Walk into any hospital, urgent care, or other medical center, and chances
are good that there will be a nondoctor health care professional on staff.
The number of surgical assistants, along with nurse practitioners and
physician assistants, is rapidly increasing, and numbers should only continue
to rise. As the demand for doctors continues to surpass the supply of
new physicians coming out of medical school, these advanced practice providers
are becoming critical parts of the healthcare system.
What Is the Role of a Surgical Assistant?
Surgical assistants can handle a wide range of tasks both in and out of
surgery. Many surgeons will rely heavily on their nondoctor health care
professionals to act as their liaison for both patients and suppliers.
Depending on the certifications and training they have received, surgical
physician assistants can perform as much as 80% of the tasks that surgeons do.
Prior to surgery, a surgical assistant can play a critical role. They can
perform an initial physical examination and obtain medical history for
new patients. During this stage, surgical assistants may order X-Rays
and review them to identify any abnormalities.
Most surgeries must still be led by an appropriately licensed physician,
but surgical assistants will actually do much of the work in the operating
room. A surgical assistant can perform first assist duties, including
preparing and positioning the patient for surgery, suturing incisions,
and applying dressings to wounds. In many instances, surgical physician’s
assistants can take care of routine procedures.
Immediately following the surgery, a surgical assistant will often dictate
the post-op treatment. From writing orders in the recovery room, to communicating
with the family of the patient, they will lead almost all post-op procedures.
When the patient is ready to leave, a properly qualified surgical assistant
can write discharge summaries, explain discharge instructions and even
write certain prescriptions.
You’re Just Days Away From a New Career
At ACE Surgical Assisting, we’re committed to giving our students
the highest standard of education and training. Our affordable programs
will give you all the skills you need to succeed as a surgical assistant.
If you are already working as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant,
we offer specialized programs so you can start acting as a first assistant
Start your new career by calling ACE Surgical Assisting at (888) 221-5992.