Question for the OR pros;RNFA worth it?

Specialties Operating Room


I have a few questions for the OR Nurse experts out there. I am currently pre-nursing, RN (so far so good! I am acein' my A&P's all glory to Jesus) and ofcourse, I've been thinking alot about what specialty interests me. I really looove the idea of working in the OR. Although, I have heard from those that are experienced that sometimes what you THINK you would like and what clinicals prove to you are not one and the same! :lol2: I also know that the chances of starting there as a new grad are slim, but that's OK, because I would like to gain experience in other areas. But I have always found the surgical world interesting. I am especially interested in the role of RN First Assistant. I know that this is a more specialized role and this would be WAY down the road for me, but could any of you that know much about RNFA's share? Especially if you are one your self. I've read some info on the AORN sites, the basics, but that is not the same as hearing from you guys who do this everyday. Also, I have read on some other threads that some people feel that the effort isn't worth it, because of alot of hospitals just using ST's to first assist, or interns etc. What about a scrub nurse? Do they mainly pass instruments to surgeon, assess patient, etc. or is there much more to it?

Any info would be greatly appreciated!

Any RNFAs/OR nurses who would like to comment on the above post?

I know in our area there have been 2 hospitals in the news for several

wrong site surgery or leaving surgical instruments in the patient.

I am wondering if this is a direct example of hospitals cutting down

on nurses in the OR and using other staffing options....

Specializes in PeriOperative.

Many hospitals use scrub techs to scrub. In a teaching hospital the resident is the first assist.

Start looking into ORs in your area now. See if they train RNs to scrub and circulate. Scrubbing is very, very much to your benefit.

RNFAs in my area generally work with a specific surgeon. They are "nurse clinicians" and work with the surgeon in clinic as well as in the OR as first assist. Working as a staff nurse in the OR gets your foot in the door for this kind of thing. Generally, after scrubbing and circulating for years, the physician will teach you the first assistant job. I work as a scrub/circulator in a teaching hospital (where the residents are the FA), and also work at an ASC (with a physician who used to work at the teaching hospital) as an RNFA. I am not certified by AORN as a CRNFA. I don't know of any RNFAs who are certified.

jahra: Not sure what your post has to do with the OP. Different hospitals have different counting policies, that have little to do with staffing. Circulators are always RNs, so there is always an RN counting. All of the scrub techs I have had the pleasure of working with have been capable of counting.

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