The Mayo School of Health Sciences Surgical First Assistant Program prepares individuals for professional practice in surgery. During the program, learning experiences teach students:
- Advanced human anatomy
- Suture and tying skills
- Hemostasis of surgical field
- Laparoscopic techniques
- Casting and dressing applications
- Robotic surgical procedures
The didactic coursework in the Surgical First Assistant program includes:
- Pre-Surgical Theory (2 credits)
Prepares an individual with a Bachelor's degree for the surgical suite. Study includes medical terminology, aseptic techniques, and basic instrumentation. Fundamental concepts in microbiology, infectious processes and immune responses are reviewed. Operating room protocol and universal precautions are thoroughly discussed.
- Principals of Surgical First Assisting I (4 credits)
Principals of Surgical First Assisting I is a two-part course that teaches fundamental skills of the first assistant role. Skills necessary to initialize a case, development of skills for intraoperative techniques, suturing and visualization are thoroughly discussed and practiced.
- Principals of First Assisting II (4 credits)
Building on techniques learned in the anatomy lab and skills acquired in the procedural lab, students are taught the structural relationships and physiology of hemostasis control in the operating room.
- Surgical First Assisting Anatomy (4 credits)
Advanced course includes a strong focus on the body's structure, prepares the student for proper tissue handling and other related events to a surgical procedure. A cadaver lab for gross anatomy review and discussion are also included.
- Advanced Topics of Surgical First Assistant (2 credits)
After completion of clinical rotations this final course in the program enables the student to understand different legal definitions and identify operating room situations that could lead to ethical conflict. The course concludes with students presenting their capstone project.
The clinical rotations offered as part of the Surgical First Assistant Program comprise 135 cases, approximately 1,150 hours, and may include the following surgical areas:
- Multispecialty (Urology, ENT, Plastics, GYN)
Grading or evaluation
Mayo School of Health Sciences uses these evaluative tools:
- Written examination
- Demonstration of skills
- Self-assessment exercises
- Faculty reviews
Mayo's system of evaluation provides students and faculty with a comprehensive look at individual performance. This allows faculty and administrative staff to direct students who are experiencing academic difficulty to the appropriate support resources, including tutoring programs and counseling opportunities.
Mayo School of Health Sciences is committed to developing and maintaining the best education programs. The curriculum and other aspects of this program are assessed constantly and changed as necessary to assure the highest-quality training.