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Occupation information for

Surgical Assistants
District Of Columbia

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Assist surgeons during surgery by performing duties such as tissue retraction, insertion of tubes and intravenous lines, or closure of surgical wounds. Perform preoperative and postoperative duties to facilitate patient care.

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Currently Employed: 380

Projected Annual Job Openings: 10

Typical Hourly Wage: $16.23 - $32.84

Typical Annual Salary: $33,800 - $68,300

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typical training

Typical education needed for entry: High school diploma or equivalent

Typical work experience needed for a job in this occupation: None

Typical on-the-job training once you have a job in this occupation: None

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typical job duties

  • Verify the identity of patient or operative site.
  • Monitor and maintain aseptic technique throughout procedures.
  • Cover patients with surgical drapes to create and maintain a sterile operative field.
  • Coordinate or participate in the positioning of patients, using body stabilizing equipment or protective padding to provide appropriate exposure for the procedure or to protect against nerve damage or circulation impairment.
  • Maintain an unobstructed operative field, using surgical retractors, sponges, or suctioning and irrigating equipment.
  • Prepare and apply sterile wound dressings.
  • Apply sutures, staples, clips, or other materials to close skin, facia, or subcutaneous wound layers.
  • Determine availability of necessary equipment or supplies for operative procedures.
  • Discuss with surgeon the nature of the surgical procedure, including operative consent, methods of operative exposure, diagnostic or laboratory data, or patient-advanced directives or other needs.
  • Clamp, ligate, or cauterize blood vessels to control bleeding during surgical entry, using hemostatic clamps, suture ligatures, or electrocautery equipment.

tools & technology

  • Electrosurgical or electrocautery equipment
  • Operating room patient positioning devices or accessories
  • Steam autoclaves or sterilizers
  • Surgical clamps or clips or forceps or accessories
  • Surgical lasers or accessories

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