Who Is a Surgical Assistant

Surgical assistants are advanced allied health practitioners who provide aid in exposure, hemostasis, wound closure, and other intraoperative technical functions that help the surgeon carry out a safe operation with optimal results for the surgical patient. The surgical assistant performs these functions under the direction and supervision of the surgeon and in accordance with hospital policy and appropriate laws and regulations.

Surgical assistants, also called surgical first assistants, often begin in the role of the surgical technologist and advance to the surgical assistant role after years of experience or after attending an accredited surgical assisting program. Certification or registration may be required to practice in some states. For more information about the role of the surgical assistant, read the job description or download a pdf for your hospital or surgical center.