The legitimacy of the nurse practitioner as a non-medical surgical assistant: Historical evidence from Australia

Toni Hains, David Rowell, Haakan Strand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Problem: The Non-Medical Surgical Assistant role has been practised in Australia for over 30 years. Despite this, the role remains unregulated, and government policy does not offer a rebate for the private surgical patient when the surgical assistant is not a Medical Practitioner. 

Aim: To investigate the legitimacy; as outlined by Donabedian; of the Nurse Practitioner performing the role of the surgical assistant in Australia. 

Methods: Examination of peak professional bodies’ guidelines, opinions of other service providers, Australian Government policy and the Australian law. 

Findings: While not reflected in Government policy, the Nurse Practitioner is a legitimate and lawful provider of intraoperative surgical assisting care in Australia. 

Discussion: The Medical Benefits Schedule does not reflect contemporary, evidence-based practise or the law concerning the Nurse Practitioner undertaking the role of a surgical assistant, this causes the patient an out of pocket expense or reduced access to care. 

Conclusion: The Australian Nurse Practitioner is a legitimate and lawful provider of these services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-660
Number of pages7
JournalCollegian
Volume27
Issue number6
Early online date7 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

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