ASA Resources

2018 American College of Surgeons Recommendations on When to Use an Assistant in Surgery

  • Update Physicians as Assistants at Surgery
  • Indication of which surgeon will be responsible for the supervision and performance of the SA or PA.
  • Review and approval of the application by the hospital board.
  • Registered nurses with specialized training also may function as first assistants. If such a situation should occur, the size of the operating room team should not be reduced; the nurse assistant should not simultaneously function as the scrub nurse and instrument nurse when serving as the first assistant. Nurse assistant practice privileges should be granted based upon the hospital board’s review and approval of credentials. Registered nurses who act as first assistants must not have responsibility beyond the level defined in their state nursing practice act.

Surgeons are encouraged to participate in the training of allied health personnel. Such individuals perform their duties under the supervision of the surgeon.