Covenant Health

Job Title
Surgical First Assistant
Parkwest Medical Center
Department Name


Parkwest MC logo 2020rev


Surgical First Assistant

PRN/OCC, Day Shift


Position Summary:

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 their immediate direction or observation; the surgical first assistant may close the skin with suture or staples and place dressings. It is the surgeon’s responsibility to verify the acceptability and appropriateness of the closure.


  • 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.
  • Demonstrates expanded knowledge of surgical anatomy/ physiology and operative technique to work collaboratively with the surgeon and the other team members.
  • May apply dressings as appropriate in an aseptic manner as delegated by the surgeon.
  • Assists the operating room team in safely transferring the patient to and from the Operating Room; demonstrates proper positioning techniques; reports to the circulator and surgeon bilateral pedal pulses and posterior tibial pulses when appropriate; knows the proper position for cases and understands the use of proper positioning aids to protect nerves, bony prominences and to maintain circulation.
  • 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. When called upon can assist in daily assignments; makes sure all needed supplies/implants are available for assigned case(s); brings to the coordinator the changes that need to be made to the preference maps.
  • 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 countables, and applies proper procedures with incorrect counts; demonstrates understanding of exceptions to counts when in the functioning role of a surgical assistant.
  • May be cross-trained to provide surgical services in multiple specialty areas.
  • Makes an effort to do pre/post op rounding when appropriate.
  •  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.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


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:

Must have previously worked as a Surgical Technologist (CST or Non-Certified CST). 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.



Must have and maintain one of the following certifications:

  • Certified First Assistant (CSFA) by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA);
  • Certified Surgical Assistant (CSA) by the National Surgical Assistants Association (NSAA).


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