A selected international appraisal of the role of the Non-Medical Surgical Assistant

Toni Hains, Haakan Strand, Catherine Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The term Non-Medical Surgical Assistant (NMSA) is not widely acknowledged in Australia but is used to describe the role of clinicians without a medical degree or qualification who provide clinical services during the perioperative phase of a patient's journey. The role of NMSA has many configurations internationally and not all NMSA roles arise from a nursing platform. To date, the implementation of many Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) roles have lacked educational support or professional direction. The literature supports the standardisation of APN roles where they are regulated by the profession and attained through an appropriate tertiary level qualification. In this paper, we review characteristics of the roles of the NMSAs in the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, countries that have similar standards for practice to Australia and provide a similar standard of health care. We will discuss implications for perioperative nurses and make recommendations for a future approach which formalises the role of the NMSA for the Australian context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


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