Types of Jobs in Surgical Services

The Division of Surgical Services offers a wide range of opportunities for individuals with varied levels of required education. The following roles within the division work together to ensure excellent patient care:

  • Registered Nurse (perioperative and perianesthesia)
  • Certified Surgical Assistant/Surgical Assistant
  • Certified Surgical Technologist
  • Surgical Patient Care Assistant
  • Surgical Core Technician

Registered Nurse

Perioperative RN

Registered nurses in the perioperative setting assess the needs of the patient undergoing a surgical procedure, plan and implement patient care, and supervise other nursing personnel. Within the operating room (OR), they primarily circulate and coordinate patient care activities. Perioperative RNs at Mayo Clinic must have graduated from an NLN- or CCNE-accredited associates, bachelors or diploma nursing program, or have recent experience in the acute care setting.

Sara, perioperative nurse

Sara, perioperative nurse

Sarah, RN

"I enjoy my position as an RN in ENT Surgery. I have been given opportunities to be involved in the care of critical patients, to be a core member of a great ENT team, and to see surgeries that aren't often seen at other institutions. I enjoy the opportunity to further expand my knowledge base in ENT with unique experiences. I have been fortunate to be part of a wonderful team. I am able to make a difference in the lives of many children and adults that I see in my nursing practice."

Perianesthesia RN

Perianesthesia nursing at Mayo Clinic specializes in the preoperative and postoperative care of the surgical patient from admission to discharge, both phase I (airway stabilization, hemodynamic monitoring, and pain/nausea management) and phase II (preparatory and learning needs of surgical patients). Perianesthesia RNs at Mayo Clinic must have graduated from an NLN- or CCNE-accredited associates, bachelors or diploma nursing program, and preferably have recent experience in critical care, intermediate care, and/or cardiac monitoring.

Certified Surgical Assistant

The certified surgical assistant (CSA) is a highly-skilled, trained medical professional who provides quality perioperative care to patients under a surgeon's direction. A CSA has the ability to anticipate the needs of the surgeon with respect to the requirements of a particular surgical procedure, including instrumentation, suturing or patient positioning. At Mayo Clinic, CSA's must be certified (NSAA) and have graduated from a CAAHEP- or NSAA-approved surgical assisting program.

Surgical Assistant

The Surgical Assistant (SA) is a training position preparing an individual to become a certified surgical assistant (see description above). The surgical assistant training program is 2.5 years and includes the National Surgical Assistants Association (NSAA) required hours of surgical assisting. SAs at Mayo Clinic must have an associate's degree in a direct patient care field from a CAAHEP-, CCNE- or NLNAC-accredited program plus the commensurate certification or licensure associated with that degree.

Scott, surgical assistant

Scott, surgical assistant

Scott, Surgical Assistant

"I would recommend this position to anyone who has an interest in anatomy and helping others. I have been a surgical assistant for a few years now and can say I enjoy my job today more than ever. I am satisfied in knowing that I can help many people by just doing my job. I am always learning new procedures and gaining new skills. As surgical assistants we pride ourselves in our work, especially skin closure. Everyone is focused on what is best for our patients. That alone gives me a sense of pride in what I do."

Certified Surgical Technologist

The certified surgical technologist (CST) functions primarily in the scrub role for the surgical team. A CST provides a safe, efficient environment for the surgical patient by selecting, preparing, and maintaining instrumentation, equipment and supplies. CSTs at Mayo Clinic must have graduated from a CAAHEP-accredited program.

Erika, CST

Erika, CST

Erika, CST

"I take pride in saying how long I've worked here. The reason I have stayed here is easy: I love what I do! Knowing that I am an essential part of something so important to our patients is such an honor. People all over the world come to us for help improving their health. Who wouldn't want to be part of that?!"

Surgical Patient Care Assistant

The surgical patient care assistant (PCA) is responsible for transporting surgical patients, performing preoperative skin prep/shaving, assisting in supply and equipment inventory and management, and guiding visitors. Surgical patient care assistants at Mayo Clinic must have graduated from high school (or GED) and have successfully completed a vocational program for patient care assistants or equivalent education/work experience.

Bill, PCA

Bill, PCA

Bill, PCA

"I have been a patient care assistant at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus for 34 years. The loyalty I have to this organization and to my patients is something I gained from the Sisters of St. Francis (founders of Saint Marys Hospital). The compassion my colleagues have for patient care is something I try to replicate in my role. I value these friendships and they are an important reason why I stay."

Surgical Core Technician

A surgical core technician (SCT) prepares and delivers medical/surgical supplies, instruments and equipment for surgical procedures. Additionally, this position cleans, packages, and processes surgical equipment and instrumentation, as well as maintains inventory and storage of supplies in the core. Surgical core technicians at Mayo Clinic must have graduated from high school (or GED) and have successfully completed a vocational program for patient care assistants or equivalent education/work experience.

Henry, SCT

Henry, SCT

"From the handling of instruments to the friendship among my co-workers in the core, I love my job! Just like the instruments of a spine pan, all of the pieces and people come together to make it complete. Along with the department and learning opportunities, it's having these friends that make it worth being here."