To become a certified surgical assistant, complete an allied health program, gain experience in the operating room, complete a surgical assisting program and become certified. Common responsibilities undertaken by surgical assistants include performing resuscitation, closing wounds, cutting tissue, and inserting and removing catheters.
The first step to becoming a certified surgical assistant is to enroll in an allied health training program. Common program courses include chemistry, physiology, microbiology and pharmacology. Pass a certifying exam to be eligible for a surgical assisting program.
Next, look for employment. Surgical assisting programs typically require operating room experience which may vary in length depending on the specific program. Surgeons and employers may provide letters of recommendation to increase the chance of getting accepted into a program.
Surgical assisting programs take up to two years. Coursework may include pharmacology, wound closure techniques, microbiology and anesthesia methods. The program typically results in a certificate upon completion. Other requirements may include clearing a drug screening, obtaining health insurance, passing a physical exam and getting vaccinated.
Finally, earn certification from the National Surgical Assistant Association, the National Board of Surgical Technology or Surgical Assisting, or the American Board of Surgical Assistants. Surgical assistants are typically required to renew their certification periodically by taking an examination or continuing to earn education credits.