As defined by the American College of Surgeons, the surgical Assistant provides aid in exposure, hemostasis, closure, and other intraoperative technical functions that help the surgeon carry out a safe operation with optimal results for the patient. In addition to intraoperative duties, the surgical assistant also performs preoperative and postoperative duties to better facilitate proper patient care. The surgical assistant are the second hands to the surgeon during the operation, and does so under the direction and supervision of that surgeon and in accordance with hospital policy and appropriate laws and regulations. Surgical Assisting is a specialty profession that requires specific training over and above a degree in science, nursing, physician assisting, or another health profession.
Credentialing: The National Board for Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) offers the Certified Surgical Technologist/Certified First Assistant (CST/CFA) credential, and the National Surgical Assistant Association (NSAA) offers a Certified Surgical Assistant (CSA) credential. The Association of Surgical Assistants (ASA) offers the CSFA credential.