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Become A First Assistant

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Working As A First Assistant

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Repetitive

  • $37,920

    Average Salary

What Does A First Assistant Do At HCA, Hospital Corporation of America

* Under the direction of the operating surgeon, the Certified First Assistant contributes to the company’s mission and vision by assisting with the provision of safe and effective nursing care in accordance with a defined scope of practice and the standards and policies of the center that may include: function as first/second assistant to surgeon during the operative procedure, providing aid in exposure, hemostasis, and other technical functions to ensure safe and efficient outcomes, as well as restocking and changing over rooms between cases, and other designated patient care duties as assigned.
* SUPERVISOR – Nurse Manager, Surgeon/Supervising Physician, or designee.
* None
* Exempt
* Demonstrates necessary practical, technical or specialized knowledge and skills required for the role of the surgical assistant in accordance with ASA (Association of Surgical Assistants) and
* other regulatory standards of practice.
* Communicates with the surgeon prior to the case to ascertain specific needs.
* Shares information with the remainder of the surgical team in a timely manner.
* Assists with patient positioning, skin preparation, and surgical draping according to surgeon’s protocol.
* Anticipating the needs of the surgeon in order to expedite the procedure, while minimizing the patient’s exposure to surgical and anesthetic stress.
* Temperature of patient is discussed anesthesia personnel to and methods used to maintain the desired temperature range.
* Assists the surgeon by providing retraction and aiding exposure of the operative site.
* Facilitates hemostasis of the surgical site by performing suction, irrigation and sponging the operative site during a surgical procedure.
* Assists with skin or external suturing and stapling as per surgeon’s directive.
* Assist with clamping and/or cauterizing vessels or tissue, as directed.
* Applying hemostatic clips, as needed.
* Applying tourniquets and demonstrating awareness of the indications/contraindications for use with knowledge of side effects of extended use.
* Participate in volume replacement or autotransfusion techniques as appropriate.
* Assists with securing drainage systems and dressings.
* Provides hemostasis by clamping blood vessels, coagulation bleeding points, ligation of vessels and by other means as directed by the surgeon.
* Assists with application of dressing splints, and casts.
* Assists in preparing the operative suite for surgery by checking and gathering supplies, equipment, and instruments.
* Ensures availability of adequate supplies, equipment and instruments for scheduled cases and assists in opening cases in a sterile manner.
* Utilizes physician preference cards to set up each case; updates cards when indicated, and routing updated cards in the approved manner.
* Ensures that instruments are working properly before and after each case.
* Conscientiously observes and reports any breaks in sterile technique to attending surgeon and RN circulator.
* Ensures that surgical asepsis is maintained in the handling of instruments, sponges, sutures, drains, needles, and dressings.
* Ensures accurate sponge, needle, and instrument counts are completed when indicated and prior to patient leaving the OR, as appropriate.
* Remove drapes at the completion of procedure and assist with preparing patient for transfer to the PACU staff to ensure continuity of care.
* Facilitates effective and efficient transition between surgical procedures.
* Assists in the turnover of the O
* R. suites between cases, disposing of trash and linens, and cleaning of equipment and environmental surfaces, as required.
* Utilizes appropriate body mechanics in moving patients, stretchers, and OR tables and other equipment to prevent injury to patient and self.
* Participates in detailed time out process and ensures it is done according to policy.
* Assists in the maintenance and care of specimens.
* Identifies specimen with surgeon and passes specimen to the circulating RN.
* Verifies correcting labeling, as per policy.
* Recognizes emergency situations and responds effectively in a calm and controlled manner.
* Assists circulating nurse during local procedures as assigned.
* Adheres to Standard Precautions.
* Utilizes Personal Protective Equipment, as per policy.
* Remains aware of safety precautions required to minimize the possibility of patient injuries e.g.
* Prevention of Surgical Fires.
* Handles instruments and supplies during and after procedure to minimize injury to self and others.
* Demonstrates knowledge related to maintenance, cleanliness, and sterilization of instruments and equipment.
* Maintains a sanitary environment for the provision of patient care.
* Appropriately handles the disposal of biohazardous materials/wastes.
* Restocks area daily, using appropriate par levels and daily stock sheets, as per facility practice.
* Prepares procedure room for use the following day by bringing in equipment, setting up, "pulling cases" accurately, and reporting to supervisor items that are needed and not available, as per facility practice.
* Spends appropriate time and energy on tasks and assignments based on the policies that are supportive of the Center’s goals and objectives.
* Functions independently according to job responsibilities and within scope of practice utilizing current standards of care.
* Takes personal initiative to maintain current BCLS, and other required certification (if indicated) current as defined by job role.
* Uses facility resources appropriately and avoids wasteful practices.
* Attends all mandatory in-services, staff meetings, and participates in emergency drills.
* Participates in the orientation of new employees.
* Completes annual competency and other required education as assigned.
* Maintains confidentiality of records and patient information at all times.
* Practices and adheres to the “Code of Conduct” philosophy and “Mission and Value Statement”.
* While this is intended to be an accurate reflection of the current Position, it is not necessarily an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, skills, duties, requirements, or working conditions associated with the job.
* Management reserves the right to revise the Position or require that other or different tasks be performed when circumstances warrant (i.e. emergencies, changes in personnel or staffing, workload, rush jobs, or technical developments).
* Age Specific Care:
* The patient care requirements may include those of pediatric, child and adolescent when such patient populations are served, as well as adult and geriatric.
* Supports and adheres to all company and Center policies and procedures.
* Supports and adheres to HCA Code of Conduct, related Ethics and Compliance policies, and HIPAA requirements.
* Supports and adheres to personnel policies and programs which specify privileges and responsibilities of employment, including compliance with an adverse incident reporting system, quality improvement program, patient safety initiatives, and risk management program.
* Participates in Best Practices, Quality/Risk Initiatives, RCA’s and other teams to improve patient care.
* Interacts with patients, fellow employees, physicians, and other stakeholders in a manner which encourages quality patient care, harmonious working relationships, positive customer relations, and which enhances the image and reputation of the center.
* Demonstrates dependability and accountability.
* Demonstrates a willingness to help others.
* Supports the center’s mission by providing flexibility in assignment changes, dependability in attendance, punctuality, timely completion of assignments.
* Maintains a professional image through proper attire, language, and conduct.
* Keeps management informed of any malfunctions in instruments, equipment, and supplies.
* Displays willingness to speak up about safety issues or change practices to enhance safety; asks for help when needed; enhances teamwork; follows the safety standards/practices/policies

What Does A First Assistant Do At Taylor County

* Chief accountant for the County.
* Reconcile and audit weekly fee reports from various offices.
* Assist in budget preparation.
* Prepare and record month-end journal entries.
* Input daily deposit warrants into finance system.
* Update grant awards and appropriate documentation.
* Assist in the outside audit out for the County.
* Lead contact on the juvenile probation audit.
* Reconcile departmental bank statement.
* Prepare various yearly and quarterly reports Review of departmental compliance for Taylor County policies and procedures.
* Other auditing and accounting procedures as assigned.
* Starting Salary: $ 50,000
* DOE + benefits Benefits include: 100% county-paid employee medical and dental insurance, paid life and disability insurance, retirement, and paid vacation/sick time Applications will be accepted in the Human Resources Office, 1st floor of the Taylor County Plaza Building, 400 Oak Street, Suite 120, until position is filled.
* Office hours are 8
* Monday

What Does A First Assistant Do At Vanderbilt University Medical Center

* Acts as a member of the operating room team by assisting with the room preparation, setup and clean up.
* Assists with patient positioning to provide access to the operative site while maximizing patient safety and comfort.
* Establishes and maintain a surgically clean environment to reduce the potential for patient infection through the application of the principals of asepsis.
* Initiate appropriate intra operative behaviors unique to first assisting.
* The responsibilities listed are a general overview of the position and additional duties may be assigned.
* SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY (INTERMEDIATE):_ - Demonstrates mastery of surgical technology in practical applications of a difficult nature.
* Possesses sufficient knowledge, training, and experience to be capable of successfully delivering results without requiring support and instruction from others.
* Able to train and educate by setting the example, giving instruction, providing leadership, and generally raising the level of performance of others while on the job.
* Demonstrates mastery of the equipment and related devices.
* Has solid knowledge of performance criteria.
* Able to use the equipment to accomplish advanced tasks associated with the specific devices.
* Easily resolves equipment problems.
* Demonstrates mastery of operating room care in practical applications of a difficult nature.
* Possesses sufficient knowledge, training, and experience to be capable of successfully delivering operating room care services without requiring support and instruction from others.
* Able to train and educate by setting the example, giving technical instruction, providing leadership, and generally raising the level of performance of others while on the job.
* Demonstrates mastery of environmental sterility and safety in practical applications of a difficult nature.
* Possesses sufficient knowledge, training, and experience to be capable of successfully delivering environmental sterility and safety services without requiring support and instruction from others.
* Able to train and educate by setting the example, giving technical instruction, providing leadership, and generally raising the level of performance of others while on the job.
* Demonstrates mastery of procedures knowledge in practical applications of a difficult nature.
* Possesses sufficient knowledge, training, and experience to be capable of successfully delivering procedures knowledge services without requiring support and instruction from others.
* Able to train and educate by setting the example, giving technical instruction, providing leadership, and generally raising the level of performance of others while on the job.
* EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE - (INTERMEDIATE):_ - Demonstrates mastery of preventive maintenance in practical applications of a difficult nature.
* Possesses sufficient knowledge, training, and experience to be capable of successfully maintaining equipment, products, or systems without requiring support and instruction from others.
* Able to conduct predictive maintenance on core products and equipment.
* Possesses sufficient fundamental proficiency to successfully demonstrate Inventory Management skills in practical applications of moderate difficulty.
* Demonstrates basic expertise with Inventory Management tools, procedures and processes.
* Monitors material moved into and out of stockroom locations and reconciles inventory balances.
* Works with electronic catalogs.
* Organizational Impact: Independently performs non-routine tasks that significantly impact team and other related teams.
* Problem Solving/ Complexity of work: Gathers and analyzes data to solve problems that arise with little or no precedent.
* Breadth of Knowledge: Applies advanced job knowledge and has developed a breadth of skills in other areas.
* Team Interaction: Serves as a lead for the team by providing expertise and guidance to team members.
* Develops Self and Others: Invests time, energy and enthusiasm in developing self/others to help improve performance and gain knowledge in new areas.
* Builds and Maintains Relationships : Maintains regular contact with key colleagues and stakeholders using formal and informal opportunities to expand and strengthen relationships.
* Communicates Effectively: Recognizes group interactions and modifies one’s own communication style to suit different situations and audiences.
* Serves Others with Compassion: Seeks to understand current and future needs of relevant stakeholders and customizes services to better address them.
* Solves Complex Problems Approaches problems from different angles; Identifies new possibilities to interpret opportunities and develop concrete solutions.
* Offers Meaningful Advice and Support: Provides ongoing support and coaching in a constructive manner to increase employees’ effectiveness.
* Performs Excellent Work: Engages regularly in formal and informal dialogue about quality; directly addresses quality issues promptly.
* Ensures Continuous Improvement: Applies various learning experiences by looking beyond symptoms to uncover underlying causes of problems and identifies ways to resolve them

What Does A First Assistant Do At HCA, Hospital Corporation of America

* Performs direct patient care under the direct supervision of a licensed nurse.
* Maintains a safe patient care environment.
* Fulfills departmental responsibilities that foster the goals of the hospital’s mission and vision statements.
* When functioning as a Tech First Assistant (Tech III), demonstrated knowledge of surgical assisting and closure.
* Demonstrates the ability to perform specific competencies as listed on the competency validation checklist(s).
* Demonstrates age specific knowledge of human growth and development, physical examination data norms, and care of patients.
* Ensures the privacy of our patient and confidentiality of their Protected Health Information (PHI).
* Meets mutually agreed upon performance goals/objectives as listed on the Performance Management Plan.
* Demonstrates ability to perform technical skills, and prioritize work.
* Documents all patient care.
* Demonstrates ongoing communication with nurse regarding patient’s condition.
* Promotes customer service initiatives.
* Promotes and exhibits teamwork.
* Completes mandatory education.
* Complies with hospital policies/procedures and patient safety initiatives.
* Knowledge of aseptic technique, sterile environments, instrument care and handling.
* Ability to work as a team player and meet the needs of the surgical team.
* Duties & Responsibilities
* Demonstrates clinical expertise in closing a surgical incision.
* Demonstrates clinical expertise in assisting a surgeon during a surgical procedure.
* Assists the Registered Nurse (RN) in properly positioning the patient for a specified procedure.
* Displays clinical expertise in the application of post-op dressings.
* Possesses extensive knowledge of sutures and their different applications.
* Possesses extensive knowledge in the use of electrocautery and assists in maintaining patient safety.
* Assists the RN in preparing the Operating Room for surgery.
* Assures the aseptic technique is being done correctly and that the integrity of the sterile field is maintained.
* Along with the surgical tech, “pulls” all the necessary supplies and instruments needed for the case.
* Demonstrates clinical expertise in surgical instruments and their application to different procedures

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How To Become A First Assistant

There are several possible paths to becoming a dental assistant. Some states require assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass an exam. In other states, there are no formal educational requirements.


Some states require dental assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass an exam. Most programs are offered by community colleges, although they also may be offered by vocational or technical schools. Most programs take about 1 year to complete and lead to a certificate or diploma. Programs that last 2 years are less common and lead to an associate’s degree. The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), part of the American Dental Association, accredited nearly 300 dental assisting training programs in 2015.

Accredited programs include classroom and laboratory work in which students learn about teeth, gums, jaws, and other areas that dentists work on and the instruments that dentists use. These programs also include supervised practical experience.

High school students interested in a career as a dental assistant should take courses in biology, chemistry, and anatomy.


Dental assistants who do not have formal education in dental assisting may learn their duties through on-the-job training. A dental assistant or dentist in the office teaches the new assistant dental terminology, the names of the instruments, how to complete daily tasks, how to interact with patients, and other activities necessary to help keep the dental office running smoothly.

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Dental assistants must follow specific rules and protocols, such as infection control procedures, when helping dentists treat patients. Assistants also must be aware of what tasks they are allowed to complete in the state where they work.

Dexterity. Dental assistants must be good at working with their hands. They generally work in tight quarters on a small part of the body, using very precise tools and instruments.

Interpersonal skills. Dental assistants must work closely with dentists and patients. Sometimes, patients are in extreme pain and/or mental stress, so the assistant should be sensitive to their emotions.

Listening skills. Dental assistants should be able to listen to patients and other healthcare workers. They need to follow directions from a dentist or dental hygienist, so they can help treat patients and do tasks, such as taking an x ray.

Organizational skills. Dental assistants should have excellent organizational skills. They should have the correct tools in place for a dentist or dental hygienist to use when treating a patient.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some states require dental assistants to be licensed, registered, or certified. In other states, there are no formal requirements to become an entry-level dental assistant.

States that allow assistants to perform expanded duties, such as coronal polishing, require that they be licensed, registered, or hold certifications from the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). To earn certification from DANB, applicants must pass an exam. The educational requirements for DANB certification are that dental assistants must either have graduated from an accredited program or have a high school diploma and complete the required amount of work experience. Applicants also must have current certification in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

In addition, many states require assistants to meet specific education or training requirements in order to work with radiography (x ray) equipment. Requirements vary by state. Contact state boards of dentistry for specific requirements.

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First Assistant jobs

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First Assistant Career Paths

First Assistant
Surgical Technician Registered Nurse Case Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Personal Assistant Legal Assistant Office Manager
Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Personal Assistant Security Officer Night Auditor
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Surgical First Assistant Surgical Technician Office Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Director Of Photography Creative Director Product Manager
Business Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Golf Professional Operations Director
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
General Manager Account Manager Sales Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Golf Professional General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Photographer Specialist Account Manager
District Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Cinematographer Assistant Director Office Manager
Finance Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Photographer Delivery Driver Service Technician
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Director Of Photography Producer Marketing Manager
Managing Director
11 Yearsyrs
Camera Assistant Assistant Director Office Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Surgical Technician Licensed Practical Nurse Instructor
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Camera Assistant Producer Project Manager
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Chief Engineer Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Assistant Golf Professional Golf Professional General Manager
Regional Manager
8 Yearsyrs
General Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Chief Engineer Engineering Manager Program Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Assistant Golf Professional General Manager Account Executive
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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First Assistant Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Turkish

  • Arabic

  • German

  • Japanese

  • Tagalog

  • Polish

  • Italian

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First Assistant Education

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Top Skills for A First Assistant


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Top First Assistant Skills

  1. Customer Service
  2. Plastic Surgery
  3. Photo Shoots
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Give great customer service, schedule interviews, giving first impression of candidate and collecting state required licenses and paper work.
  • Completed suture removal and ultra sound therapy in busy plastic surgery clinic.
  • Set up and operate the digital capture station during photo shoots in the studio and on location.
  • 04101Certified First Assistant- I work under the direct supervision of the surgeon(s) during all types of surgical procedures.
  • Develop and perform community clinics for town recreational departments and school teams.

Top First Assistant Employers

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