RNFA 'S - page 8

Are there any RNFA's that are MAD or getting Mad about the Surgical scrub first assisting? Maybe we should be! #1 This is a job we have worked very hard for, we went to school to get a degree and... Read More

  1. by   callbabe
    Quote from Alnamvet
    Surgeon gives me a choice: do you want a RNFA, a Surgical PA, or a Masters prepared Certified Surgical Assistant from a 2 year medical school program where the graduates receive over 2000 hours in the OR in their 2nd year as his First Assist? GIVE ME THE CSA!!! An alternative would be a Special Forces Medic with additional training as a Surgical Assistant. RNFA...what is that? a few years scrubbing and circ'n, membership in AORN, cert in CNOR, and a week in Lake Taos skiing and taking a few hours in knot tying.
    I am a OR Nurse of 35 years, I have always scrubbed,circulated most cases. I have first assisted during alot of the cases also. I went thru a formal RNFA program almost 15 years ago to validate my experience. I do not believe there prerequisites are strong enough to enter a FA program. Two years is not anywhere near long enough.I have been Certified for 15 years. I work as a staff nurse, 90% of the time I am working as a RNFA. OB,General surg, GYN/ONC, Trauma is were I want to be. We did have a PA that worked for our trauma surgeons but they do not get much OR time to train, they are very good in the clinic, or rounding. I work with 3 surgical techs that work for a gen surg group, they are great, I fill in for them occasionally. They have many years of experience. I personally would not want someone with less than 10 years working on me.
  2. by   jdg0719
    How would having more nurses with PHDs tackle the nursing shortage? Wouldn't that take many of the hands on ADNs with yrs of experience off the floor and into a classroom to wind up behind a desk once they get their PHDs? How would you fight a war with nothing but generals and no foot soldiers? Wouldn't that concept apply here as well?
  3. by   CAORRN
    I just posted about this topic! I am not an RNFA, although I would like to be one, I can't get any good scrub experience because all the techs get to scrub!! Its is really a huge problem, that is not getting any better! I totally agree, something should be done, its all management decisions though, in order to save money. It is really a shame though, that OR RN's are diminished. All OR RN's should be mad too that some states allow techs to circulate, mostly in outpatient surgery centers. You should look up the job description on Wikipedia, most of it mirrors the job of the RN(circulator), and this is the information that is put out to the public!! We should ALL be way more active in advocating for the presence of more RN's in the OR!!
  4. by   CAORRN
    Hey, I just checked out the EVMS web site about surgical assistants. The program is not a degree, just a certificate. There is a big difference between a certificate, a degree and a license.
  5. by   Wmoon
    I have to chime in here. As a surgical Tech of 14 years, I am about to graduate from a nursing program in May. I find it highly offensive that a lot of nurses find that techs are sub-par in surgical assisting or that we do not have the "knowledge base" to become a CFA/CSA. As a nurse, you have no where near the training for surgical environment and anatomy that a surgical tech has. Instrumentation, sterile technique, suturing, and surgical procedures are our scope and mainstay in the O.R. It is a completely different world then the scope of nursing and patient care. I have trained so many nurses how to scrub, understand procedure, and understand anatomy as it relates to surgical procedure.

    Our scope is purely committed to surgery, for a nurse to come into the O.R that is all they need to do is a transitional OJT period. I find it highly suspect that nurses feel that is comparable or even adequate enough to become a CFA/CSA/RNFA over the training of a Surg Tech. I respect a nurses role in the OR and realize it is harder to circulate a room at times, but I feel the knowledge of Surg Techs is often overlooked due to the "holier then thou" attitude of nurses. In my opinion, nurses are working in our field of expertise, not the other way around.

    Anyway, thats my take on some of the comments here. I have worked 11 years in a trauma facility as a surgical tech, and I have trained many nurses on how to do MY JOB.
  6. by   Wmoon
    Quote from CAORRN
    I just posted about this topic! I am not an RNFA, although I would like to be one, I can't get any good scrub experience because all the techs get to scrub!! Its is really a huge problem, that is not getting any better! I totally agree, something should be done, its all management decisions though, in order to save money. It is really a shame though, that OR RN's are diminished. All OR RN's should be mad too that some states allow techs to circulate, mostly in outpatient surgery centers. You should look up the job description on Wikipedia, most of it mirrors the job of the RN(circulator), and this is the information that is put out to the public!! We should ALL be way more active in advocating for the presence of more RN's in the OR!!


    I can see your point here. It may be in your interest to work at a teaching facility such as a local university that is affiliated with a hospital. Nurses have the most opportunity to learn the scrub role at those places.
  7. by   djhughes017
    I would like to remind everyone that RNFAs are not credentialed in the field of surgical assisting. In order to validate your experience as a nurse first assistant you must sit for and pass the CRNFA certification examination administered by CCI. If you are a licensed nurse, great. You are licensed as a NURSE, not a surgical assistant. Likewise, CSTs have no business first assisting cases. If you are a tech who wants to assist, great - go to school and get certified as a surgical first assistant! Surgical assisting requires a lot more than merely holding a retractor or manipulating a suction tip. It requires critical thinking skills and advanced practical and theoretical knowledge and abilities. These skills need to be validated by the proper authority.

    For those of you who hold proper credentials... It's time to quit the ******* match people. We are all professional practitioners and as such we need to act accordingly. I do not care if you are a nurse, a tech, or a PA. There are good assistants and bad. It isn't about which career path we came from in order to stand across from the surgeon. We are all non-physician surgical assistants and perform the same duties and functions. CRNFAs, CSFAs, CSAs, and SA-Cs are all CERTIFIED as surgical assistant practitioners. We need to work together and advocate together in order to move OUR profession along.

    Douglas J. Hughes, MEd, BAS, CSFA, CSA, CST, CRCST
  8. by   Wmoon
    I appreciate your input DJ, and agree that people do need to go through the proper channels to be a first assistant. I am a CSA and also became an licensed RN over the summer. Do you know how that translates into RN assisting? I was told by my work that if I was needed to do any assisting or suturing that I would not be allowed to because I was hired as an OR nurse. Although I see their point from a job description view, it doesn't really makes sense to me if credentialed to do so. Any input would be helpful as this is more of a transition for me.
  9. by   djhughes017
    Quote from Wmoon
    I appreciate your input DJ, and agree that people do need to go through the proper channels to be a first assistant. I am a CSA and also became an licensed RN over the summer. Do you know how that translates into RN assisting? I was told by my work that if I was needed to do any assisting or suturing that I would not be allowed to because I was hired as an OR nurse. Although I see their point from a job description view, it doesn't really makes sense to me if credentialed to do so. Any input would be helpful as this is more of a transition for me.
    What state are you working in?
  10. by   Wmoon
    Working in Ohio atm.
  11. by   djhughes017
    OH allows CSAs to practice and many do. You may have to take the issue up with your HR department. For a list of surgical assistant regulatory practices by state, visit www.surgicalassistant.org. Are you a member of the Association of Surgical Assistants? All CSAs are welcome to join and we are working hard on establishing scope of practice, regulatory practices, and legislation for non-physician SFAs.

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