What are typical surgical assistant salaries?

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Host

Do some companies pay a lot more for this position than others? What does a top earner make in this field?

What skills should you learn to increase your salary?

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heartmender54 in Cincinnati, Ohio

90 months ago

Host said: Do some companies pay a lot more for this position than others? What does a top earner make in this field?

What skills should you learn to increase your salary?

yes they do it depends on your skill level in the OR and the types of cases you can first assist on proficiently . i recommend having open heart and endovein harvesting experience .i currently make $80.000 a year and do not take much call

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Melania in Downers Grove, Illinois

78 months ago

Hello,
I have a question for you. I am coming from a engineering background and wish to move in helth care field, more specifically surgical field; should I start as a surgical technician or I should go for surgical assistant program?

Thank you for your time.

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Gretchen in Cincinnati, Ohio

78 months ago

You are limited in where you can live/work as an SA since many states don't use us (because they can't bill for our services). If you are a tech, and then become an SA, you will have more flexibility. I went only to SA school and have a good job, but can't move back to my home state.

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Melania in Downers Grove, Illinois

78 months ago

Thank you for your reply.
:)

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RossSA-C in Phoenix, Arizona

78 months ago

heartmender54 in Cincinnati, Ohio said: yes they do it depends on your skill level in the OR and the types of cases you can first assist on proficiently . i recommend having open heart and endovein harvesting experience .i currently make $80.000 a year and do not take much call

Did you use to work in Flagstaff?

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JasLyd in Richmond, Virginia

77 months ago

Melania in Downers Grove, Illinois said: Hello,
I have a question for you. I am coming from a engineering background and wish to move in helth care field, more specifically surgical field; should I start as a surgical technician or I should go for surgical assistant program?

Thank you for your time.

Most places wont even let you in an assistant program without 2-3 years of experience as a surg tech, so a surg assist school wouldnt even be an option right now

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cfmore in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

i want to go to med school..is becoming a surg tech as an undergrad a bad idea?
how much do they make?
is it worth it

thank you
cfm

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heartmender54 in Cincinnati, Ohio

75 months ago

no Ross just florida ohio and georgia

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Gretchen in Cincinnati, Ohio

72 months ago

don't use sa'a in ny only rnfa's to the best of my knowledge

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Alli in Sonora, California

71 months ago

what are the Prerequisites for being a surgical assistant and how much school do you usually have to go through in order to make around 80k a year???

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illyfrphilly in Portsmouth, Virginia

71 months ago

JasLyd in Richmond, Virginia said: I also do not take much call, I made close to 100k last year

Hello,

I am an SA student at EVMS and I am trying to go to Richmond or NOVA. I see that you are from Richmond. Do you know of any openings that may be coming up. I graduate in May. Thank you.

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JasLyd

71 months ago

illyfrphilly in Portsmouth, Virginia said: Hello,

I am an SA student at EVMS and I am trying to go to Richmond or NOVA. I see that you are from Richmond. Do you know of any openings that may be coming up. I graduate in May. Thank you.

Not that I am aware of but I will keep you posted

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JasLyd

71 months ago

Alli in Sonora, California said: what are the Prerequisites for being a surgical assistant and how much school do you usually have to go through in order to make around 80k a year???

I was a surgical Tech for 8 years, before I was confident enough to assist I was trained in the army. Most civilian places require you to be a surgical tech for 3-5yrs before sitting for the SA exam

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Audria in Youngstown, Ohio in Ellicott City, Maryland

71 months ago

I have recently become a LPN, and I want to become a Surgical Assistant. Am I better off going back for surgical technology and then surgical assistant or LPN-RN transition and then RNFA? I would greatly appreciate any advice you may offer. Thank you for your time

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Rebecca in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

71 months ago

Melania in Downers Grove, Illinois said: Hello,
I have a question for you. I am coming from a engineering background and wish to move in helth care field, more specifically surgical field; should I start as a surgical technician or I should go for surgical assistant program?

Thank you for your time.

Move into the SA field. I've been in this role for 24 years...being the first set of hands to the surgeon is the most powerful skill you will have in the OR next to the surgeon.

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Rebecca in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

71 months ago

Audria in Youngstown, Ohio in Ellicott City, Maryland said: I have recently become a LPN, and I want to become a Surgical Assistant. Am I better off going back for surgical technology and then surgical assistant or LPN-RN transition and then RNFA? I would greatly appreciate any advice you may offer. Thank you for your time

Please spend some time in the OR before you make that decision. Look for an OR that will allow you to do an LPN intership so you have the opportunity to view all the roles involved in your decision making.

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tshsurgery63 in San Diego, California

71 months ago

I have been a surg tech for 11.5 years and was lucky enough to obtain the assoc. degree with that. I have also been assisting for several years. Very proficiently and experience with suturing. Now, I find myself in Ca. at a hospital where you can't even help close skin with staples. Very frustrated. I can't seem to get to a SA or FA training program. Who has the shortest one? Are you allowed to go through the testing without the program? All I hear is "it's California law". Like I am living in a foreign country or something. I feel like my acquired skills are being wasted.

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Rebecca in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

71 months ago

According to The American Board of Surgeons Surgical Assistants are qualified to do whatever deemed necesary under and approved by the direction of the surgeon. We ligate vessels,tie them off and suture them if needed and most ortho cases we are required to close fasia layer all the way to shin...most of the time they're already out of the room and for hearts I put in the chest wires and close to the skin...Surgeon out of the room. If the OR is RNFA run, then they use some rule from AORN it's something they created. Why don't you find where the California Law is and demand to reveiw it yourself...I can't even come up with a case in all my years that I didn't close.You also need to get a true job discription from the facility.

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JasLyd in Richmond, Virginia

71 months ago

I had applied to a hospital in Austin, TX as a SA then when I was about to accept the position, they casually said...."Oh yeah we forgot to tell you, you are not allowed to suture at our facility" Needless to say, I did not waste the last 10 years of my life learning to do something only to have it taken away by some crap hospital rule. At the hospital I am currently at most of the surgeons request me to close because I am better at it than they are. CHECK THE HOSPITAL RULES BEFORE YOU ACCEPT A POSITION!!!! I did not accept that position in Austin for that very reason.

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tmanfrmtn in Marietta, Georgia

70 months ago

heartmender54 in Cincinnati, Ohio said: no Ross just florida ohio and georgia

Ga is getting ready to get rid of us.
Most Insurance companies are not paying us now.
I would love to find stable work somewhere

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Rebecca in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

70 months ago

There is still a great need for us. The problem started several years ago when the surgeons couldn't get reimbursement for the SA so they hired PA's because they could also take the load off them by writting orders and follow-ups in the hospital and in the office. Milwaukee is one of the states that uses us in the OR and we're hired by the hospital. We also make rounds for certain surgeons to do dressing changes or removing chest tubes or drains. I'm at a very busy facility and several surgeons have been known to cancel cases if he doesn't have an SA assigned to his case. It wasn't until last year that we no longer do H&P's and we can thank AORN for that...There is a full time opening at Aurora Siani Hospital in Milwaukee,it's an excellent facility to work at with a very strong OR group.

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Rebecca in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

70 months ago

Manuel Villa in Guayaquil, Ecuador said: I have a medical background and I am willing to start in new york, can I start as a surgical assistant there? how long does it take to study that field? How much are they making in NY ?[/QUOT

Where you in Med. school or a surgeon or ER physician back home in Eguador?

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Rebecca in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

70 months ago

Are you certified in the USA?

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Honey in Madras, India

70 months ago

Yes, Certified by the US National Surgical Assistant Association

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Rebecca in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

70 months ago

Are you here in the states? If not when will you be here?

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Honey in Madras, India

70 months ago

No, At present am working in India. Waiting to get a job in the states. As soon as my appointment is confirmed, I can join in a month's time.

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Rebecca in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

70 months ago

I'm leaving for the hospital, I'll keep in touch with you. Just curious!!! How did you obtain your American certification if you're still living in India?

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Honey in Madras, India

70 months ago

The National Surgical Assistant Association has international testing centers as well as provision to set up a proctor in the hospital in which I am working. As the testing center in India was due to become functional after a few months, I requested my senior consultant here to be my proctor and he was in touch directly with the NSAA director and conducted the exam. Now that I have obtained the certificate, I wish to know where all the CSA credential can be used to acquire a job. Can U send me your email ID to which I can send my CV so that you will have a better understanding of my work profile?

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Joseplay in Phoenix, Arizona

70 months ago

I am a Surgical Assistent, Is there any way to get the license in Arizona or Nevada?

Thanks

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RossSA-C in Camp Verde, Arizona

70 months ago

Joseplay in Phoenix, Arizona said: I am a Surgical Assistent, Is there any way to get the license in Arizona or Nevada?

Thanks

Arizona does not require a license. All of the hospitals require certification by one of the recognized certifying bodies for credentialing as well as sponsorship by a physician on staff. Also most (ALL) insurance companies require certification for reimbursement.

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Joseplay in Phoenix, Arizona

70 months ago

Thank you for your answer. My certyfying bodie is the American Board of Surgical Assistant. Is that what you are talking about?. I used to work in Nevada like a Surgical Assistant, and almost all insurances did not pay me because I have no license.

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jennelson in Fort Wayne, Indiana

70 months ago

Rebecca in Milwaukee, Wisconsin said: There is still a great need for us. The problem started several years ago when the surgeons couldn't get reimbursement for the SA so they hired PA's because they could also take the load off them by writting orders and follow-ups in the hospital and in the office. Milwaukee is one of the states that uses us in the OR and we're hired by the hospital. We also make rounds for certain surgeons to do dressing changes or removing chest tubes or drains. I'm at a very busy facility and several surgeons have been known to cancel cases if he doesn't have an SA assigned to his case. It wasn't until last year that we no longer do H&P's and we can thank AORN for that...There is a full time opening at Aurora Siani Hospital in Milwaukee,it's an excellent facility to work at with a very strong OR group.

What hospital do you work in in Milwaukee? It is very difficult to break ground in Ft. Wayne, IN. Any pointers? It seems that the hospitals don't want to acknowledge the benefits of actual certified first assists.

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Rebecca in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

70 months ago

I'm employed by the Aurora Healthcare System and I also assist privately for a plastic group associated with Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare. You need to get the proper job description from the facility you're at. It has alot to do with the surgeons. They are the ones who should be going to bat for you and your skills. I suggest you find at least one that will stand up to the manager of surgery and demand how much you are needed by writting a letter to the Administrator of the hospital with copies to Human resorces. Several hospitals in the Milwaukee area are union run so we are very protcted.

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heartmender54 in Cincinnati, Ohio

70 months ago

tmanfrmtn in Marietta, Georgia said: Ga is getting ready to get rid of us.
Most Insurance companies are not paying us now.
I would love to find stable work somewhere

who do you work for? come to ohio abundant full time employment

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Manuel Villa in Guayaquil, Ecuador

70 months ago

Rebecca in Milwaukee, Wisconsin said: Are you here in the states? If not when will you be here?

I am in Ecuador right now but I am taking my family with me to NY next year

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joseplay in Denver, Colorado

70 months ago

Felicidades si eres Cirujano especialista y estas ejerciendo en tu Pais. Sin intencion de desanimarte, solo te diria que tener la licencia de trabajo en USA es un calvario horroroso. Primero tienes q revalidar tu titulo como medico general(step1,step2,step3) lo cual lo puedes hacer desde tu Pais. Luego tienes q aplicar para la especialidad q deseas, etc,etc. Suerte...

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Rebecca in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

70 months ago

Manuel Villa in Guayaquil, Ecuador said: i am a surgeon in ecuador (proctologist) I also perform colonoscopies, rectoscopies and sigmoidoscopies.I am working on my us citizenship for now, but I need to know about license in the usa, thanks

I haven't signed on for 10 days. I'm not sure who answered your question. Are you looking for SA employment?

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tshsurgery63 in San Diego, California

70 months ago

Hi Doctor...

It is with physicians in most other countries, that when they come to the US, they have to go through residency again, prior to being able to practice. Has something to do with standards of practice.

Are you planning on moving to the US?

Tamara

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Benn in Tucson, Arizona

70 months ago

I just graduated from a surgical assist program and will take my SA-C exam in early January. I went through a pretty decent program and had an blast during my externship.

There are several groups of RNFA's down here and atleast 10 CFA/SA-C independents. I'm considering working part time at one of the major trauma centers (mostly for benefits) and working on my days off in the community for awhile, then possibly going out full-time on my own. I've also been approached by a group of physicians....not sure what to do yet, but I am confident I will have a lot of options, potentially, tripling my current income as a CST with 15 years experience.

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Rebecca in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

70 months ago

Benn, You are making a wise decision by staying at one facility for the benifits. Don't go full time with one certain group or sign any contracts with them no matter how well you get along with them,there's always something that will come up and you'll find yourself working more hours then you ever imagined which comes out to less pay in the end. You also need to consider how will you be covered for malpractice if you go out on your own. I'm presently employed part time at a major facility and employed on my days off with a plastic group. Good Luck to you.

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Benn in Tucson, Arizona

70 months ago

Rebecca in Milwaukee, Wisconsin said: Benn, You are making a wise decision by staying at one facility for the benifits. Don't go full time with one certain group or sign any contracts with them no matter how well you get along with them,there's always something that will come up and you'll find yourself working more hours then you ever imagined which comes out to less pay in the end. You also need to consider how will you be covered for malpractice if you go out on your own. I'm presently employed part time at a major facility and employed on my days off with a plastic group. Good Luck to you.

Thank you. The biggest issure is the "transition period" in between my current tech postition and having positive cash flow as an assistant.

After certification, there are a lot of expenses that I did not think of. For instance, each hospital charges a fee for your application to obtain privilages, which in Tucson, averages about 300.00 per submission. Then you have to farm out your billing or pay for the software to do it. Also, incorporation expenses, insurance for the family, malpractice insurance....you get the idea.

Unlike my old job, I won't be getting paid within two weeks of working. There may be a 60-90 period at the beginning where I won't have any paycheck. Without a nest egg, the only other real option is to keep scrubbing part time for a few months and taper back...or so I've heard.

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Manuel Villa in Guayaquil, Ecuador

70 months ago

Sure !! why not I just need the information how long it takes to become a SA in NY, some colleges benefit the applicants by analizing the transcripts and cutting off the credits for school, which would be of great help for me, do you know anything about it? thank you

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RossSA-C in Phoenix, Arizona

70 months ago

Benn in Tucson, Arizona said: Thank you. The biggest issure is the "transition period" in between my current tech postition and having positive cash flow as an assistant.

After certification, there are a lot of expenses that I did not think of. For instance, each hospital charges a fee for your application to obtain privilages, which in Tucson, averages about 300.00 per submission. Then you have to farm out your billing or pay for the software to do it. Also, incorporation expenses, insurance for the family, malpractice insurance....you get the idea.
Unlike my old job, I won't be getting paid within two weeks of working. There may be a 60-90 period at the beginning where I won't have any paycheck. Without a nest egg, the only other real option is to keep scrubbing part time for a few months and taper back...or so I've heard.

Ross here,
I've got a great biller, I will send you her info. As far as incorporation it is a must to protect you and your family. I incorporated as an AZ Professional Limited Liability Corporation, its much simpler for tax and administrative purposes. Legal Zoom is the way to go, its simple and fast. Also Marsh affinity group offers affordable malpractice insurance. Give me a call and I will give you more details.

I agree with Rebecca about not signing on with a group, you will be very busy making money for someone else and working on their schedule. I however do think you should be credentialed at more than one institution. In our area the surgeons that are here normally are as well and if you don't work where and when they do, well, then you don't work. It is very competitive here in AZ and you will do well.

Ross....

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Benn in Tucson, Arizona

70 months ago

RossSA-C in Phoenix, Arizona said: Ross here,
I've got a great biller, I will send you her info. As far as incorporation it is a must to protect you and your family. I incorporated as an AZ Professional Limited Liability Corporation, its much simpler for tax and administrative purposes. Legal Zoom is the way to go, its simple and fast. Also Marsh affinity group offers affordable malpractice insurance. Give me a call and I will give you more details.

I agree with Rebecca about not signing on with a group, you will be very busy making money for someone else and working on their schedule. I however do think you should be credentialed at more than one institution. In our area the surgeons that are here normally are as well and if you don't work where and when they do, well, then you don't work. It is very competitive here in AZ and you will do well.

Ross....

Thanks Ross, good to hear from you again. Hope all is well. Ross actually turned me on to assisting in the first place a couple of years ago...great guy.

Yeah, I'll definately go through with what you told me a couple of months ago. I went to legal zoom and the prices are decent. I'm trying to get over the intitial period of no income and was hoping i didn't have to scrub and assist for 5 months after certification....

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cmydoos in Trenton, Tennessee

70 months ago

I am surgical assistant with 10 years+ experience in cardiac as first assisting and EVH. I was certified last Nov, when I passed the NSAA exam. Have not figured out the process of billing, how do I get started. And what states allow us to bill? Ross can I get your biller info?

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cmydoos in Trenton, Tennessee

70 months ago

heartmender54 in Cincinnati, Ohio said: yes they do it depends on your skill level in the OR and the types of cases you can first assist on proficiently . i recommend having open heart and endovein harvesting experience .i currently make $80.000 a year and do not take much call

I have 10+ years of experience doing what you do, but I make a tenth of what you make, is it because I am in tennessee?

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Benn in Tucson, Arizona

70 months ago

cmydoos in Trenton, Tennessee said: I have 10+ years of experience doing what you do, but I make a tenth of what you make, is it because I am in tennessee?

do you work for a hospital or a group?

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cmydoos in Trenton, Tennessee

70 months ago

a group-The CardioVascular Center in Memphis

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Benn in Tucson, Arizona

70 months ago

yep, you are cheap labor ;)...just kidding. I'd call around and see what others are offering or what the other assists that are independent make.

you do, however, get a steady check every 2.

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