Surgical Assisting Technology

Note:  Surgical assisting technology is an advanced one-year certificate.  Candidates must possess specific credentials and previous work experience to apply to this program. Deadline to apply is May 15.

Surgical Assistants are highly skilled, credentialed surgical health professionals who work under the direction of a surgeon to help carry out a safe operation with optimal patient results.  Surgical Assistants are trained in surgery and undergo rigorous credentialing to practice in that role.

What job duties do Surgical Assistants perform?

  • Determine specific equipment needed for procedure
  • Review surgical permit to confirm procedure and special needs
  • Assist in preparation of the patient for surgery
  • Drape patient within surgeon’s guidelines
  • Assist with surgical procedure
    • Making initial incision (opening)
    • Exposing the surgical site (retracting)
    • Controlling bleeding (hemostasis)
    • Surgically removing veins and arteries (harvesting)
    • Reconnecting tissue (suturing)
    • Completing the operation and reconnecting external tissue (closing)
  • Select and apply wound dressings
  • Assist with resuscitation or other life threatening events in operating room


Certificate Course Sequence

  • Student Success Seminar
    Introduction to Surgical Assisting
    Principles of Surgical Assisting
    Principles of Surgical Assisting Lab
    Advanced Surgical Anatomy & Physiology
    Surgical Assisting Procedures
    Surgical Assisting Procedures Lab
    Surgical Assisting Clinical Practicum I
    Surgical Assisting Clinical Practicum I Seminar
    Surgical Assisting Clinical Practicum II
    Surgical Assisting Clinical Practicum II Seminar
    Surgical Assisting Specialties Capstone
    Surgical Assisting Advanced Pathophysiology


  • Hospital operating rooms
  • Outpatient surgery centers
  • Physicians’ offices
  • Surgical assistants are on their feet most of the day.  They may need to help move patients or left heavy trays of medical supplies or equipment.  They may be exposed to communicable diseases and unpleasant sights or odors.
  • Most work full-time and are on call during nights, weekends, and holidays.  Surgical Assistants may work longer than eight hour shifts.