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SMH Surgical Services Employee Earns Certification

Western Maine Health Senior Vice President of Clinical Services, M. Patricia Cook, RN, MBA, EdD was pleased to announce recently that Andy Damon, a Certified Surgical Technologist at Stephens Memorial Hospital has successfully completed testing to be a Certified First Assistant in the Operating Room.

Andy completed one year of school through the National Institute of First Assisting online, Andy also served an internship sponsored by Robert Neilson, M.D. Chief of Surgery at SMH and was mentored by the other surgeons as he worked with them in the OR.  Finishing this, Andy took a vigorous test in order to complete this certification.  Certified Surgical Technologists (CST) work in the operating room setting up the equipment and instrumentation for surgical procedures, they maintain the sterile field and pass instruments to the surgeons. 

As a Certified First Assistant, Andy will now be in his words, "a third set of hands and eyes for the surgeons."   Beverly Snow, RN-BC, Nurse Director of Surgical Services explains, that Certified First Assistants, "Are an assistant to the surgeon including suturing and wound closure."  As defined by the American College of Surgeons, the first assistant provides aid in exposure, hemostasis, and other technical functions that will help the surgeon carry out a safe operation with optimal results for the patient. This role will vary considerably with the surgical operation, specialty area, and type of facility.

Andy completed Certified Surgical Technologist training through Maine Medical Center and Southern Maine Community College.  Prior to joining the OR at SMH several years ago, he was employed at another local hospital for two years. 

The decision to further his training came with Andy's desire to be more involved in his work.  He finds his job rewarding, takes it very seriously and finds that further training helps him to build confidence.  Snow says of Andy, "Having Andy complete the CFA course now gives Surgical Services another Certified First Assistant.  Andy has worked very hard to quickly accomplish this, having finished all of his requirements, including the certification exam, in less than 1 year.  Andy is a great asset to our surgical team and I'm proud of what he has done and what he brings to Surgical Services."

Andy states he is a hometown boy, born and raised in the Oxford Hills.  Andy and his wife, Andrea live in Norway with their four children ages 2-16.

Photo caption:  Andy Damon, CST, CFA

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