FAQ

About ABSA

  • What is the ABSA?
    The American Board of Surgical Assistants (ABSA), was founded in 1987, by Paul F. Weeks, M.D. as a national credentialing organization, for surgical assistants. The ABSA administers a national / international certification examination, for surgical assistants, covering all surgical disciplines and all areas of perioperative medicine. The examination evaluates candidate knowledge of surgical anatomy, procedures and techniques, diagnostic studies, emergency situations, OSHA regulations and general patient safety. We acknowledge that the role and function of a surgical assistant is to assist the surgeon, in the performance of a surgical procedure. It is understood and acknowledged that certification as a surgical assistant through the ABSA (SA-C) does not allow for any independent performance of any medical or surgical procedures, within the United States of America or its territories.
  • Is the ABSA going out of business?
    No, the ABSA is definitely not going out of business! We have just completed our 33rd year and we are continuing to expand internationally.
  • Scope of practice?
    To download a Surgical Assistant Scope of Practice / SA Position Description: click here
  • What is included in the fee?
    The fee covers your application, comprehensive review guide, examination and proctoring fees.
  • Is the ABSA accredited?
    The ABSA has national accreditation in progress.
  • Is the ABSA CAAHEP accredited?
    No, the ABSA is not CAAHEP accredited, CAAHEP accreditation is for training programs and the ABSA is not a training program only a testing and credentialing organization so therefore we are not eligible for CAAHEP accreditation.
  • Requirements/Documents needed for ABSA Examination

  • What documentation do I need to submit with my initial application?
    For US & Foreign trained Physicians
    • Medical School Completion (diploma)
    • Curriculum Vitae (resume)
    • Professional Passport Photo (image)
    For Licensed and Non-Licensed Allied Health Professionals
    • Formal Surgical Assistant Training Program Documentation/Completion
    • Curriculum Vitae (resume)
    • Professional Passport Photo (image)
    • Manual/Practical Skills Evaluation
    All documents will need to be scanned into your computer. These documents must be less than 8 Mb each and are uploaded into your application.
  • I am a Surgical Tech. What do I need to do to become eligible to sit for the ABSA Certification Examination?
    You must first complete a formal surgical assistant training program and then submit required documents with your application.
  • Training Programs/Review Courses

    State Licensure

  • What states have licensure for Surgical assistants?
  • I am applying for my Illinois Surgical Assistant license; They need information from ABSA.
    Please send an email to our office at: [email protected] including your name, address, certification number and that you are applying for Illinois Surgical Assistant License. Please attach a copy of the AFF-SA form with ONLY the top portion completed (ABSA will complete the middle and bottom portion). The ABSA will send documentation in a sealed envelope to you by mail. You will then attach the unopened "sealed envelope" to your license application. Note: The CT form does not need to be completed by the ABSA; This form is if you are a current US licensed physician, transferring your license from one state to another.
  • I am applying for a Texas Surgical Assistant license. They need information from ABSA.
    Please send an email to our office at: [email protected] including your name, certification number and that you are applying for a Texas Surgical Assistant License. The ABSA will send documentation directly to the Texas Medical Board.
  • I am applying for my District of Columbia Surgical Assistant license; They need information from ABSA.
    Please send an email to us at: [email protected] including your name, address, certification number and that you are applying for a DC Surgical Assistant License and the ABSA will send documentation in a sealed envelope to you. You will then attach the unopened "sealed envelope" to your license application.
  • I am applying for a Nebraska Surgical Assistant license. They need information from ABSA.
    Please send an email to our office at: [email protected] including your name, certification number and that you are applying for a Nebraska surgical assistant license. The ABSA will send documentation directly to the Nebraska Medical Board.
  • Personal Changes

  • I have recently gotten married, what documents do you need to change my name?
    Please send an email titled "Name change" to [email protected] including your previous name, new name, certification number and address. You will need to attach legal documentation of your name change, for the ABSA to make changes. The ABSA will make changes in our system and issue you a new certificate with name change.
  • I have moved, how can I update my address?
    Please send an email titled "updated address" to [email protected] including your name, certification number and your current mailing address. We will update your address in our system.
  • Examination

  • Is the Examination online?
    Yes, the examination is a Live Remote Proctored Examination (Your Preferred Date & Time, 24/7)
  • What does the Examination consist of?
    The ABSA Certification Examination for Surgical Assistants is comprised of 150 multiple-choice questions, covering all surgical disciplines and all areas of perioperative medicine, including instrumentation. The examination evaluates candidate knowledge of surgical anatomy, procedures, techniques, diagnostic studies, emergency situations, OSHA regulations, and general patient safety.
  • What books do I need to purchase to study?
    None. The ABSA will email you a comprehensive review guide, once your application is accepted.
  • How long does it take before I know if I am approved to sit for the ABSA Examination?
    The approval process generally takes less than five (5) days, following your application submission. If you are approved to sit for the ABSA Examination you will receive an email, containing your approval letter and a comprehensive review guide. If the ABSA needs additional information, you will receive an email, instructing you what information we need.
  • How long does it take to get the results from Examination?
    Immediately after you complete your examination you will receive a Pass/Fail notification, including a score report that you can print or email. The ABSA will then email you your official Pass/Fail notification.
  • If I did not pass the ABSA certification Examination, when am I eligible to re-test for certification and what process must I complete?
    You are eligible to retest for the ABSA Examination. You must complete and submit the Re-test application on our website at: www.absa.net and make the Re-test payment. You are eligible to take the ABSA exam a total of 4 times in a 12 month period, however you must wait a minimum of two (2) weeks between exams.
  • How long does the Examination take to complete?
    You have three (3) hours to complete the examination
  • Recertification

  • What are the requirements for recertification?
    • Minimum 400 clinical surgical procedures or 1500 clinical surgical hours, every two years, in the role of a surgical assistant.
    • Continuing medical education
    • Current in ACLS or CPR or PALS
  • Can I use my CEU’s from my surgical tech certification towards my Surgical Assisting Recertification?
    Yes, all forms of medical / surgical education, conferences and in-services are generally acceptable, towards ABSA recertification.
  • Where can I obtain my CEU’s?
    All forms of medical / surgical education, conferences and in-services are generally acceptable, towards ABSA recertification. You can also visit our "Links" page on our web at: www.absa.net, where we have links, to free continuing educational sites.
  • What documentation do I need to submit for my recertification?
    If you are self-employed, the documentation ABSA will need is as follows:
    • Case Log Form (1 page form on our web site)
    • Verification of Continuing Education (hospital in-services, journal readings, etc.. )
    • Verification of current ACLS or PALS or CPR (your card or certificate)
    • Pay-Pal receipt (paying online for recertification)
    If you are employed by a hospital, group or physician, the documentation ABSA will need is as follows:
    • Employment verification form (a one (1) page form on our website that your supervisor will sign stating you meet ALL the requirements listed)
    • Pay-Pal receipt (paying online for recertification)
  • Where can I find recertification forms?
    Visit our web at: www.absa.net and click on the "Forms & Required Documents” button.
  • What if I don’t meet the recertification requirements?
    You can apply to re-certify by Examination or call the office at 1-877-617-8345 to explain circumstances. The ABSA will review each case individually.
  • When can I submit my recertification documentation?
    You can submit your recertification documentation as early as January of the year your certification expires, not before.
  • Miscellaneous/Uncategorized

  • I have had no success in finding employment. Where can I look for employment?
    The ABSA is only a testing & credentialing organization; we are not an employment service. If seeking employment, it is suggested that you contact friends, colleagues, employment agencies, or search the internet for surgical assistant jobs.
  • How can I check my certification?
    Click on the "ABSA Verification Database” and enter your certification number and DOB and select “Lookup & Verify.”
  • I am completing a form and they are asking for issuing state?
    ABSA Certification is national / international. We are not a "State" organization. We have advised individuals to enter either Nat'l or Int'l.
  • How can I obtain a duplicate certificate?
    The fee is $10 for duplicate or replacement certificate. Contact our office, by email at:[email protected] and include in the email your name, address, certification number and that you need a duplicate certificate. We will forward the instructions and a PayPal link, on which you will pay.