How to Become a Plastic Surgery Assistant

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According to the Education-Portal, plastic surgery assistants finish their schooling with the knowledge to provide plastic surgeons pre- and post-surgical services. Some of their job functions are sanitizing surgery tools and preparing patients for surgery. During surgery, a plastic surgery assistant may stop or prevent hemorrhage and control blood flow. These duties vary from state to state. Because they create and sanitize surgical kits, it is critical for plastic surgery assistants to be organized, consistent and capable of following directions.

Things You'll Need

  • Surgeon assistant education
  • Proper certification
  • License in state desired to practice

Education, Residency and Obtaining a Job

  • To become a plastic surgeon's assistant, you will need the proper education. The Education-Portal says you will need to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, science or physician assisting or an associate degree in allied health profession, as well as formal training in general surgery. After your formal training, you will then be able to pursue your surgical residency. During this time, you'll need to pass the United States Medical Licensing Exam.

  • After you've finished schooling, you'll need to complete your residency. Do your research and choose a program you are interested in. The Association of Postgraduates PA Programs (APPAP) residency consists of 12 months of clinical rotations with didactic activities included in each surgical specialty experience. When the residency is finished, you'll receive your certification.

  • Once the residency is completed, you can begin your job search. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in this field is expected to grow over the next seven years as physicians and institutions employ more plastic surgery assistants to provide primary care and assist with medical and surgical procedures. The BLS says the outlook for obtaining this job looks good, especially in rural and inner cities. The median annual income for first-year graduates is $69,517.

Tips & Warnings

  • The Education-Portal advises you have strong critical thinking, mathematical and observational skills as well as a strong attention to detail to be a plastic surgeon assistant.

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