SFA 275 - Principles of Surgical Assisting
Explores the interpersonal, legal and ethical aspects of surgical patient care, recognition of surgical complications, and appropriate actions.
Prerequisite(s): Admission to the Surgical First Assistant program. Instructor consent required.
Corequisite(s): SFA 277
Lecture Hours: 30 Lab Hours: 0
Meets MTA Requirement: None
Outcomes and Objectives 1. Discuss the importance of appropriate interpersonal skills in the Operating Room.
A. Describe the role relationships and interdependencies between the SFA and other team members.
B. Explain how the SFA's scope of practice is determined.
C. Discuss what kinds of behaviors and attitudes tend to promote conflict within the surgical team and which behaviors and attitudes tend to
D. Discuss effective and productive coping mechanisms used to deal with stress.
E. Discuss how the SFA can maintain the expected level of autonomy and initiative without interfering with the activities or professional
judgment of the surgeon.
F. Explain the SFA’s responsibilities and limitations in resolving a difference of opinion with his/her supervising surgeon.
G. Discuss how interpersonal stress can increase during critical situations and what the SFA can do to help.
H. Discuss commonly-experienced anxieties and emotional reactions in patients facing surgery.
I. Give examples of how the interrelationships between the mind and the body can affect the patient’s response to surgery.
J. Discuss how the attitudes and behaviors of the O.R. staff can either heighten or assuage a patient’s fears and anxieties.
K. Discuss possible reasons why a patient may be combative and how safety can be provided for both patient and care-givers.
2. Take appropriate action during intraoperative emergencies.
A. Discuss the appropriate role of the SFA during intraoperative crises/emergencies.
B. Describe corrective actions to be taken by the SFA during incidents of massive contamination.
C. Discuss the appropriate role of the SFA during failures of critical equipment or a power failure.
D. Discuss the appropriate actions to be taken by the SFA if surgical supervision is interrupted.
3. Discuss aspects of patient transportation within the health care institution and between facilities.
A. Discuss special needs during patient transportation and the SFA’s appropriate role in communications and/or providing care.
B. Explain how the SFA might be involved in the inter-agency transfer of a patient.
4. Discuss legal considerations in the surgical environment and the legal responsibilities of the Surgical First Assistant.
A. Explain “informed consent” and describe the various types of operative and other permits, including appropriate conditions and signatories.
B. Describe the proper identification process for a patient entering the O.R. suite.
C. Explain the appropriate actions for safeguarding a patient’s personal possessions.
D. List the information elements commonly required for various types of operative records, forms and reports.
E. Discuss the legal implications of operative record keeping.
F. Discuss the SFA’s responsibilities for reporting and documenting.
G. List the circumstances that determine a Medical Examiner’s (Coroner’s) case.
H. Describe differences in pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative routines for ambulatory surgery patients. Differentiate statutory
law and common law.
J. Define and identify instances of “dependent” and “independent” functions of an employed health practitioner.
K. Define and give examples of various legal concepts and terms that apply to the surgical environment.
L. List ways that the Standard of Care may be determined in a court of law and the factors used to establish negligence.
M. Give examples of common acts of negligence in an O.R. setting.
N. Discuss moral and ethical responsibilities and obligations, as opposed to legal precepts (e.g.confidentiality and legal privilege, patient’s
request for a religious counselor vs. request for an attorney, etc.).
O. Discuss appropriate actions and behavior for the SFA if he/she is involved in a patient’s lawsuit.
5. Demonstrate appropriate ethical decision-making ability.
A. Define terminology related to ethical principles and concepts.
B. Give examples of O.R. situations that could result in ethical conflicts.
C. Describe the decision-making process for resolving ethical conflicts.
D. Discuss the application of Advance Directives and DNR orders in the O.R. setting.
E. Compare and contrast basic patient’s rights and duties with basic caregiver’s rights and duties.
F. Compare the legal with the ethical relationship between the SFA and the surgeon.
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