A surgical assistant is a skilled practitioner who has undergone formalized education and training as a surgical assistant. The surgical assistant performs surgical functions that include, but are not limited to: retracting, manipulating, suturing, clamping, cauterizing, litigating, and tying tissue; suctioning, irrigating and sponging; positioning the patient; closure of body planes and skin; and participating in hemostasis and volume replacement. Surgical assistants are certified and registered or licensed by the state, or, in states without licensure, certified as surgical assistants by completing appropriate education and training. Source: Association of Surgical Assistants, 2014. [7/1/2014: title modified, definition modified]
Additional Resources: National Surgical Assistant Association, www.nsaa.net.