Surgical Assistants

conventional interests patient instrument procedure nerve damage supply equipment information certified surgical technician

Certified Surgical First Assistant (CSFA), Registered Nurse First Assistant (RNFA), Surgical First Assistant, Surgical Technician (Surgical Tech)

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What they do:
Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons. May, in accordance with state laws, help surgeons to make incisions and close surgical sites, manipulate or remove tissues, implant surgical devices or drains, suction the surgical site, place catheters, clamp or cauterize vessels or tissue, and apply dressings to surgical site.
On the job, you would:
  • Verify the identity of patient or operative site.
  • Monitor and maintain aseptic technique throughout procedures.
  • Cover patients with surgical drapes to create and maintain a sterile operative field.



  • medicine and dentistry


  • customer service

Arts and Humanities

  • English language

Math and Science

  • biology


Basic Skills

  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • talking to others

Problem Solving

  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it


  • changing what is done based on other people's actions
  • looking for ways to help people


Hand and Finger Use

  • keep your arm or hand steady
  • put together small parts with your fingers


  • listen and understand what people say
  • communicate by speaking

Ideas and Logic

  • notice when problems happen
  • order or arrange things


  • pay attention to something without being distracted


People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.

They do well at jobs that need:

  • Self Control
  • Attention to Detail
  • Dependability
  • Integrity
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Concern for Others


You might use software like this on the job:

Spreadsheet software

  • Microsoft Excel Hot Technology

Presentation software

  • Microsoft PowerPoint Hot Technology

Medical software

  • MEDITECH software
  • Surgery workflow communication software


Education: (rated 3 of 5)

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Job Outlook

New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
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