Why Choose the EVMS Surgical Assistant Program?

Operating RoomThe EVMS Surgical Assistant program is the only pathway for individuals with a four year degree or higher with no medical training to enter the specialized medical profession of surgical assisting. It is the only accredited Surgical Assistant program that does not require individuals to be trained as a surgical technician. 

During the first semester the students are involved in a structured didactic immersive experience in the clinical environment.  This experience provides students with direct observation and active participation with the surgical team to develop the critical clinical skills needed for the Surgical Assistant.  First year Surgical Assistant students conduct these rotations over a six week period.  Students are exposed to surgical services that include perioperative, intraoperative and postoperative patient care.  In addition, students are involved in ancillary surgical services, such as Sterile Processing and Pathology.  This preclinical training experience complements the knowledge and skills students obtain during the 10-month didactic phase of the program with hands-on instruction in the surgical environment. As a result of this preclinical training experience, students are prepared to enter the clinical training phase of the program with practical experience in the operating room and a strong foundation of surgical knowledge. In contrast to other accredited programs, the EVMS program manages and assigns the students' clinical placements.

At the end of the 12-month clinical phase, EVMS students complete eight clinical rotations, perform the duties and serve in the role of the surgical assistant in 240 cases at the minimum, have the equivalent competencies expected of a Junior Surgical Resident, and are eligible to take the National Commission for the Certification of Surgical Assistants certification exam. By attending the EVMS Surgical Assistant program, individuals earn a Master of Surgical Assisting, MSA and become certified in 22 months.