Bachelor's Degree In Surgical Technology Salary – After becoming a certified surgical technologist and working in the field for a while, you can pursue this career as a paramedic. If this sounds like you, look into becoming a Certified Surgical Assistant (CSA) or Certified Surgical First Assistant (CSFA).
Surgical assistants are medical professionals who assist surgeons and nurses during surgery and other medical procedures. Like surgical technologists, they have specific responsibilities in the operating room, in addition to pre- and post-operative duties.
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The first assistant position is not an entry-level position. Because this is the next level of skill and leadership, you must have worked in health care as a surgical technologist, nurse, or other health care professional, preferably in a capacity to -opera.
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The responsibilities of a surgical assistant can be divided into four different areas that are consistent with most surgical assistant training programs.
The responsibilities of a surgical assistant help surgeons perform safe surgeries, resulting in the best patient outcomes. Duties are broader and longer than a surgical technologist. The pressure is also higher, so if you are considering this as a professional career, you need to decide if you want to deal with this kind of stress every day.
The job of a surgical assistant is just as physically demanding as that of a surgical technologist. You will be standing most of the day and will be expected to stay on your feet during all procedures, regardless of the duration. You must always be attentive, anticipate the resources the surgeon needs and respond quickly when he requests them.
Like surgical technologists, surgical assistants wear scrubs to reduce the chance of patient infection. And like all members of the surgical care team, jewelry and long nails (even artificial nails) are almost always prohibited.
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As an operating assistant, if you have an enthusiastic attitude, you can choose to work as a self-employed person. You can also work in surgical departments of hospitals, surgical centers or private medical surgical procedures. If you enjoy teaching others about the profession, you can also become an academic teacher.
Almost all surgical assistants are hired as full-time employees. The hours and weeks are long, depending on the number of operations scheduled in a day or week. When you enter this career field, you can expect to work early mornings, be called to assist with emergency operations, and work holidays and weekends.
In all cases, to become a surgical assistant, you must graduate from an accredited first surgical assistant program.
In most cases, to enter a surgical first assistant program, you must first earn an associate degree in surgical technology from an approved, accredited surgical technology program. You must also have successfully passed the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).
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Check the admission guidelines of the surgical assistant program you are interested in. If you find the right educational program for you, it can be completed in as little as 12 months.
The overall goal of most surgical assistant programs is to ensure that students can perform surgical assistant skills with proficiency. The curriculum provides students with the experiences needed to document 135 or more procedures, all designed to prove the necessary skills for the position.
Surgical resident programs are carefully sequenced between clinical experiences and classroom theory. Although you may have assisted in many procedures as part of your surgical technology degree and experiences, clinical cases in a surgical assistant program involve the use of multiple skills. The variety and intensity may be different than what you are used to.
The concentration curriculum of most surgical assistant programs consists of advanced courses in surgical technology. Although you take the same courses in your associate degree program, surgical assistant courses are more detailed.
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If you are interested in earning a diploma or certificate in surgical assisting and then taking the CSFA exam, you can find a list of approved educational programs from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( CAAHEP).
To take the CSA exam, you must be a graduate of a surgical assistant program approved and accredited by CAAHEP or ABHES, the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, as long as the program has passed the National Commission on the Certification of Surgical Assistant Approval Process . assistant (NCCSA).
Graduates of a surgical assistant program can then become Certified Surgical First Assistants (CSFAs) or Certified Surgical Assistants (CSAs). Each credential is offered by a different organization and has different eligibility requirements.
Both exams are standardized tests that show you have the appropriate level of training, experience, and skills to be a reliable surgical assistant. To work as a surgical assistant, a diploma is required.
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Currently, the test consists of nine graded multiple-choice questions, where you must answer a number correctly to pass. All candidates for the examination must be graduates of a CAAHEP-accredited training program. Alternatively, with documentation of appropriate work experience, continuing education and certification, this requirement may be waived.
• Notarized letter on institutional letterhead from the program director or registrar (name, date of graduation, type of degree awarded); or
• 200 cases (75 general surgery; 75 in a specialty; 50 in any specialty) within 2 years prior to the date of application and during the pre-approved period.
• 200 cases (75 general surgery; 75 in a specialty; 50 in any specialty) within 4 years prior to the application date.
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• 200 cases (75 general surgery; 75 in a specialty; 50 in any specialty) performed within 2 years prior to the application date.
Once your application is approved, NBSTSA will send you an Authorization to Test (ATT) number and a phone number/web address for an approved testing agency. You can arrange your exam at that office. The whole process takes 4-6 weeks.
Please note that if the surgical assistant program you are considering is not CAAHEP accredited, obtaining CFSA credentialing may be difficult. The CFSA is the credential that most employers are looking for.
The CSA credential is administered by the National Commission for the Certification of Surgical Assistants (NCCSA). This exam currently consists of nine parts. To pass you need to answer one percent of them correctly.
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All candidates for the exam must be graduates of an NCCSA-approved training program accredited by CAAHEP or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). With proper documentation, there are some alternatives to this, such as military training, that can be used in lieu of this requirement. Check the NCCSA website for specific documents you may need for your situation.
• Verification of one year of case logs showing that you were the lead assistant in at least 2,250 procedures in the last three years.
New graduate (within the last 12 months) of a surgical first assistant program approved by NCCSA AND approved by CAAHEP or approved by ABHES
If your application is approved, you will receive a call within 48 hours to schedule your test date.
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Like most allied health professions, surgical assistants must complete additional courses once certified. Depending on the type of certification you have, the renewal criteria are different.
Every four years, NBSTSA requires 75 continuing education credits for CFSA renewal. Proof of these 75 credits will be submitted with your extension application. If you hold both a CST and a CSFA, both credentials can be converted once you complete 75 credits. Details, change measures and updates are always available on the NBSTSA site.
If you have a CSA, you must earn 50 CSA credits within your two-year certification. Details, steps to change and updates can be found on their website.
Whichever certification you choose, it is important that you follow the proper eligibility requirements or there will be delays in getting your certification or renewal. Without this you cannot practice in the field. In the event of renewal, if you allow your certification to lapse, you may be suspended from practice until your renewal is completed.
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Take your first certification exam as soon as possible after graduation. Please note that even if your training is extensive, it is not enough to pass the test. Purchasing a study guide or registering to take a qualified assessment course before the exam will increase your chances of passing the test.
Apply for an extension two to three months before your current certification expires. Make sure you are participating in continuing education credits throughout the duration of your certification. You can’t get all the time you need in a short amount of time. When you send your documentation, always keep copies.
Certification and renewal fees range from $100 to $700. If you are a member of the Surgical Technology Assistance Association (ASA or NSAA), the cost for these tests is usually lower. The CSFA test recognizes membership in the Association of Surgical Assistants (ASA). The CSA test recognizes membership in the National Surgical Assistant Association (NSAA). Proof of your membership is required. More information about these two organizations can be found at the end of this article.
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