The surgical tech can belly up to the OR table, but can't do pre-op interviews & evals or go on rounds to visit the post op patients.
If all the surgeon wants is a private scrub, then techs may be more cost effective in that regard. However, if the surgeon wants to employ a professional that can 'lighten' his/her load, lower overall cost of care, and have the knowledge to care for the patients during ALL aspects of their surgical experience...... then the RNFA IS THE WAY TO GO!!
In my opinioin, the surgeons should..and will.. realize who is a better benefit to their practice. Quite frankly, I don't think surgical technicians are a threat. They are decreasing in numbers all over the country as far as I know....there is definately a 'surgical tech' shortage in my area. (gosh darnit)
Anyway, from the research I've done on the position of RNFA, there is absolutely NO WAY that a surgical tech could possibly replace you....unless you only scrub in intra-operatively and do not participate in ALL aspects of the patient care involved.
My two cents.
P.S. This is what the AORN has listed as requirements for first assistants:
B. Specific, didactic: Specific didactic requirements may include the following.
Must be a registered nurse, graduated from an accredited school of nursing.
Must be licensed to practice as a registered nurse in the state in which the clinical internship will be accomplished.
Must provide proof of RN licensure.
Experience: The RNFA candidate must have a minimum of two years of recent perioperative nursing experience. This experience must include demonstrated competency in the scrubbing, circulating, or first assisting roles of the intraoperative nursing dimension.
CNOR: Must be CNOR, or CNOR eligible with CNOR status obtained before a certificate of program completion is awarded. All students must submit verification of CNOR status.
CPR: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or basic cardiac life support certification (BCLS) required, advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) preferred.
Recommendations: Must submit two letters of recommendation that validate:
a. One's proficiency in the roles of scrubbing, circulating, or first assisting.
b. One's ability to perform effectively in stressful and emergency situations.
c. One's ability to perform effectively and harmoniously as a team member.
d. One's ability to perform effectively as a leader.
****I don't see 'surgical technician' anywhere in here, do you??? I'm a little confused.