surgical assistant OR surgical housekeeper??

Specialties Operating Room


Here in Illinois, our surgical assistants can get registered now if they would like to.

What title does your hospital designate for those assistive workers in the OR that help clean the rooms, bring equipment to your room, hold extremities when you prep, even might help tie folks up. Here in my area in Illinois 2 hospitals currently title them as surgical assistants and one hospital actually changed their title from housekeeper to surgical assistant years ago.

Now with this act of registration and title protection act being brought forth, I have a problem calling these very helpful workers "surgical assistants". I also have brought this up with their manager to see what the hospital is planning on doing with this matter.

Thank you for your responses.


Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

They're still housekeeping at our facility (or the "Pit Crew" as we call it, because two come in the room, and get the room cleaned in less than 5 minutes, and it reminds me of seeing the pit crew at a NASCAR race).

To call housekeeping 'surgical assistants' makes it sound like they're PCAs or something, and that causes confusion.


310 Posts

where I work they are classified as OR Care Techs or ORCTs, a variation of the Patient Care Tech title.


101 Posts

At my work, they're called O.R attendants. They clean rooms after procedures, help with extremity holding during prep, take stuff to blood bank/lab, help with patient moving/postioning, help with taking things to a room or a holding spot(ie, Argon beam, yello fin stirrups etc..)


314 Posts

Here in London we call them porters.


2,450 Posts

As taken from the following website:

Surgical Assistant

As defined by the American College of Surgeons, the surgical assistant provides aid in exposure, hemostasis, closure, and other intraoperative technical functions that help the surgeon carry out a safe operation with optimal results for the patient.* In addition to intraoperative duties, the surgical assistant also performs preoperative and postoperative duties to better facilitate proper patient care. The surgical assistant to the surgeon during the operation does so under the direction and supervision of that surgeon and in accordance with hospital policy and appropriate laws and regulations.

The Liaison Council on Certification for the Surgical Technologist (LCC-ST) offers the Certified Surgical Technologist/Certified First Assistant (CST/CFA) credential and the National Surgical Assistant Association (NSAA) offers a Certified Surgical Assistant (CSA) credential.* To be eligible for LCC-ST testing, individuals must be graduates of a* CAAHEP accredited surgical assistant program or a CST with current certification who meets a number of other eligibility requirements.

I agree those special group of people that do provide assistance in the OR are invaluable. Unfortunately some who have completed the education to become a surgical assistant by the above definition may take exception to these workers using that title.

RN Zeke

415 Posts

Specializes in Postpartum, Antepartum, Psych., SDS, OR.

Thank You for the job description. Many do not know or appreciate the eduction we are required to get. One must walk in the others shoes to appreciate the job one does!

Thanks, Cay

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