What is a Licensed Surgical Assistant?
Feb 7, 2019
We at Concorde are well aware of the role of the Surgical Technologist. As we teach and train in our Surgical Technologist degree and diploma programs and our new Surgical Technology Degree Completion Program, the surg tech supports physicians, nurses and patients in the operating room preparing sterile fields, passing instruments and assisting the surgeon and patient. It's a career many find exciting, fast-paced and very rewarding. Many Surgical Technologists choose to take the next step in their educations to become Licensed Surgical Assistants. The role of a Surgical Assistant is much like that of a Surgical Technologist, yet also quite different. To discern these differences and similarities, we reached out to some of Concorde's Surgical Technologist Program Directors for their take.
A more hands-on role than a Surgical Technologist"Surgical assistants are also members of the operating room team," said Brenda McGraw, CST, Surgical Technology Program Director at Concorde's campus in Memphis, Tenn. "These professionals can do all the work that Surgical Technologists do, but they often have a more hands-on role during the procedure." According to McGraw, surgical assistants help surgeons with tasks such as:
- Holding retractors
- Hemostasis (staunching bleeding)
- Treating wounds
Becoming certified as a surgical assistantNicole Lambert, Surgical Technology Program Director at Concorde's campus in Tampa, Fla., said current nationally-accredited licensed surgical assistant programs range from 10-22 months. Prerequisites typically include:
- Bachelor of science degree
- Associate's degree in allied health field with three years' experience
- CST, CNOR, PA C with current certification
- Three of current OR experience scrub and/or assisting within the last five years