Common Questions about our Surgical Assistant Program

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Why do you not offer the single specialty program anymore?

As of 2020, the ABSA changed their requirements and now all our students must complete multi-specialty rotations. 

282: Multi-Specialty Surgical Rotations (50 cases in General Surgery, 25 cases in Orthopedics, 25 cases in OB/Gyn  with the remaining cases in any specialty.

How can RASA keep it’s tuition costs so low?
We automate the elements that are convenient to both the student and RASA. We save our staff’s and instructor’s time for the individual conversations and consultations that you may need.
I was trained by my hospital or don't have my CST, can I still attend?
Yes! If you have completed a formal ST program you can start the surgical assisting course right away.

If you do not have formal ST training there are four courses we may require you to take along with the SA program. We may require you to take any of the below courses that you have not already completed:

  • Medical Terminology (available through RASA)
  • Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology (available through RASA)
  • Microbiology (available through RASA)
  • Pharmacology (available through RASA)
When do classes start after I enroll?

We have open enrollment with start dates on the 1st of every month! Within 5 days of submitting your application you will be notified of the approval decision. If you have not heard from us within that time, please contact us! We may not have received your application, but would love to have you in the program.

After applications are approved, we send online access, notify you of your start date for the program and mail your Wound Closure Home Practice Lab.

Do you have to complete a CAAHEP-accredited program to get certification?

In almost all states, no. One of the largest and most recognized national credentialing organizations (ABSA) does not require graduation from a CAAHEP-accredited institution. Our program leads to the national Surgical Assistant Certified (SA-C) title through the American Board of Surgical Assistants (ABSA). RASA is only aware of three states that requires graduation from a CAAHEP-accredited SA program for STs advancing their career to SAs. Most states do not have specific legislation and SA practice falls under the “direct supervision of the surgeon” clause (as stated by the American College of Surgeons).

Accreditation organizations are intended to set policies, procedures and standards to protect the public. In general, RASA believes that accreditation is beneficial; however, sometimes it can impose guidelines that are difficult to meet and can even set an industry backwards. Very few facilities require CAAHEP accreditation to practice. Facilities tend to be more interested in certification. We encourage you to investigate state laws and facility requirements.

If there are not specific requirements, you get great training for less than half the cost, and you are still eligible to sit for national certification through the American Board of Surgical Assistants for the SA-C title.

Our belief...

…is that everyone acting in the role of the surgical assistant should be formally trained in a program that leads to certification.
We deliver that!

Find out more →

Where and when do I attain the clinical cases needed for this program?
You will log your clinical cases at your local facility. Generally, students make arrangements with their place of employment. You may begin logging your cases after you have completed the home-study portion of the program (Modules 1 and 2) and have been formally cleared by RASA. If a training agreement is required by your facility, we can almost always comply with their requirements and are happy to work with your facility to get one set up.
Will I be required to obtain multi-specialty surgical cases?

Yes. As of 2020, a multi-specialty curriculum is the standard for first assistant training programs, multi-specialty clinical cases are now required.  Our curriculum teaches you major cases for each specialty, so you will be well prepared for your clinicals and, consequently, for your certification exam.

I know I am required to have a surgeon sponsor me, but I work with 2 other surgeons. Can I count those cases too?
Yes, you may have up to 10 sponsoring surgeons. We think that working with different surgeons provides you with a wider learning experience. We limit the number of surgeons to allow your sponsors to follow your educational experience and provide you with the most beneficial learning opportunities.
Which cases may I log?
Typically, if a case requires a first assistant in surgery, it may be counted. Sometimes cases that generally do not require a first assistant, may require one for complicating factors (ex. obesity or complicating factors). We utilize the American College of Surgeons’ list of cases that require first assistants as a guide; however, the final determination will be made by a RASA instructor.
Why attend RASA’s Surgical Assisting program and not another?
This program represents a convenient and affordable pathway for operating room professionals to enter the expanded role of surgical assisting. With our multi-media online program, you will have access to proven training methods, including our Wound Closure Training System™. This home lab will teach you to master basic-though-advanced suture and tying techniques in the comfort of your home prior to first assisting on your first patient (the way it should be)! You will have the advantage of completing your coursework online with our user-friendly learning system, and if you have a question, our education department will be there for you.

The Royal Academy of Surgical Assisting will disclose all costs upfront, leaving no hidden fees or unadvertised costs. We also provide convenient payment plans to meet most any budget (call for details).

Approval and Certification:

The Royal Academy of Surgical Assisting leads to the national Surgical Assistant Certified (SA-C) title through the American Board of Surgical Assistants (ABSA).

How do I get started?

Start by contacting RASA at (888)958-0149 or [email protected] to verify your eligibility. After you have read the program materials and we have answered all your questions, submit the enrollment application, along with the required documentation and payment. When we verify that all requirements have been met, we will promptly email you access to the online eCampus web portal for the home-study portion of the program and a start date. We will also ship your Wound Closure Training System™, shortly after your start date, so you can begin mastering your suture and tying skills!

Don't Be Shy

If we didn’t answer all of your questions,
feel free to drop us a line anytime.