On the Job
Surgical Assistants assist surgeons during surgery by performing a variety of duties. They may retract tissues from patients, insert tubes, or close surgical wounds. They may also prepare surgery rooms based on what the surgeon needs.
Typical Work Tasks
People who work in this career often:
- Administer anesthetics or sedatives to control pain.
- Administer basic health care or medical treatments.
- Administer blood or other fluids intravenously.
- Administer intravenous medications.
- Apply bandages, dressings, or splints.
- Assist healthcare practitioners during surgery.
- Implement advanced life support techniques.
- Maintain sterile operative fields.
- Operate on patients to treat conditions.
- Position patients for treatment or examination.
Typical Working Conditions
- Wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, hard hats, or life jackets.
- Working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions.
- Frequent contact with others.
- Working with a group or team.
- The importance of being accurate or exact.
- Using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools, or controls.
- Exposure to disease or infections.
- Serious consequences if mistakes are made.
- Responsibility for others' health and safety.
- Exposure to contaminants (like gases or odors).
This page includes information from the O*NET 24.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.
Source: You can learn about our data sources in the About Us section.