What Is a Surgical First Assistant?

A surgical first assistant (SFA) is a highly-trained medical professional that works with a surgeon during an operation. The first assistant will often be in the operating room throughout the procedure and may be asked to perform numerous tasks which may include cutting, suturing, retracting tissue, applying dressings, and using electrosurgical instruments. Surgical first assistants also work with the surgical team in the pre-operative and post-operative phases of a procedure, including administering medications and helping to monitor the patient’s vital signs.

Becoming a surgical first assistant requires a great deal of education, training, and certification. Typically, a potential SFA will possess a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as nursing, and then complete a specialized first assistant training program which may include classes and supervised clinical practice. Certification is available through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Most states require this certification i work as a surgical first assistant.

The salary of a surgical first assistant will vary depending on the region and the specific job. The salary range is typically between $40,000-100,000 per year. Some employers may also provide bonuses or other benefits for surgical first assistants.

The outlook for the surgical first assistant profession is positive. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the demand for surgical first assistants will grow by 13% from 2018 to 2028. An increasing number of surgeries will drive this growth due to the aging population, as well as advances in medical technology that require more complex procedures.

Overall, a surgical first assistant is a highly-skilled medical professional that plays an important role in the operating room. Becoming an SFA requires significant education and training, as well as certification. The salary for this profession is highly competitive, and the outlook is positive.

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