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.
- Maintain sterile operative fields.
- Protect patients or staff members using safety equipment.
- Implement advanced life support techniques.
- Treat acute illnesses, infections, or injuries.
- Operate on patients to treat conditions.
- Maintain inventory of medical supplies or equipment.
- Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities.
- Position patients for treatment or examination.
- Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use.
- Assist healthcare practitioners during surgery.
- Administer anesthetics or sedatives to control pain.
- Prepare patients physically for medical procedures.
- Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
- Administer blood or other fluids intravenously.
- Administer intravenous medications.
- Sterilize medical equipment or instruments.
- Examine medical instruments or equipment to ensure proper operation.
- Apply bandages, dressings, or splints.
- Administer basic health care or medical treatments.
- Move patients to or from treatment areas.
Interest code: CSR
- 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.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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|
|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)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 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.