Schools for Surgical First Assistants

Read about entry-level associate's degree programs that can prepare you to become a surgical first assistant. Alternatively, get info on certificate programs for medical professionals who want to advance to a surgical first assistant role. Find out what you'd learn in a surgical assisting or surgical technology program, and review your options for certification in this field. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

The path to becoming a surgical first assistant can include a certificate or associate degree program. Keep reading this article for more information on these programs, where they can be found, and what they include.

What Degree Programs Can Prepare Me to Become a Surgical First Assistant?

Two programs that can prepare you to become a surgical first assistant include an Associate in Applied Science in Surgical First Assisting or an Associate in Applied Science in Surgical Technology. Such programs are typically offered by community colleges. They generally last about two years and teach you about operating room procedures, medical equipment and patient care.

As a surgical first assistant student, you'll understand how to work under the supervision of surgeons, doctors and nurses to prepare the operating room before surgery, monitor a patient's vital signs and sterilize medical equipment. You'll also practice washing and disinfecting patients prior to their procedures, and learn how to properly help doctors and nurses put on gowns, face masks and gloves before they enter the operating room. Many colleges strive to give their students real-world experience, so your program is likely to combine academic studies with supervised clinical internships at a hospital.

What About Certificate Programs?

If you already have a medical background and want to transition into a surgical first assistant career, you can enroll in a certificate program at a community college. Such programs last about a year and give you a general overview on surgical first assistant duties, like patient care, equipment monitoring and sterilization. By the end of your studies, you will have a certificate of achievement that will help you transition into entry-level work as a surgical first assistant.

Other schools offer surgical first assistant certificate programs designed for individuals who hold a 4-year degree, but who have no medical experience. Such programs will require you to complete both didactic classroom lessons and clinical rotations.

Which Schools Offer Surgical Assistant Certificate Programs?

There are plenty of schools that allow students to earn a surgical first assisting certificate program, including the following:

  • Madisonville Community College provides a Surgical First Assisting Certificate program
  • Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences has a Surgical First Assistant Certificate of Completion program
  • Cincinnati State houses a Surgical Technology First Assistant Certificate program

Which Schools Offer Surgical Assistant Associate Degree Programs?

Surgical assistant associate degree programs are often offered in the field of surgical technology. Below are a number of these programs:

  • Pennsylvania College of Technology hosts an Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology degree program
  • Texas State Technical College delivers an Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology degree program
  • Oakland Community College has an Associate in Applied Science in Surgical Technology degree program

What Sort of Classes Will I Take?

Because surgical first assistants can carry multiple duties in the operating room, your classes will cover many subjects that incorporate biology, chemistry and medical technology. Considering the hands-on nature of the program, online options are rare. Some of your classes can include:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Medical terminology
  • Surgical technology
  • Surgical procedures
  • Human and patient relations

What Else Should I Keep In Mind?

Depending on your career path and school program, you may want to consider obtaining certification. One option to becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) is passing a national examination given by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. For this certification, you will have to study at a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Associate degree programs in surgical technology can give you the experience and knowledge to enter the field of surgical first assisting. Another option, certificate programs in the field, can also help current medical professionals switch fields to begin a career as a surgical first assistant.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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