Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

NURSPRAC 707 - Registered Nurse First Surgical Assist

30 Points

Semester 1



Draws on evidence from biomedical and social science research to equip nurses for the care and treatment of surgical patients. Students will be expected to integrate evidence from a range of sources and apply this to the practice of RNFSA nursing.

Restriction: NURSING 730

Course information

Aims of the course

This course aims to give nurses the opportunity to extend their specialty knowledge in caring for clients within the operating theatre. The focus is on two main areas:

  • Scientific concepts and pathophysiological process
  • Application of specialty knowledge and skill for the role of the registered nurse first surgical assist within the operating theatre

Learning outcomes

Appropriate to a first assistant role in operating theatres, nurses will:

  • Apply an understanding of scientific concepts and disease processes that are commonly treated with surgery
  • Apply understanding of the overall care of clients undergoing surgery
  • Demonstrate competency in specified intraoperative clinical skills and accountability appropriate to the ‘registered nurse first surgical assist’ role
  • Demonstrate competency in the use and management of intraoperative technology
  • Analyse the impact of illness, surgery and health care experience on the client/family
  • Evaluate the ethical and legal parameters of their nursing practice
  • Interpret the results of diagnostic tests relevant to clients undergoing surgery
  • Apply knowledge of caring, ethics, and advocacy in the operating room environment
  • Discuss ethico-legal social, cultural, economic and political factors relating to the role of RNFSA

Course structure/delivery:

6 study days (3x 2 day blocks)


Assessment Points 




Literature search

2500 words


Long answer question

3000 words


Verbal presentation

20 minutes


Clinical skills log


Course Coordinator

Course Administrator