Please enable JavaScript to view this page.

Surgical First Assistant

Post Associate Certificate of Completion

Program Overview

Surgical First Assistant

The non-physician surgical first assistant provides aid in exposure, hemostasis and other functions that will help the surgeon carry out a safe operation with optimal results for the patients. These activities will be performed only as delegated tasks under the direct and immediate supervision of the responsible surgeon.

Students who successfully complete the program will receive a Surgical First Assisting Post Associate Certificate and will be qualified to sit for the national certification (CSFA®) through the National Board for Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.

Delta's program is four semesters long, starting in the spring. It's a cohort program, so students come in as a group and take their classes together from their first semester until their last. Students may elect to complete their clinical assignments at their current place of employment.

Professional licensure

Meets the requirements to sit for certification. Certifications are recognized nationwide.

Be successful. Develop these skills.

  • Customer service
  • Listening
  • Problem solving
  • Language
  • Writing
  • Technology
  • Network administration
  • Troubleshooting
  • UNIX, Linux and Cisco
  • System and network configuration
  • Windows server

The Surgical Frist Assistant Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
9355 - 113th St. N, #7709
Seminole, FL 33775

The program is one of only two in the state of Michigan and 12 in the nation to be awarded this accreditation.

Program application process

Getting your degree in the health field is unique compared to other programs.

Students in the Surgical First Assistant program are required to be:

  • Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) or (CORST), Nurse-Operating Room (CNOR) or Physician Assistant-Certified (PA-C) with certification currency. And, two years full-time experience or 4,500 clinical hours in the last three years
  • Graduates from a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited Surgical Technology Program, Nursing or Physician Assistant Program
  • Preferably an Associate of Applied Science Degree (or equivalent)

Students must complete an application packet to be eligible to enter the program including two letters of recommendation, one from a surgeon and one from your supervisor. Please call the Program Coordinator at 989-686-9505 for more information.

Apply to Delta

CSFA® pass rates

Students who successfully complete the program will receive a Surgical First Assisting Post Associate Certificate and will be qualified to sit for the national certification (CSFA®) through the National Board for Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.

National certification pass rates
Total percent of candidates in the graduation class who took the CSFA® Exam and passed.

  • 2022, 100%
  • 2021, 100%
  • 2020, 83%
  • 2019, 59% – National average, 49%
  • 2018, 86%
  • 2017, 88% – National average, 69%
 Program goal & outcomes

We want to make sure you're ready when you graduate and that the knowledge you gain from your Delta degree is top-notch. 

Program Goal

It is the goal of the Delta College’s Surgical First Assistant Program to provide quality education to health care professionals in order to prepare its graduates to be competent entry level surgical first assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.” 

When you're done, here's what you'll be able to do:

Outcome 1
Demonstrate clinical competence.

Outcome 2
Exhibit strong ethical behaviors.  

Outcome 3
Describe the value of diversity related to the workplace setting.

Outcome 4
Demonstrate the ability to make independent clinical judgments within the limits of the surgical assistant’s responsibilities.

Outcome 5
Demonstrate effective communication skills for the practice setting.

Outcome 6
Demonstrate appropriate critical thinking skills to formulate logical conclusions from the analysis of data.

Student handbook

The Surgical First Assistant Program Student Handbook is written for students who have been admitted to the program and is a supplement to the Delta College Student Handbook. You will find policies utilized by the Surgical First Assistant program as well as student services that are available. 


Why you should choose Delta

Collaboration with local hospitals

Delta College has a good working relationship with our local hospitals that offer several advantages to students. These agreements allow Delta students access particularly to robotic surgery, thus allowing you to train on the actual robots you will encounter in the workplace.

Online curriculum

More than 50% of the curriculum is completed online, maximizing time management opportunities for students working full-time.

State-of-the-art facilities

The surgical technology classroom and labs are part of a $21 million renovation project that was completed in 2013. These state-of-the-art facilities are a real representation of what students will see in actual operating rooms.

In addition to the upgrade to facilities, Delta College has upgraded computer technology including the purchase of an Anatomage anatomy table. The table removes the need to have an actual cadaver lab. Delta College was the first community college in the State of Michigan to have this technology.

Facts & Figures


A 30% job growth is expected through 2022.


140 documented surgical procedures are performed by surgical first assistant students during clinicals.


Related Programs

Delta College offers over 140 degree, certificate and training options. Continue exploring and advancing your education with these related programs: