Surgeon's Assistant Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real surgeon's assistant resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage the filing, maintenance of all patient records in accordance with HIPAA practices.
  • Relay pathology results to patients and Dr's orders as recommended.
  • Perform vital sign checks, glucose level assessments and EKG's.
  • Provide extensive education to patients and families on procedure, what to expect and s/s to call dr.
  • Assist the surgeons with calling the patients back in the rooms and prep them before the doctor come in.
  • Assist the surgeons with sedation and specialize procedures
  • Handle emergency conditions such as respiratory and cardiac patients.
  • Prepare dressing/bandages and apply or assist with application following surgery.
  • Provide education to patients anticipating surgery, to reduce patient anxiety, and enhance surgical outcome.
  • Function as office nurse, assist with pre-operative instructions, post-operative dressings and appointment scheduling, examinations.
Surgeon's Assistant Traits
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.
Compassion is a skill that is necessary for working with others as you're able to put aside your differences and show genuine kindness toward others.
Detail oriented involves being extremely mindful and observant of all details.

Surgeon's Assistant Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a surgeon's assistant does, you may be wondering, "should I become a surgeon's assistant?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, surgeon's assistants have a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 7% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of surgeon's assistant opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 55,400.

Surgeon's assistants average about $158.43 an hour, which makes the surgeon's assistant annual salary $329,524. Additionally, surgeon's assistants are known to earn anywhere from $210,000 to $516,000 a year. This means that the top-earning surgeon's assistants make $306,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a surgeon's assistant. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include an upper extremity surgeon, foot and ankle surgeon, reconstructive surgeon, and orthopaedic surgeon.

Surgeon's Assistant Jobs You Might Like

Surgeon's Assistant Resume Examples

Surgeon's Assistant Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 25% of Surgeon's Assistants are proficient in Trauma, Ortho, and EMR. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Compassion, and Detail oriented.

We break down the percentage of Surgeon's Assistants that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Trauma, 25%

    Assist multiple Surgeons Vascular, Endo Vascular, ENT, General, Trauma and minimal Orthopedic surgeries.

  • Ortho, 17%

    Experience in Ortho, Eyes, ENT, OB/Gyn, General, Plastics and Endoscopy.

  • EMR, 13%

    Format of medical reports closely assimilated what is now the guideline of the current EMR format.

  • Surgical Procedures, 8%

    Prepared surgical suite for indicted procedure using sterile techniques.

  • Patient Care, 8%

    Assist other disease group with patient care as needed but limited such as toileting, dressing, and grooming.

  • Surgery, 7%

    Prepare surgery trays, prepare local anesthesia and administer anesthesia.

"trauma," "ortho," and "emr" aren't the only skills we found surgeon's assistants list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of surgeon's assistant responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Communication skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a surgeon's assistant to have. According to a surgeon's assistant resume, "physicians and surgeons need to be excellent communicators" surgeon's assistants are able to use communication skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "assumed additional duties as director for internal communications, bureau of medicine and surgery, office of knowledge management. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many surgeon's assistant duties rely on compassion. This example from a surgeon's assistant explains why: "patients who are sick or injured may be in extreme pain or distress." This resume example is just one of many ways surgeon's assistants are able to utilize compassion: "provided and directed patient care in an appropriate and compassionate manner. "
  • Detail oriented is also an important skill for surgeon's assistants to have. This example of how surgeon's assistants use this skill comes from a surgeon's assistant resume, "patients must receive appropriate treatment and medications" Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "maintained accurate medical records and documented patient case history in detail. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "dexterity" is important to completing surgeon's assistant responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way surgeon's assistants use this skill: "physicians and surgeons may work with very precise and sometimes sharp tools, and mistakes can have serious consequences." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical surgeon's assistant tasks: "gained invaluable knowledge of the medical industry and patient care; developed diagnostic and problem-solving skills through hands-on clinical experience. "
  • As part of the surgeon's assistant description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "leadership skills." A surgeon's assistant resume included this snippet: "physicians who work in their own practice must manage a staff of other professionals." This skill could be useful in this scenario: "delivered advice to surgeon general and executive leadership on public health policies, project implementation, and milestone establishment. "
  • Another skill commonly found on surgeon's assistant resumes is "physical stamina." This description of the skill was found on several surgeon's assistant resumes: "physicians and surgeons should be comfortable lifting or turning disabled patients, or performing other physical tasks" Here's an example from a resume of how this skill could fit into the day-to-day surgeon's assistant responsibilities: "review history and physicals, check lab results and other diagnostic studies prior to all procedures. "
  • See the full list of surgeon's assistant skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a surgeon's assistant. We found that 31.7% of surgeon's assistants have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 6.4% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While most surgeon's assistants have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every five surgeon's assistants were not college graduates.

    The surgeon's assistants who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied medical technician and nursing, while a small population of surgeon's assistants studied medicine and biology.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, surgeon's assistants tend to earn the biggest salaries at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, The Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, and Marshall University. Take Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for example. The median surgeon's assistant salary is $360,653. At The Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, surgeon's assistants earn an average of $355,958, while the average at Marshall University is $276,557. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on surgeon's assistant salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at United States Army, United States Navy, and Kaiser Permanente. These three companies have hired a significant number of surgeon's assistants from these institutions.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious surgeon's assistants are:

      What Upper Extremity Surgeons Do

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take upper extremity surgeon for example. On average, the upper extremity surgeons annual salary is $27,312 lower than what surgeon's assistants make on average every year.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both surgeon's assistants and upper extremity surgeons positions are skilled in surgical procedures, patient care, and medical records.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a surgeon's assistant responsibilities require skills like "trauma," "ortho," "emr," and "epic." Meanwhile a typical upper extremity surgeon has skills in areas such as "clinical staff," "cht," "scheduling appointments," and "treatment plans." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      The education levels that upper extremity surgeons earn is a bit different than that of surgeon's assistants. In particular, upper extremity surgeons are 40.1% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a surgeon's assistant. Additionally, they're 8.0% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Foot And Ankle Surgeon?

      The next role we're going to look at is the foot and ankle surgeon profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $32,519 lower salary than surgeon's assistants per year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Surgeon's assistants and foot and ankle surgeons both include similar skills like "emr," "surgical procedures," and "patient care" on their resumes.

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real surgeon's assistant resumes. While surgeon's assistant responsibilities can utilize skills like "trauma," "ortho," "epic," and "surgeons," some foot and ankle surgeons use skills like "private practice," "clinical setting," "medical diagnosis," and "soft tissue."

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, foot and ankle surgeons tend to reach similar levels of education than surgeon's assistants. In fact, they're 0.9% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 8.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Reconstructive Surgeon Compares

      The third profession we take a look at is reconstructive surgeon. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than surgeon's assistants. In fact, they make a $11,035 higher salary per year.

      While looking through the resumes of several surgeon's assistants and reconstructive surgeons we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "emr," "surgical procedures," and "patient care," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a surgeon's assistant is likely to be skilled in "trauma," "ortho," "epic," and "surgeons," while a typical reconstructive surgeon is skilled in "cosmetic procedures," "follow-up appointments," "scheduling appointments," and "lab results."

      Reconstructive surgeons typically study at higher levels compared with surgeon's assistants. For example, they're 8.7% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 2.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of an Orthopaedic Surgeon

      Orthopaedic surgeons are healthcare professionals who are responsible for treating pain related to the musculoskeletal system of the body. These licensed medical experts are required to examine, diagnose, and treat diseases and injuries related to the musculoskeletal system such as dislocated joints, back pain, and arthritis. They can recommend surgery or non-surgical treatment to their patients after assessing their health condition. Orthopaedic surgeons must also collaborate with other health care providers, such as physical therapists to help understand the patients' medical problems.

      Orthopaedic surgeons tend to earn a higher pay than surgeon's assistants by about $19,664 per year.

      According to resumes from both surgeon's assistants and orthopaedic surgeons, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "trauma," "emr," and "surgical procedures. "

      Each job requires different skills like "ortho," "epic," "cpr," and "aseptic technique," which might show up on a surgeon's assistant resume. Whereas orthopaedic surgeon might include skills like "medical office," "job title," "dme," and "practice management."

      In general, orthopaedic surgeons make a higher salary in the health care industry with an average of $245,499. The highest surgeon's assistant annual salary stems from the hospitality industry.

      The average resume of orthopaedic surgeons showed that they earn similar levels of education to surgeon's assistants. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 3.2% less. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 17.9%.