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Surgical Assistants

Health Science

Service Branches

  • Army logo
  • Marines logo
  • navy logo
  • Air Force logo

Work Environment

Surgical assistants work in hospitals and clinics on land or aboard ships. In combat situations, they may work in mobile field hospitals.

  • Military Status


  • Average Military Salary



Surgical assistants provide care, safety, and support to service members and their families before, during, and after surgery. They assist physicians and other healthcare providers by preparing the operating room, sterilizing the surgical instruments, and assisting with anesthesia. These professionals may need to assist with surgery for injuries resulting from combat or other disasters.

Military Training

All enlisted service members complete basic military training, which includes time spent in a classroom and in the field, and covers tactical and survival skills, physical training, military life and customs, and weapons training. Surgical assistants in the Military will gain skills through classroom study, laboratory demonstrations, practical exercises, and on-the-job experience. Job-specific training content may include:

  • Patient care techniques
  • Emergency medical treatment
  • Methods of sterilizing surgical equipment
  • Working on a medical team
  • Basic nursing care
  • Minor surgical procedures
  • Clinical laboratory procedures
  • Methods for diagnosing diseases
  • Medical management information systems

Helpful Attributes

  • Ability to follow directions precisely
  • Ability to work under stressful or emergency conditions
  • Interest in helping others

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  • Registered Nurses