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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.

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

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

Tasks

  • 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.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Automated external defibrillators AED or hard paddles — Automated external defibrillators AED
Electronic medical thermometers — Telethermometers
Electrosurgical or electrocautery equipment — Argon beam coagulators; Cauterizing equipment
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 lasers or accessories — Carbon dioxide CO2 lasers; Eye lasers
Surgical trocars for general use or accessories — Surgical trocars

Technology used in this occupation:

Medical software — Electronic medical record EMR software; Nursing documentation software; Supply documentation software; Surgery workflow communication software

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Interests

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.

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Work Values

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.

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Wages & Employment Trends

National

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) Much faster than average (22% or higher)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 33,100
Top industries (2012)

State & National

          CareerOneStop

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 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

Find Jobs
for Surgical Assistants

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

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