What Do Surgical Assistants Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

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. They also verify the identity of patient or operative site.

Other tasks include:

  • Monitor and maintain aseptic technique throughout procedures.
  • Cover patients with surgical drapes to create and maintain a sterile operative field.
  • 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.
  • Maintain an unobstructed operative field, using surgical retractors, sponges, or suctioning and irrigating equipment.
  • Prepare and apply sterile wound dressings.
  • Apply sutures, staples, clips, or other materials to close skin, facia, or subcutaneous wound layers.

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

Job satisfaction

74%

How meaningful is this job

82%


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.



Featured Surgical Tech Schools

Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Surgical Assistants prepare and apply sterile wound dressings. They monitor and maintain aseptic technique throughout procedures.

  • Cover patients with surgical drapes to create and maintain a sterile operative field.
  • Verify the identity of patient or operative site.
  • Assess skin integrity or other body conditions upon completion of the procedure to determine if damage has occurred from body positioning.
  • 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.
  • Maintain an unobstructed operative field, using surgical retractors, sponges, or suctioning and irrigating equipment.

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
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 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 their typical day, Surgical Assistants also insert or remove urinary bladder catheters. They may also assist in the insertion, positioning, or suturing of closed-wound drainage systems.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Surgical Assistants Assist in applying casts, splints, braces, or similar devices. They might also Postoperatively inject a subcutaneous local anesthetic agent to reduce pain.

In addition, they Operate sterilizing devices.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Transport patients to operating room.

To some Surgical Assistants, it is also their responsibility to Apply sutures, staples, clips, or other materials to close skin, facia, or subcutaneous wound layers.


Working life

Working hours

Standard 40 hour work week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Surgical Assistant, you can expect to work 40 hour work week.

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

Every day
91%


Once a week
9%


Do Surgical Assistants work outdoors?

Never
99%


Once a year
1%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Organizers and The Helpers

People who are suitable for this job tends to like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas..

They also like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about Surgical Assistants

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Related to Surgical Assistants Job Description

Surgical Assistants job description, what do Surgical Assistants do, typical day for Surgical Assistants, what is it like to work as a Surgical Assistant, how many hours do Surgical Assistants work, day to day work of a Surgical Assistant

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/surgical-technologists.htm
http://www.ast.org/
http://nbstsa.org/
http://www.absa.net/


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