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SoutheastHEALTH First Assistant in Cape Girardeau, Missouri

First Assistant

Nursing - RN Cape Girardeau, Missouri Surgery PRN



Variable ShiftDuties focus on assisting the operating surgeon, providing surgical field exposure, providing hemostasis via clamping, cauterization and tying “bleeders”, incising and suturing tissue, providing wound closure and dressingsBegin

  • Assists in multiple specialties demonstrating strong clinical skills proving versatility

  • Prepares thoroughly for assigned cases

  • Reviews preference cards. Communicates necessary information to ensure patient safety and efficiency

  • Correctly uses, cares for, cleans and handles instruments, supplies and equipment

  • Demonstrates the application of the principles of aseptic techniques in a knowledgeable manner. Corrects observed or suspected breaks in sterile technique according to Policy and Procedure

  • Demonstrates the ability to prioritize and organize the surgical field

  • Participates/Assists/Conducts an orderly instrument count according to Policy and Procedure

  • Reviews the medical record according to policy and procedure

  • Assists with or performs vein harvesting for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)

  • Incises and sutures tissue and provides surgical field exposure

  • Provides hemostasis via clamping, tying, cauterization, etc.

  • Efficiently and quickly assembles implant devices

  • Efficiently and quickly changes mayo set-up to accommodate various stages of procedures

  • Assists with or performs wound closure

  • Observes for safe placement of towel clips, cautery, drills, saws, etc.

  • Budgets time effectively. Scrubs in the appropriate time to prepare/assist with set up. Assists with room preparation and turnover in an efficient and organized manner

  • Ensures on-time start efficiency (Assists with taking the patient back 15” prior to scheduled start time when appropriate)

  • Performs decontamination processes safely using infection control techniques

  • Applies principles of tissue handling

  • “Scrubs” and “sets up” the case and assists with gowning and gloving

  • Independently attends to duties of assigned specialty areas

  • Follows policy with universal protocol. Uses two patient identifiers (name and birthdate), identifies surgeon’s initials and/or mark for site marking (when applicable), initiates and/or participates in the “time-out” immediately prior to skin incision

  • Utilizes universal precautions on all cases

  • Insert and remove foley catheter as directed by the Circulating RN or Surgeon

  • Anticipates needs of surgeon and acts promptly and appropriately

  • Demonstrates professional responsibility. Communicates necessary information with the charge nurse/office staff in a timely manner. Ascertains the charge nurse is aware when you leave the department

  • Performs procedures safely with minimal supervision. Requests assistance when performing unfamiliar procedure, recognizes own limitations

  • Demonstrates an understanding of surgical aseptic technique and is knowledgeable of the methods of sterilization and disinfection

  • Identifies and corrects potential surgical hazards and safety measures to prevent injury including patient and occupational related hazards

  • Performs as a resource person to department staff involving assigned duties

  • Listens effectively and provides appropriate information to members of the department and other personnel

  • Works with Clinical Coordinator for specialty area decisions regarding performance improvement outcomes

  • Completes assigned ordering-related work on a timely basis

  • Anticipates changes within specialty and communicates same to the Clinical Coordinator and staff

  • Works hours as needed and requested by leadership taking rotating First Assistant call in addition to scheduled call for your service.

  • Duties require interaction with different patient age groups, i.e. neonate, child, adolescents, adults, and the elderly, and requires recognition that different age groups require specialized attention to care


  • Registered Nurse or Certified surgical technologist preferred with expectation of completing certification within one year of assuming position

  • The preferred candidate will be a Registered Nurse or Certified surgical technologist with three to five years operating experience as a first assistant

  • CPR certified

  • Individuals may receive further training under the direction of operating surgeons who determine the required level of expertise needed to assist

  • Communication and an attitude of responsiveness is absolutely key to all positions in the peri-operative area. A “can-do” attitude is required for the exemplary customer service expected

  • Teamwork along with a strong work ethic and a positive attitude are required

  • These traits equate to excellent service to patients, family members, physicians and co-workers

  • Teamwork also enhances patient safety as peri-operative staff works together. “Together we make a difference through our commitment to excellence in health care.”

  • Current licensure as a Registered Nurse by the Missouri State Board of Nursing or current licensure by the State of Missouri or Liaison Council on Certification, if Certified Surgical Technician

  • Graduate from an accredited School of Nursing, Surgical Technologist program or equivalent work experience is required

  • Must be able to read, write and speak English