A surgical assistant plays an important role in aiding a primary surgeon and ensuring the care of a patient. In some cases, these individuals may work in general surgery, and other times they may work in a specified field such as ophthalmology or trauma. While the exact duties can vary depending upon the types of medical procedures, there are some primary job duties of a surgical assistant.
One of the most integral aspects of this job is preparing the patient and operating room for surgery. This typically includes making sure equipment and tools are sterilized, and organizing equipment and tools so they are easily accessible before surgery begins. It’s also up to a surgical assistant to transport a patient to the correct room and place the patient in the necessary position. He will usually perform a briefing and explain to a patient exactly how the surgical procedure will go down. If the patient has any questions, it’s also his job to answer them to the best of his ability. He may also interact with family or friends of a patient and fill them in on the process.
Throughout the surgery process, it’s the responsibility of a surgical assistant to follow all orders of the main surgeon. This might include handing him tools, inserting drainage tubes and a variety of other tasks. Besides this, he may be required to perform additional sterilization on certain types of tools during the course of a surgery. In the event that something goes wrong, it’s also a surgical assistant’s job to help resuscitate a patient. Since the lives of a patient are in the hands of a surgeon and surgical assistant, he must be familiar with a number of safety protocols and be able to make quick decisions.
After each surgery is finished, he will usually be required to place dressings on a patient’s wounds and make sure that bleeding is under control. He will need to re-stock any supplies like bandages or other disposable items that were used during surgery. Along with this, it’s up to him to sterilize equipment and make sure that all sanitation standards are adhered to.
In addition to the technical aspects of this job, a surgical assistant may be required to perform various office duties. This is mainly for individuals who work in physician’s offices, and may include keeping track of patient information, answering telephone calls and sending faxes.