Surgical First Assist
If you are a Certified Surgical Technologist and have at least three years experience and want to explore career options in the field, the Surgical First Assist program is right for you. You must hold a current NBSTSA certification in Surgical Technology in order to enroll. Your role on the surgical team is to help the surgeon carry out a safe operation with optimal results for the patient.
The program is online with five afternoons of in-person lab the first week of Spring Semester. You are required to travel to the Lincoln campus to complete the lab portion. Clinicals will be completed at a pre-approved clinical site in your area to achieve a specific number of completed surgical procedures requirement. At the end of the program, you will earn a Certificate in Surgical First Assist, and sit for your national certification exam before graduation.
If you would like more information about the program and its policies, please review the Surgical First Assist Program Student Handbook (PDF).
START HERE: Please follow the steps on the Get Started Checklist (PDF) to complete the program application process.
- Student Health Assessment & TB Documentation (PDF)
- Online Program Application
- Digital Resume
- Essential Functions (PDF)
- CPR Training
Learn more about the Surgical First Assisting profession by completing this Professional Awareness Activity (PDF).
You're a Good Fit
Our Surgical First Assist program expands career opportunities for certified surgical technologists. The Surgical First Assistant is a highly skilled professional, trained and educated to function as a valuable and integral part of the surgical team. You will be a successful Surgical First Assistant if you:
- are able to execute the responsibilities of the program regarding attendance, assignments and record keeping
- possess the ability to multitask efficiently
- have the endurance to stand an entire shift if needed
- are able to work efficiently with your hands
- are detail oriented and able to work on a team
- are able to communicate effectively (both verbal and written)
- understand problem sensitivity (ability to tell when something is wrong or likely to go wrong)
- have a strong commitment to patient safety
- must be able to make decisions based on the use of logic and analytical skills
A Surgical First Assistant provides aid in exposure, hemostasis and other technical functions to help the surgeon carry out a safe operation with optimal results for the patient. Employment of Surgical First Assistants is projected to grow 31.2% from 2017-2027 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Recent graduates reported an average salary of $62,192. Career options include:
- Certified Surgical First Assistant in a hospital, surgery center, doctor's office or labor and delivery
- Private Certified Surgical First Assistant
- Certified Surgical First Assistant Clinical Preceptor, Clinical Instructor or Program Director
The Surgical First Assist program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Accrediting Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.
State Licensure or Certification Requirements
The Surgical First Assist program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Students completing this program will sit for the National Surgical First Assist Certification exam. This is a national certification and is accepted in all 50 states. Privileges may vary by state, depending on each state’s laws and guidelines. Nebraska State License required to practice in Nebraska.
State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement Institution
Southeast Community College is a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement Institution (NC-SARA) institution. As such, SCC is unable to offer online or distance courses to students in the following areas at this time: American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.