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The RNFA works collaboratively with the surgeon to produce positive outcomes for the patient.

· Many operative procedures require a surgical assistant.

· A shorter operation correlates with improved patient outcomes*.

· The shortage of general practitioners that traditionally function as the assistant during surgery has facilitated the introduction of the RNFA as a viable alternative. In some instances, the family physician chooses not to act as the surgical first assistant. Several hospitals in Ontario have designated funding for RNFA positions through their global budget.

· With their previous operating room nursing experience, RNFAs bring a unique perspective to the assistant's role. Understanding the patient's perioperative experience, coupled with specific knowledge of a surgeon's preferences, helps to facilitate a quicker, smoother operative experience for the patient.

· The RNFA works collaboratively with the surgeon, anaesthesiologist, nursing, medical and auxiliary staff, and can play an important role in the learning experiences of nursing and medical students.

Summary Statement

The RNFA works collaboratively with all health care workers to provide high quality, consistent perioperative care.

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*Wysocki, Annete (1989). Surgical Wound Healing: A Review For Perioperative Nurses. AORN 49 (2), 508.

ORNAO RNFA Interest Group is an Associate Interest Group of: