Surgical Assistant Job Description


Surgical assistants work in the operating room with surgeons before, during and after surgery. Their job is to make the process easier for the surgeon by following directions and carrying out requests.

Before Surgery

  • There are general responsibilities surgical assistants are expected to do before a surgery is performed. These include determining which equipment will be needed for a particular surgery, assist in moving and positioning the patient for surgery, covering the patient as the surgeon likes and placing the x-rays in the right place to be visible during the surgery.

During Surgery

  • During the surgery, a surgical assistant may do the following per the surgeon's requests: clamp and cut tissues, dissect certain arteries, insert drainage tubes and assist with resuscitation should the patient go into cardiac arrest. A surgical assistant should know how a particular surgeon likes things done.

After Surgery

  • A surgeon may request that other things be done after the surgery such as closing the wounds and selecting and applying the wound dressings.

Surgeries Surgical Assistants Assist In

  • Surgical assistants assist in almost all types of surgeries. Some of these surgeries are general, orthopedic, spinal, obstetrical, cardiac, trauma and plastic surgery.

Other Tasks

  • Surgical assistants also have the role of informing the patient before the surgery about the procedure. They also provide psychosocial support to family and friends during the process.

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