Covenant Health

CST First Assistant

Parkwest Medical Center
Job Location
Department Name


Parkwest MC logo 2020rev





CST - First Assistant , SURGERY


Full-Time, 80 Hours per pay period, Day Shift




Position Summary:  The Certified Surgical Technologist functioning as a First Assistant (CST-FA) to the surgeon will comply with all state and institutional policies and guidelines of practice as a CST-FA and will further expand their role to include the following delegated surgical tasks. The CST-FA will have specialized education and certification specifically to support this expanded function.

  • Under supervision of MD/surgeon, facilitates patient care by providing surgical first assistant duties for the surgeon before, during and after surgical procedures; follows unit standards and processes to deliver age-appropriate care for all patients; demonstrates accountability as an individual and team member in meeting patient/family needs; participates in identifying cost-effective measures for clinical care.
  • With directed delegation, assists the surgeon throughout the entire surgical procedure. The surgeon may allow the surgical first assistant to tie or cauterize vessels, muscle, or fat under his immediate direction, observation; the surgical first assistant may close the skin with suture or staples. It is the surgeon’s responsibility to verify the acceptability and appropriateness of the closure.
  • The surgical first assistant demonstrates expanded knowledge of surgical anatomy/ physiology and operative technique to work collaboratively with the surgeon and the other team members.
  • The surgical first assistant may apply dressings as appropriate in an aseptic manner as delegated by the surgeon.
  • The surgical first assistant assists the operating room team in safely transferring the patient to and from the Operating Room; demonstrates proper positioning techniques; knows the proper position for cases and understands the use of proper positioning aids to protect nerves, bony prominences and to maintain circulation.
  • The surgical first assistant recognizes safety hazards and initiates appropriate preventative and/or corrective actions to ensure a safe environment for the patient and the surgical team throughout the perioperative experience.
  • Plans, sets up, performs and cleans up the assigned surgical procedure as a surgical first assistant and/or as a scrub tech; demonstrates knowledge of equipment and instrumentation pertaining to case; safely operates special equipment which may be used in surgical cases (e.g. lasers, microscopes, tourniquets, endoscopes, drills, saws, etc.); maintains instrument and equipment integrity; performs room turn-over and terminal cleaning; utilizes supplies appropriately and in a cost effective manner.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of and the ability to apply the principles of asepsis in creating and maintaining the sterile field; uses proper technique when scrubbing, gowning, gloving and setting up of sterile fields; recognizes what is sterile and what is unsterile; recognizes contamination and takes proper action to correct situation; continually monitors the sterile field and surgical team to assure that sterility is maintained.
  • Performs sharp, sponge and instrument counts according to policy; demonstrates proper counting technique for all countable, and applies proper procedures with incorrect counts; demonstrates understanding of exceptions to counts when in the functioning role of a surgical assistant.
  • Identify and communicate problems and variances from patient care goals and participates in finding solutions; uses available problem-solving techniques to resolve patient problems and follows through with health care team to implement solutions; clearly, efficiently, and confidently communicates significant information about patient care and progress toward goals; collaborates with peers and seeks 3rd party involvement, if necessary, in conflict resolution.
  • Participates in the development of others; assists in the orientation and training of new staff members.
  • Follows policies, procedures, and safety standards. Completes required education assignments annually. Works toward achieving goals and objectives, and participates in quality improvement initiatives as requested.
  • Maintains appropriate standards of competency; performs without assistance the majority of assigned cases per service/shift in a competent manner; can perform difficult or complicated cases with and/or without assistance; may precept new employees or students in performing these cases and evaluate clinical performance; may be cross-trained to provide surgical services in multiple specialty areas.


Minimum Education:  None specified; however, must be sufficient to meet the standards for achievement of the below indicated license and/or certification as required by the issuing authority.


Minimum Experience:  Experience performing certified surgical technologist duties in an operating suite sufficient to meet the experience requirements mandated by one of the certifying bodies indicated below.


License/Certification:  In addition to professional certification as a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting; or as a National Certified Technician (OR) from the National Center for Competency Testing; or state licensure as LPN with appropriate experience performing surgical procedures in a circulating and/or scrub capacity, must also possess one of the following certifications:

  • Certified First Assistant (CSFA) by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA); or
  • Certified Surgical Assistant (CSA) by the National Surgical Assistants Association (NSAA); or
  • Surgical Assistant-Certified (SA-C) by the American Board of Surgical Assisting (ABSA); or
  • Assistant at Surgery-Certified (AS-C) by the National Assistant Surgery Council (NASC)


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