Is becoming a surgical assistant right for me?
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How to become a Surgical Assistant
Surgical assistants often start out as surgical technicians, registered nurses, or physician assistants. A two-year Associate Degree in Surgical Technology can also be taken, which offers classes in microbiology, anesthesia, and pharmacology.
After schooling has been completed, finding a position that offers the opportunity to work in an operating room is key, as three years of operating room experience is required before working as a surgical assistant.
Certification is also needed, as is passing a physical exam, a drug test, receiving vaccinations, earning certification in CPR, and obtaining health insurance.
Certification needs to be renewed every two years, with the exception of the NBSTSA, which requires surgical assistants to recertify every two years. Certification organizations include:
- The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA)
- The National Surgical Assistant Association (NSAA)
- The American Board of Surgical Assistants (ABSA)