Office Location
Health Technology Center, Room 201-E, 2201 Hull Rd., Fayetteville, NC 28303
Phone Number
Office Hours Monday - Friday
8:00AM to 5:00PM
Division Chair: Terry Herring


The Surgical First Assistant Program is accredited by:
Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
9355 – 113th St. N, #7709
Seminole, FL 33775
Telephone 727-210-2350 | Fax 727-210-2354 | Website: CAAHEP

Upon recommendation of:

Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC-STSA)
19751 East Mainstreet
Suite #339
Parker, CO 80138
Telephone: 303-694-9262 | Fax: 303-741-3655 | Website: ARCSTSA

Admission Process

  1. Complete FTCC Application Process
  2. Summer entry, contact Terry Herring to apply for the Surgical First Assistant Program:
  3. Complete Departmental Application and return to Terry Herring
  4. Student must be Certified Surgical Technologist (CST), and three years work experience in order to be eligible for admission to the program

States that have legislative issues are California, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee and Virginia. New York and New Jersey do not allow surgical assistants to practice in their states, and in California there are very few opportunities to practice.

States requiring registration and/or licensure are Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee, Virginia; and Washington DC. Texas has licensure but it is not required, to practice.


Estimated Program Costs

  • Please note that all costs are estimates and subject to change.
  • Tuition is established by the State Board of Community Colleges and North Carolina General Assembly and is subject to change without notice.

Advisee Handbook

The Advisory Handbook provides prospective students a guide for understanding the Surgical First Assistant Program’s mission, policies, procedures, and serve as an entry guide to the admission process.

Program Outcomes

  1. Perform as a competent entry-level surgical assistant in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains.

  2. Apply knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology within the surgical environment, which includes the ability to differentiate between normal and the abnormal anatomy, physiology, laboratory findings, and other diagnostic data.

  3. Demonstrate safe practice techniques in regards to perioperative duties, and work effectively with surgeons and other health care professional to provide patient-centered care.

  4. Demonstrate a strong surgical conscience, accountability, legal implications, and present an image appropriate for the surgical assistant profession.

  5. Be able to correlate the elements, actions, and use of medications and anesthetic agents use in the perioperative environment.

FTCC Surgical First Assistant Pass Rates (NBSTSA)

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
100% 100% 100% 100% 83%

ASA Mission

“The Association of Surgical Assistants represents a broad coalition of surgical assistant practitioners, who share several common goals including optimizing surgical patient care, promoting the recognition of all surgical assistant, advancing legislative strategies and providing relevant continuing education experiences”

What to Expect:

Course Work

The Surgical First Assistant curriculum is designed to prepare qualified Surgical Technologists and other surgical professionals with the educational preparation necessary to assume the role of the Surgical First Assistant during operative and other invasive procedures.
Students will learn to apply didactic knowledge to the care of the surgical patient and provide assistance in exposure, hemostasis, and other technical functions that will assist the surgeon in performing a safe operation with optimal results for the patient.

Career Paths

Graduates of an accredited Commission on Accreditation of Allied Heath Education Program (CAAHEP) program may be eligible to test with one of the following organizations: National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA), National Surgical Assistant Association (NSAA) and the American Board of Surgical Assisting (ABSA). Employment opportunities include:
  • Clinics
  • Educational Institutions
  • Hospitals
  • Self-Employment



Surgical First Assistant (C45870)

Program Length: 3 Semesters
Prerequisite: Associate Degree; National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) certified in Surgical Technology; 3 years’ experience as a CST
Award: Certificate

It is highly recommended that you seek guidance from the appropriate credentialing agency in your home state before beginning the academic program located outside your state.

View Brochure

The Surgical First Assisting Program is designed to meet the educational requirements for the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) in North Carolina. Please see the disclosure chart for information regarding any licensure/certification in other states.