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Surgical First Assisting Program

What is a Surgical First Assistant?

The Surgical First Assisting program is an advanced level course for experienced operating room professionals who wish to become surgical assistants. As defined by the American College of Surgeons, the surgical assistant provides aid in exposure, hemostasis, and other intraoperative technical functions that will assist the surgeon to carry out a safe operation with optimal results for the patient. This role will vary based on the surgical operation, specialty area, and type of facility. Perioperative skills are performed under the direct supervision of the surgeon and may include the following:

  • Patient positioning
  • Surgical skin preparation
  • Providing visualization for the operative site
  • Utilizing appropriate techniques to assist with hemostasis
  • Participating in volume replacement or auto-transfusion techniques as appropriate
  • Utilizing appropriate techniques to assist with closure of body planes
  • Selection and application of appropriate wound dressings
  • Providing assistance in securing drainage systems to tissue

Watch the video of CSI Surgical First Assisting Program.

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Working conditions
Surgical first assistants work in clean, well-lighted, cool environments. They must stand for long periods and remain alert during operations and procedures. At times they may be exposed to communicable diseases and unpleasant sights, odors and materials. Most surgical first assistants work a regular 40-hour week, although they may be on call or work nights, weekends and holidays on a rotating basis.

Workers with impaired immune systems resulting from HIV infection or other causes are at increased risk of acquiring or experiencing serious complications of infectious disease. Surgical first assistants must be aware that hospitals perform a pre-employment drug screening test and background test.

Contact Information and Location:
Program Director & Contact Person: Janet Milligan
Email: jmilligan@csi.edu
HSHS Building 135
315 Falls Avenue PO Box 1238
Twin Falls, ID 83303-1238
Phone: 208-732-6706 or 800-680-0274, ext. 6706
Fax: 208-736-4743 (This is a shared fax. Please use a cover sheet.)



Surgical Tools