- Surgical Assistant
Who is a Surgical Assistant?
Over the years my mother's steadfast faith in God has inspired me, particularly when I had to perform extremely difficult surgical procedures or when I found myself faced with my own medical scare ~Ben Carson
Healthcare is considered as one of the most important industries but do you think a doctor alone can carry out all the tasks? No, there are several functions that are required to be carried out in the field of healthcare. Surgery is considered as a very complex branch of healthcare and it involves lots of functions and duties. It is not possible for a surgeon to do it all alone. This is where you can make a difference by being an assisting hand to the surgeon as a surgical assistant. An operation theatre involves various functions to be carried out and the job is time-bound therefore, a team is required to carry out all the work. If you wish to be a surgical assistant then you have come to the right place, this article will tell you all about the career beginning from the eligibility to the career opportunities.
A medical professional who provides assistance to the surgeon while performing surgery and aids is known as a surgical assistant. They are required to assemble and monitoring tools used during the surgery. They prepare reports and ensure completion of paperwork required for performing surgery. Surgical assistant prepares the operation theatre and sanitises it for performing surgery. They contribute to the higher probability of success of operations.
Surgical Assistant in a Nutshell
Surgical assistants are professionals in the service of saving others’ lives. They perform various medical procedures. Surgical assistants work in a team and contribute to the success of operations. They learn new procedures and update their knowledge on new medical technology and equipment. They clean and sterilise the tools used in surgery.
Quick Facts for Surgical Assistant
Average Salary in India
The career of a surgical assistant is suitable for everyone regardless of their gender. Gender biases do not exist in this career. Anybody can opt for this profession surgical assistant career having relevant skills and academic qualifications. Candidates should possess a strong interest in chemistry and biology. Male, female or candidates belonging to any other gender can opt for this career. The career of the surgical assistant is such a compassionate one in which a professional serves patients with a determination to cure them.
Any special needs
A disability may cause hindrance in the work functioning required in the career. Candidates are required to be physically fit to serve best in their job. It is not possible to provide assistance with a major disability to surgeons in the operation rooms. The job requires a surgical assistant to maintain operation rooms and instantly provide medical equipment and tools required in surgery.
Table of Contents for Surgical Assistant
What is the role of Surgical Assistant?
Surgical assistants perform several duties during operation, pre-surgery and post-surgery. Their duties involve maintaining the environment clean for performing surgeries. They clean and sterilise medical equipment. They test the equipment if they are functioning or not. They ensure it is suitable for performing surgeries. Surgical assistants prepare the patients for surgeries. They ask them several questions to find out their medical history and medical conditions before performing any surgery on them. They set up charts, x-rays or any other documentation required at the nearby operation site. Surgical assistants monitor patients' vital signs on electronic equipment and ensure it is normal. They often perform several minor surgical procedures such as closing wounds, cutting sutures, inserting tubes and administering needles.
Surgical assistants perform all the basic duties that allow surgeons to keep their focus on essential technical functions. They are responsible for the nursing care of the client for immediate recovery. Surgical assistants stay present beside surgeons in the operation theatre and provide all the required tools. They often perform crucial roles such as resuscitating the unconscious patients on an operation table. They clean and restock the operation theatre after performing operation so it could be used for performing another surgery or operation.
Surgical assistant provides assistance to the surgeon during the operation, prior to the pre-surgery and post-surgery. They instantly provide all the required tools and equipment to the surgeon. It allows the surgeon to focus on the surgery only. They prepare operation theatre post-surgery for another operation.
Surgical assistants are responsible for cleaning and sterilising surgical equipment and tools. They clean operation rooms and prepare for surgical operations. They maintain hygiene standards inside the operation theatre.
Surgical assistants are responsible for documentation of medical reports of patients. They set up x-rays, ultrasound reports or other required reports nearby operation sites.
Surgical assistants interview patients to know their medical history and medical conditions. The practice is done to avoid any medical complications while carrying out surgeries that affect patients’ health.
Surgical assistants are responsible for giving anaesthesia to patients so that they become numb before carrying out surgeries on them. Anaesthesia is required to avoid the extreme pain that patients would feel while carrying out surgical procedures.
Types of a Surgical Assistant
Cardiac Nurse: A cardiac nurse is responsible for providing nursing care to patients with cardiovascular disease. He or she provides consultation about heart disease prevention. A cardiac nurse educates the patients on prevention of heart diseases. He or she monitors patients after cardiac surgery and before cardiac surgery.
Neurosurgical Physician Assistant: Neurosurgical physician assistant provides assistance to the neurosurgeon. They interview patients to get their details of the medical history and perform examinations. Neurosurgical physician assistants perform in -and- out- patients treatments. They provide assistance in neurosurgical procedures such as closing wounds, reviewing MRIs (Magnetic resonance imaging) and CT (computed tomography) scans.
Ophthalmic Surgical Assistant: Ophthalmic surgical assistant provides assistance to the ophthalmologist. He or she assists ophthalmologists in numerous eye surgeries. Ophthalmic surgeon assistants recommend treatments, schedule procedures and provide care for patients pre and post eye surgery.
What is the workplace/work environment of Surgical Assistant like?
Surgical assistants work in hospitals, healthcare or medicare facilities. Surgical assistants spend their majority of work hours in operation rooms assisting the surgeon. They are responsible for cleaning and sterilising the medical equipment and tools used in the operation. Surgical assistants prepare operation theatre post-surgery for another operation. They are required to stand for multiple hours to perform their duties. Surgical assistants usually work long hours.
Does Surgical Assistant require travelling?
No, the job does not require travelling. Surgical assistants perform their work duties in hospitals where they are employed. They may occasionally require travelling to attend conferences or to participate in training.
Surgical assistants work full time. They often work on weekends and late hours. Hourly basis, on-call, work from home or part-time work do not have any space in this highly responsible career.
Surgical assistants are provided employment on both contractual and permanent basis. The duration of the contractual term entirely depends on the requirements of the healthcare organisation. It may be for shorter periods of time and later could be extended depending on the performance of the candidate.
Surgical assistants work in hospitals
Presence in Geographical Area
Kerala is known for its dedication to health awareness and medical advancement. India’s state with the highest literacy rate is also an employment promising state for surgical assistants and other medical professionals. Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Delhi are also the cities with alluring employment opportunities for surgical assistants and other medical professionals.
Time pressure is quite common in the profession. Surgical assistants work full time. They often work on weekends and late hours. Hourly basis, on-call, work from home, or part-time work do not have any space in this highly responsible career. The work shifts vary as per the schedule of the hospitals.
Several surgical assistants work from early morning to late evenings, while some other work from mid noon to late-night or some are required to work in night shifts. They usually work long hours. Surgical assistants work 8 to 9 hours. Their working hours usually increase. In case of emergency or shortage of staff, they may be required to work double shifts or 12 to 15 hours. Double shifts rarely happen.
Weekly Hours of Work
Min 54 Hours
They usually work long hours. Surgical assistants work 8 to 9 hours. Their working hours usually increase. In case of emergency or shortage of staff, they may be required to work double shifts or 12 to 15 hours. Double shifts rarely happen.
How to become a Surgical Assistant?
What are the skills and qualities required to become a/an Surgical Assistant?
Dexterity: Surgical assistants are required to coordinate with other medical professionals to avoid any complications related to the patient’s health. They know it is a high-risk job and a little mismanagement could lead to fatal patients’ lives.
Eye for detail: Surgical assistants are required to keep an eye for detail. They have to monitor surgical procedures and provide accurate information about the patient’s medical history and medical conditions. They monitor the patient’ vital signs on electrical equipment to ensure everything is normal. They stay updated about the drug given to patients or advised to take.
Research skills: Surgical assistants keep themselves updated about the medical tools, equipment and other medical practices. They research new methods and technologies used in the operation room to perform surgery. Surgical assistants keep track of medical developments and the use of drugs. They research on anaesthetic technology and resuscitate practices.
Communication skills: Surgical assistants have to interview numerous patients on a daily basis. Effective communication skills are required to make patients comfortable while sharing their medical history. Surgical assistants must listen carefully to patients and clearly ask them about their medical conditions.
Which certifications and internships can be helpful in becoming Surgical Assistant?
Students are expected to enrol in training for the next 10 to 22 months after completion of the course or during the academic programme. Several students get interning opportunities through a university internship programme. Internships are crucial as it increases the chances of getting a final placement. A surgical assistant intern is required to report to the clinical associate. He or she works under the supervision of a registered nurse or surgical assistant. The surgical assistant intern assists the surgeon during the operation. He or she maintains inventory and passes instruments and tools required during operation. A surgical assistant or surgical tech intern is also responsible for cleaning the operating room and storing equipment and supplies.
Career Path Progression for Surgical Assistant
Surgical Technician: A surgical technician is also known as a surgical technologist. He or she is a professional who provides assistance to the surgeon and other members of the operating room team. The surgical technologist job description involves preparing the operating room before the surgery and maintaining it after the operation for other surgeries. He or she is responsible for cleaning and maintaining hygiene standards in operation rooms.
Operation Theatre Assistant: An operation theatre assistant is also known as OT assistant. He or she is responsible for providing assistance to healthcare professionals in the operation theatre. An operation theatre assistant possesses knowledge of bio-waste management and infection control. Operation theatre assistant’s work responsibilities are similar to the surgical technician’s work responsibilities. He or she prepares the operation theatre and maintains the medical equipment.
Anaesthesist: Anaesthetists are the professional physicians involved in giving anesthesia to patients before, after and during the surgery to lower the extreme pain. They possess great knowledge about how the body reacts to anesthesia and surgery. Anesthetists also play a crucial role in resuscitating patients.
Staff Nurse: Staff nurses are responsible for providing nursing care to patients suffering from illness, pain or disability. They monitor the vital signs of patients in electrical equipment to ensure everything is normal. Staff nurses are the first ones to interact with visitors arriving in hospitals or other medical facilities.
Nurse ICU (Intensive care unit): An ICU nurse is specialised in managing and providing care to the patients in the intensive care unit. His or her duties involve evaluating the patient’s medical conditions and administering treatment.
Physician Assistant: Physician assistants are part of the medical team that includes doctors, surgeons, nurses and other healthcare professionals. They are also known as PAs. Physical assistants' work responsibilities include performing examination, diagnosis illness and administering and scheduling treatment. He or she prescribes medicine and monitors progress in patients’ conditions.
Surgical Assistant Jobs and Salaries
- Average Salary 24000
- Junior Level Salary 18000
- Senior Level Salary 32000
Surgical technician is responsible for providing support and comfort to patients before operation. He or she prepares patients for operation and transports them to the operation theatre. A surgical technician monitors the patients during operation and ensures that the patient is lying in the right position.
The salary varies depending on the skills and experience of candidates. An entry-level surgical technician with an experience of less than 1-year bags a yearly average salary of Rs. 200,000 per annum. A senior-level surgical technician could earn more than Rs. 400,000 per annum.
Operation Theatre Assistant
- Average Salary 37000
- Junior Level Salary 25000
- Senior Level Salary 50000
An operation theatre assistant also known as an operating room assistant or OT assistant. He or she is responsible for providing assistance to the surgeon. An operation theatre assistant is responsible for preparing operating theatre and maintaining operation theatre equipment required in the surgery.
The salary varies depending on the work experience and skills of the candidate. Employers prefer a candidate with prior work experience. An entry-level operation theatre assistant can earn up to Rs. 200,000 to Rs. 300,000 per annum. A senior-level operation theatre assistant could earn more than Rs. 600000 per annum.
- Average Salary 100000
- Junior Level Salary 80000
- Senior Level Salary 200000
An anaesthetist is a physician who is responsible for providing consultation on how to give anaesthesia and at what extent before the operation. The anaesthetist is also responsible for administering initial intravenous (IV) injections through which anaesthesia is delivered. He or she ensures monitoring equipment and sensors are working properly.
The salary of anaesthetist varies depending on work responsibilities and skills. An entry-level anaesthetist could earn up to Rs. 1000,000 per annum. A senior-level anaesthetist could earn more than Rs. 2,400,000 per annum.
- Average Salary 21000
- Junior Level Salary 19000
- Senior Level Salary 37000
A staff nurse assesses patients’ health problems. He or she develops nursing care plans and maintains medical records. A staff nurse is responsible for advising patients on disease prevention methods.
The salary varies according to the skills and experience of staff nurses. The size of the organisation and area where it is located also affects the salary bars. An early level staff nurse can earn up to Rs. 200,000 to Rs. 300,000 per annum. The senior-level staff nurse could earn more than Rs. 500,000 per annum. Staff nurses employed in government salary receive higher salaries as compared to private hospitals.
Nurse ICU (Intensive Care Unit)
- Average Salary 24000
- Junior Level Salary 18000
- Senior Level Salary 32000
An ICU nurse is responsible for monitoring the vital signs of patients in electronic equipment to assure nothing is going abnormal. He or she assesses a patient's health problems and provides nursing care to ill, injured or patients with disability in an intensive care unit (ICU).
Salary varies depending on roles and responsibilities of the nurse. Skills and work experience affect salary bars. An entry level nurse with less than a year of experience could earn up to Rs. 120,000 to Rs. 200,000 per annum. A senior level nurse could earn more than four lakhs per annum.
- Average Salary 30000
- Junior Level Salary 27500
- Senior Level Salary 41000
A physical assistant utilises his or her skills in performing an assessment of a patient’s condition. He or she stitches the minor cuts and sets small fractures or breaks it if required. A physical assistant provides assistance to the physician and prepares the patients for assessment or treatment.
Salary varies depending on the work experience and skills of the candidate. An entry-level physician assistant could earn Rs. 200,000 to Rs. 350,000 per annum. A senior-level physician assistant could earn more than Rs. 500,000 per annum.
What is the job outlook for Surgical Assistant?
Surgical assistant work in hospitals. He or she provides assistance to the surgeon during operation, pre-surgery and post-surgery. This profession is such a demanding profession in the healthcare field. The Healthcare industry is flourishing with setting up new hospitals for patients and improving health facilities. Surgical assistants are required in each healthcare where surgeons work. We could say that surgical assistants contribute to the success of operations. There is an expected steady growth in the number of jobs in the next few years. Candidates with prior experience and great skills have higher chances of getting a job.
Employers prefer those candidates who have completed training of the required time period of 10 to 22 months. Candidates with prior work experience have a higher chance of getting a job. There is tough competition in the industry. Surgical assistants are often required to work longer hours than usual working hours. Sometimes, he or she may require work in double shifts in case there is a shortage of staff. This job requires the inner motivation to stay in the service of others. It may often feel hectic and difficult to cope up with the environment at initial years of career. The salary offered to surgical assistants is average. Bigger healthcare settings often pay good salaries. Surgical assistants employed in government settings are well paid.
Frequently Asked Questions for Surgical Assistant
Que. What is the average cardiac surgical assistant salary?Ans.
A cardiac assistant salary varies depending on work responsibility and skills. The average cardiac assistant salary is Rs. 280,000 per annum.
Que. What are the various surgical assistant course?Ans.
There are numerous surgical assistant course such as bachelor’s degree course, master’s degree course, diploma course, undergraduate diploma course, postgraduate diploma course and certification courses in various related specialisations. These specialisations include surgical technology, operation theatre technology, nursing and other related specialities.
Que. What is the minimum required assistant surgeon qualification?Ans.
The minimum required assistant surgeon qualification is a bachelor’s degree or diploma in nursing, surgical technology, operation theatre technology or medical science.
Que. What is the average salary of a surgical assistant?Ans.
The salary of a surgical assistant depends on work experience and skills. The size and area of the healthcare where it is located also affect the salary bars. The average salary of a surgical assistant in India is Rs. 300000 per annum.
Que. What are the work responsibilities of the operating room assistant?Ans.
The operating room assistant is responsible for providing assistance to the medical team in the operation room. He or she provides medical equipment and tools instantly to surgeons required in the operation. An operating room assistant monitors the surgery and vital signs of patients in the electric equipment to ensure there is not any abnormality. He or she prepares the operation room for performing operations.
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