Advancing Your Career is Just a Step Away

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ACE teaching methods spring from our key conviction: Our graduates will embark on a career originally covered by a second surgeon. In fact, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) takes the position that ideally the first assistant in surgery would be another surgeon or surgical resident.

If we are going to rise to the American College of Surgeons ideal, then Surgical Assisting isn’t an extension of your current career in the OR – it’s a different career. And it’s not just holding retractors and closing wounds. It’s assisting at surgeon-level.


Dan Bump has been teaching Surgical Techs, OR Nurses, and other advanced healthcare professionals to become Surgical Assistants since 1989. Over that time, he developed a unique set of teaching methods designed to successfully take you to the surgeon-level skills and knowledge you need to assist up to the ACS ideal.

“I was very happy with the patience I was shown. Processing all the new data took me a little longer and Dan adjusted to us at our learning level. Dan was highly skilled and able to teach in a way that we could learn. The hands-on was in-depth without being overwhelming.”

Brooke Varga


6 full days of hands-on training is essential for gaining surgeon-level skills. 4 hours on a pig’s foot or even 1 or 2 days of basic wound closure won’t do it. Also, in 6 days you have time to develop muscle memory so you perform the most advanced surgical skills without thinking, by second nature.

“ACE is not just about getting you through the program. They want you to be confident with your skills when you graduate. This lab was very helpful. I feel like I’m more equipped to do my surgical clinicals.”

Alisha Pierce


This is exactly like tutoring. If it was just you and an instructor, he would teach you something and then leave you alone for a while to practice. Then he’d come back and coach you so you could refine your technique. It’s the same with 12 students. But while you practice, the instructor is helping other students.

“One-on-one coaching helps the student feel guided not pressured and that’s extremely important for someone stepping into the First Assistant role.”

Amy Finch


If you want to acquire complex, surgeon-level skills in a short period of time, the complexity must be broken down into its smaller steps so they can be more easily understood and absorbed. That is our unique talent at ACE! We simplify the complex.

“I watched (YouTube) videos before coming to the lab and still couldn’t tie. Dan broke it down and made it easy. I like the way he teaches. He takes his time and goes step-by-step.”

Robert Maxam


You can learn skills at a lab and then get into surgery and not be able to perform them. That’s because there are different ways to ‘apply’ your skills in different surgical scenarios. You don’t want to stop everything, figure it out on the spot, and look like a deer in the headlights.

At the ACE lab, you’ll perform 4 simulated surgeries and learn to apply your skills in different scenarios. Besides being outright fun, these surgeries boost your confidence and make surgical skills real-world.

“A great program. You learn so much. It’s not suturing & tying only. They have simulators that replicate operations. Yeah! We took out a uterus, put in a graft, did a hemicolectomy, and an anastomosis.”

Walter Barney


The more traditional way to gain expertise is to graduate from a program and then pick up the tips and tricks of the trade that are the hallmarks of real expertise over time. The ACE way is to include these tips and tricks of the trade in your training. Why wait? Why take the chance that you’ll never pick them up?

With 26 years of OR experience, I knew the ‘idea’ of how to assist. But this course and lab have taught me how to assist the ‘correct’ way and how to do it in a very efficient manner.

Debra Keyser


Our online training gives you the knowledge a surgeon brings to the role of first assistant. Of course, we aren’t trying to make you a surgeon. But we do want you to have the small slice of a surgeon’s knowledge that makes a second surgeon ideal for the role of first assistant. It helps you:

  • Perform surgical skills wisely
  • Make the case smooth and safe
  • Keep your surgeon out of trouble
  • Recognize and respond to surgical emergencies
  • Contribute to the best possible patient outcomes

The online training is broken down into 9 modules to make learning easier. Modules are configured so you get a basic foundation and then proceed to more advanced materials so they make more sense.

“Thank you very much! It was an amazing journey. This course opened my eyes to details I’ve never noticed until now. This was an awesome experience!”

Kymisha Pina


You get to do your clinical internship in your own hospital with surgeons you already work with. These are surgeons who know you, like you, and want you to succeed. This is the very best possible learning environment you could hope for.

Surgeons judge how much they are going to let you do based on your initial performance. They have to. They can’t allow any harm to come to their patients. That’s why we give you 6 days of hands-on training and focus on making your initial performance with your surgeons stellar.

The Surgical SkillLab makes you highly prepared in contrast with students of other programs. Don’t think surgeons won’t notice! They won’t have to waste their time teaching you what you should have learned in school. Instead, they’ll reward you with the tips and tricks of the trade that made them successful surgeons.

You judge for yourself how great that could be! Contact us today to learn more about our program and to start the journey yourself.