Ep 129 Do you know your surgical assist? with Geoff Mcneave

Geoff McNeave's journey into the world of surgical assistance started with a volunteering job at a hospital during high school and progressed to starting his own company as a surgical (first) assist. We talked about the difference between surgical technicians and surgical assistants, with surgical assistants being trained to provide more hands-on assistance to surgeons during operations.There is lack of standardization and licensing requirements for surgical assistants across different states and organizations, which Geoff aims to address through advocacy and education.We highlighted the importance of surgical assistants in anticipating surgeons' needs, ensuring patient safety, and streamlining procedures. He shared the various employment models for surgical assistants, including being hired by hospitals, contracting with surgical groups, or running an independent practice. He noted the challenges faced by surgical assistants in terms of recognition, compensation, and billing practices, particularly due to the lack of licensing and regulation. Geoff has been a leader in advocating for mandatory certification, educational standards, and licensure for surgical assistants through organizations like the Association of Surgical Assistants.Overall, the conversation highlights the crucial role of surgical assistants in the operating room and the need for greater professionalism, standardization, and recognition of their skills and training.

I wish that they (doctors) knew the struggles that we have to go to to be professionally recognized in the surgical suite. We show up, we do our job, we care for your patients, but on the outside of things, we also struggle with recognition. - Geoff McNeave

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Discover the crucial role and impact of surgical assistants on patient safety and surgical outcomes.

  • Learn about the essential training and certification paths for professional advancement as a surgical assistant.

  • Understand the clear distinctions between surgical technologists and surgical assistants in the operating room.

  • Uncover the prevalent challenges in achieving accreditation for surgical assistant programs and how to address them.

  • Explore the various employment models available for surgical assistants and their implications for career growth and satisfaction.

Explore the essential training
Geoff highlights the need for standardized education and accreditation for surgical assistants. The discussion emphasizes the importance of formal training, professional standards, and accreditation to ensure that surgical assistants are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to support surgeons effectively. Exploring the essential training for surgical assistants is key to enhancing patient safety and advancing the profession.

The resources mentioned in this episode are:

  • Association of Surgical Assistance (ASA) - This organization advocates for education standards, licensure, and registration for surgical assistants. They work with lobbyists and have legal initiatives in various states to push for recognition and regulation of the profession.

  • National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) - This organization offers the Certified Surgical First Assistant (CSFA) title and provides accreditation for surgical assistants.

  • National Surgical Assistance Association (NSAA) - NSAA holds the title of Certified Surgical Assistant and provides accreditation for surgical assistants. They also advocate for education requirements, certification, and licensure for surgical assistants nationwide.