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RNFA

Operating Room   (585 Views 4 Comments)
by drizzy13 drizzy13 (New) New

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I’m wondering how to go about the career change. 

I would like to become a first assist but I’m having difficulty getting into any periop position (due to lack of opportunity).

Has anyone done surg tech as an RN to gain experience? 

Any advice on how to get to be a RNFA? 

 

Thanks! 

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Rose_Queen is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in OR, education.

4 Followers; 4 Articles; 8,882 Posts; 104,375 Profile Views

Are you already an RN? If so, surgical tech will be a step backwards. Tends to be much lower pay scale and essentially no mobility. However, if you are not currently an RN, then there is a route from ST to certified surgical first assistant, which does not require RN licensure.

There are possibly a handful of reasons why you aren't finding positions. Because of the length of orientation, some facilities only hire at certain times of the year. Where you are living may be an area that is saturated- is this something you'd be willing to move to get the required OR RN experience?

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4 Articles; 64 Posts; 2,214 Profile Views

Hey there -

I am a CRNFA and get to practice in that capacity in Cardiothoracic Surgery. It is definitely an institution-specific thing. I have heard of people going through an RNFA certificate program and never getting to function in that capacity. I am at a teaching institution, so we have residents and fellows, but when you build credibility with the top CT surgeons, they help ‘sponsor’ your experience and enable you to practice at the highest-end of your credentialing. So in summary, I think it depends on your ability AND the willingness of the surgeons you work with to give you the ‘reps’ you need to become a dependable, proficient and technically-skilled first-assist in the sterile field.

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39 Posts; 923 Profile Views

Gosh, I haven't worked at a hospital with and actual RNFA in years.

I've only worked in Wisconsin and Minnesota but there was only one hospital out of the 19 that I've worked at that had an RNFA. Not sure about the rest of the country. 

Most places that I've personally worked at have a PA that works with specifically with their surgeon, or that surgeons group (such as an orthopedic or neuro group) that will help during the surgery and close the incision. Other places have the SA (surgical assistant) that has more training than a ST (surgical technologist) and they assist the surgeon and help close the incision. 

 

My .02

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