daily life of a Surgical Assistant
are Surgical Assistants happy with their job

Surgical Assistants

Other names for this job might include Assistant-at-Surgery, Certified First Assistant (CFA), Certified Registered Nurse First Assistant (CRNFA), Certified Surgical Assistant (CSA), Certified Surgical First Assistant (CSFA), Certified Surgical Technician, First Assistant, Gastrointestinal Technician (GI Technician), Registered Nurse First Assistant (RNFA), Surgical Assistant-Certified (SA-C)

  • $45730
  • 74%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
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Being A Surgical Assistant: What You Really Do

In this job description guide, you will find out what do Surgical Assistants do and what is their typical work day like. After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Surgical Assistant or not.

Job summary

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.

We asked Surgical Assistants how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


74% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 82% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

Become one

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Typical day

On a daily basis, Surgical Assistants Adjust and maintain operating room temperature, humidity, or lighting, according to surgeon’s specifications. They Apply sutures, staples, clips, or other materials to close skin, facia, or subcutaneous wound layers.

1 of the main responsibilities as A Surgical Assistant is to Assess skin integrity or other body conditions upon completion of the procedure to determine if damage has occurred from body positioning.

Some may also Assist members of surgical team with gowning or gloving.

In a normal work day, another thing that Surgical Assistants do is they Clamp, ligate, or cauterize blood vessels to control bleeding during surgical entry, using hemostatic clamps, suture ligatures, or electrocautery equipment.

In addition to that, they 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..

Operate on patients to treat conditions.

We asked some Surgical Assistants a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?42% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?52% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?81% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?72% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?34% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?51% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?10% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?41% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that Surgical Assistants do, they Assist in the insertion, positioning, or suturing of closed-wound drainage systems. They might also Postoperatively inject a subcutaneous local anesthetic agent to reduce pain.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Surgical Assistants Assist in applying casts, splints, braces, or similar devices. and Insert or remove urinary bladder catheters.

In addition, they Transport patients to operating room.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Assist healthcare practitioners during surgery.
Administer anesthetics or sedatives to control pain.
Administer intravenous medications.
Apply bandages, dressings, or splints.
Administer basic health care or medical treatments.
Move patients to or from treatment areas.

Working life

Working hours

40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)

In a typical work week as A Surgical Assistant, you can expect to work 40 hours per week.

Do Surgical Assistants work in an office-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Surgical Assistants work in a warehouse-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Surgical Assistants work outdoors?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Organizers and The Helpers

You can read more about these career personality types here. You will like this career if you are someone who likes following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas. You also like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

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Related to Surgical Assistants Job Description

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/surgical-technologists.htm http://www.ast.org/ http://nbstsa.org/ http://www.absa.net/ [schema type=”review” url=”https://www.owlguru.com/” name=”OwlGuru.com” description=”OwlGuru.com is a career and college finder site. We help students to find a career and college that is right for them.” rev_name=”Surgical Assistants” rev_body=”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.” author=”Stanley Tan” user_review=”4.8″ min_review=”1″ max_review=”5″ ]