Operating Students 4 - 3

Surgical First Assistant Programs of Study

Associate in Applied Science in Surgical First Assisting:

As defined by the American College of Surgeons, the surgical first assistant provides aid in exposure, hemostasis, and other technical functions that will help the surgeon carry out a safe operation with optimal results for the patient. This role will vary considerably with the surgical operation, specialty area, and type of facility. Clinical skills performed under direct supervision of the surgeon may include the following:

  • Positioning the patient
  • Preparing the skin
  • Providing visualization of the operative site
  • Utilizing appropriate techniques to assist with hemostasis
  • Participating in volume replacement or auto transfusion techniques as appropriate
  • Utilizing appropriate techniques in closure of body planes
  • Selecting and applying appropriate wound dressings
  • Providing assistance in securing drainage system to tissue

Available Credentials

Associate in Applied Science

Certificate

For a printable copy of program course requirements, click an option above or consult the Madisonville Advising Plan.  

Employment Opportunities

Surgical assistants are primarily employed by hospitals or by physicians, who often hire the first assistant as their personal assistant in surgery. Starting salaries often range between $16 and $26 per hour.

Admission Requirements

The Surgical First Assistant program is a selective admission program. For eligibility requirements and to request a Surgical First Assistant program information packet or for additional information or questions regarding the program please contact Jeff Bidwell by e-mail.

Jeff Bidwell
SFA Program Coordinator
270-824-1740270-824-1740
Jeff.bidwell@kctcs.edu

Technical Standards

Surgical First Assistant applicants should possess sufficient performance skills in the areas of:

  • sensory functions including visual acuity, such as observation skills necessary for administering client care and reading equipment gauges and settings used in treatments;
  • sensory functions including auditory perception to receive verbal communication and to execute client care through the use of monitoring devices;
  • strength and gross and fine motor coordination and motor praxis skills to respond promptly and to implement client care skills, such as the manipulation of equipment, and positioning and lifting clients;
  • communication and social skills (speech, reading, writing) to interact with the individuals and to communicate their needs promptly and effectively, as may be necessary in the client’s interest, and
  • Intellectual, cognitive, and emotional function to implement the plan of care.
Applicants accepted into the program MUST also:
  • Provide proof of immunizations
  • Results from negative drug screening
  • Results from negative TB screen
  • Maintain current CPR certification throughout program

Qualifications for entering program:

NOTE:  For program admission, candidates must be a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) or Certified Surgical First Assistant (CSFA), Certified Surgical Assistant (CSA), or must be able to demonstrate the entry level skills possessed by someone who has completed an entry level surgical technology program.  These basic skills are listed in the Association of Surgical Technologists Surgical Technology Core Curriculum.  Candidates must also have a minimum of one year operating room experience.

Applicants to the program are selected based on a ranking system. The ranking system issues points based on: Certification, Operating Room Experience, Residency, Military Experience, Previous Applicant

In addition to MCC’s general admission requirements, candidates to the program must complete the following:


ADMISSION PROCEDURES

STEP ONE:  PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Qualified candidates must contact Surgical First Assistant Program Coordinator, Jeff Bidwell, or Surgical First Assistant Program Office Manager, Melinda Weil for additional detailed information and link to the online Surgical First Assistant Program Application form.

jeff.bidwell@kctcs.edu 

melinda.weil@kctcs.edu  

STEP TWO:  PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Qualified candidates must complete the online Surgical First Assistant Program application form and mail the following documents (ALL IN ONE MAILING) to the address below.  NOTE:  College transcripts may be sent directly from the college(s).

  1. Copy of Driver’s License
  2. Copy of Employee Badge
  3. Copy of CPR/BLS Card
  4. Copy of Certification or documented operating room training (i.e. transcripts, letters from surgeons)
  5. Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume (a curriculum vitae is a brief account of your career related education, qualifications, and previous experience).
  6. Letters(s) of Recommendation (minimum of 1) one must be from a surgeon, others may be from surgeons, surgical assistants, or supervisors/managers.
  7. High School transcripts (required by all students for enrollment into college courses)
  8. Official College transcripts (required from all colleges attended outside of KCTCS).  For transcripts to be considered “official” they must be in a sealed envelope from the college or sent directly from the college.

Documents are to be mailed to:

Melinda Weil, SFA Program Office Manger
Madisonville Community College
750 North Laffoon Street
Madisonville, KY  42431

  • The Admissions Committee will meet in April to make recommendations for the August class.  To be considered in the first round of selections, application documents must be received by April 1st.
  • The Admissions Committee will meet for a second time in May.  To be considered in the second round of selections, application documents must be received by May 1st.
  • The Admissions Committee will meet again in June.  To be considered in this round of selections, application documents must be received by June 1st
  • Application documents received after June 1st will be added to the applicant pool and may be reviewed by the Admissions Committee based on qualifications and availability.

STEP THREE:  COLLEGE REQUIREMENTS

Candidates selected for the program will receive an email notification with the following instructions.

  1. Complete FAFSA (if applying for financial aid, students loans, or scholarships)
  2. Complete Application for Admission to Madisonville Community College    
  3. Setup student email account (you will receive a letter from the college with your student ID number after you have completed the online application to the college. Note:  Students will have access to their student email after they are enrolled in classes.
  4. If transferring credits, complete online Transcript Evaluation Request form  
  5. Complete Fall Priority Registration Form (form will be emailed to candidates selected for the program)
  6. Tuition is due the Friday before classes start at the beginning of each semester.  To avoid being dropped from classes, payment arrangements must be made prior to the deadline.  Payment may be made through your student self service account or by contacting the business office at 270-824-1703. If applying for financial aid, please check your TO DO LIST in your student self service account to be sure all necessary requirements have been met.

STEP FOUR:  PROGRAM CLINICAL REQUIREMENTS

Candidates selected for the program will received an email with the following instructions.

  1. HEALTH SCREENING AND EVALUATIONS - provide proof of all health screening and evaluations as required by the affiliating agency (facility).  You may check with your facility for copies from your employee file or you may provide a written statement from your facility stating all required health screening and evaluations are on file at the facility.
  2. DRUG SCREENING RESULTS – provide results from a negative drug screening if required by the affiliating agency (facility).   You may check with your facility for a copy from your employee file.  If your facility does not require a drug screening, you must provide a written statement from your facility stating a drug screening is not required.  If your facility cannot provided copies from your file or a written statement, you must provide drug screening results from a current drug screening.
  3. CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK – provide results from a criminal background check as required by the affiliating agency (facility).  You may check with your facility for a copy from your employee file.  If your facility does not require a criminal background check, you must provide a written statement from your facility stating a criminal background check is not required.  If your facility cannot provide copies from your file or a written statement, you must provide criminal background check results through CastleBranch.com (instruction sheet will be emailed to student).  
  4. CLINICAL SITE INFORMATION FORM – submit a signed copy of the Clinical Site Information Form (form will be emailed to student).
  5. CLINICAL PRECEPTOR AGREEMENT FORMS(S) – Submit signed Clinical Preceptor Agreement Forms(s) (form will be emailed to student).  You MUST have at least one main precepting surgeon.  You may also have other delegated preceptors such as CSFAs or CSAs.  Before sending in your signed clinical preceptor agreement form(s), clinical preceptor information from the signed form is to be entered into the online Clinical Preceptor Information Form (link will be sent to student).

CLINICAL PRECEPTOR EVALUATION BY STUDENT – to be completed by the student at the end of the program for each preceptor.  Students may enter their clinical preceptor evaluation by student by clicking on the online Clinical Preceptor Evaluation by Student (link will be sent to student).

  1.  MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT (MOA) or student affiliation agreement between precepting facility and Madisonville Community College - (the KCTCS Madisonville Community College agreement form will be emailed to students).  Students may check with Melinda Weil, SFA Office Manager to see if a current agreement is in place with the facility.  Any facility who has their own agreement form should email the form to Melinda Weil at melinda.weil@kctcs.edu  to be reviewed for approval.  A fully executed agreement must be in place before beginning clinicals. 
  2. STUDENT HANDBOOK SIGNATURE PAGE – review student handbook and submit a signed copy of the student handbook signature page.  Students may submit the signature page electronically by clicking on the online SFA Student Handbook Signature Page (link will be sent to student).

Documents are to be mailed to: 

Melinda Weil, SFA Program Office Manger
Madisonville Community College
750 North Laffoon Street
Madisonville, KY  42431


Additional requirements for online Assistant students

Online assisted students must meet the required program admission eligibility requirements and have an approved preceptor at their facility that will agree to perform the following duties:

  • Clinical preceptors are responsible for understanding the content and the scope of the students' clinical preparation prior to the clinical practicum. This includes suturing check-offs, positioning check-offs and surgical skills check-offs before the student begins the clinical portion of the program.
  • Preceptors shall be responsible for providing clinical Surgical Assistant experience opportunities, evaluating student performance in an on-going manner, informing the program director/coordinator about student performance that is less than satisfactory and attesting to the level of student achievement during each rotation.
  • Students in the distance program have a couple of options for performing pre-clinical evaluations:
  • Students may perform the pre-clinical and program evaluations at the Madisonville Community college by attending a weekend lab or week lab depending on the need of the individual student. 
OR
  • Students may work with their preceptors and video tape the evaluations in order to save the expense of traveling to Madisonville. Example: After receiving approval from the facility the student could elect to perform the positioning evaluation by using an empty OR room and a few volunteer co-workers. The student would perform the positioning skills using a co-worker and clearly explain the position and safety features during the video. The suturing evaluation could be performed using foam kits or with pigs feet. The student would demonstrate the skill and describe each stitch during the video.

Length of Program

You can complete the Surgical First Assistant program in one academic year, after completing the program requirements you are required to take the national certification exam (currently CSFA) in order to graduate. The program is flexible and set up for people who work full-time. Several methods/tracks are offered to complete the program. The Surgical First Assistant program is offered online assisted.

Program Coordinator

Jeff Bidwell, CST, CSFA, CSA, KCSA, MA, FAST
(270) 824-1740(270) 824-1740
jeff.bidwell@kctcs.edu

This information should not be considered a substitute for the KCTCS Catalog. You should always choose classes in cooperation with your faculty advisor to ensure that you meet all degree requirements.

Out of state graduates of CAAHEP approved Surgical Technology programs may transfer many of their Surgical Technology courses toward the associate if the surgical technology school you attended was accredited by a regional or nationally accreditation body approved by Madisonville Community college. The amount of transferable Surgical Technology credits is based on the current Surgical Technology courses offered by Madisonville Community College. The general education courses will be reviewed individually.

The residency requirement for the AAS degree in Surgical Assisting is 24 hours; 15 of the 24 hours of the requirement will be met by taking the Surgical Assisting courses. The remainder of any general education requirements not met, or hours needed for the residency requirement, can be completed at the college through Kentucky Virtual University “KYVU”