From the time I went through my operating room rotation in nursing school, I knew that the OR was where I wanted to work. The door was opened to me and I found out about an interesting career path for RNs becoming an RNFA I knew that I wanted to be an assistant one day. So, I made myself a five year plan that included getting my CNOR and eventually getting the training I would need to become a good assistant. I chose NIFA because two RNFAs that I used to work with had been through the program and I saw how poised and confident that they were in their skills. Surgeons were always requesting them by name and I could see something different about them that I didn’t see in other assistants who had been through other programs. Boy, am I glad that I did!
I received all of my suturing material in the mail and set right in to practicing. I was so excited to have enrolled in the NIFA program. I did, however become very busy, and for whatever reason procrastinated a bit about finishing my suturing practice lab. Eventually, time snuck right up on me and the date of my workshop was approaching three weeks left! I sutured like crazy over the next few days, trying to finish up that practice lab. I thought to myself “I’m going to look so stupid in this class. They’re going to send me home on the first day for being unprepared.”
Well, the day arrived for me to fly to Las Vegas. I was excited and scared all at once.
Day one arrived and I headed off to class. I had barely slept the night before, running through all of the suturing steps in my head. I pulled into the parking lot and bumped in to a couple of ladies who were also arriving for the class. (I knew they were there for the class because of their tell-tale practice lab box). I chit-chatted with them a little bit, and turns out they were just as intimidated as I was. We were all in the same boat! This might be alright after all. Then panic! I walked into the classroom and just about fainted. Oh MY GOSH. The lady from the video is teaching the class OH MY GOSH! What was I going to do? I knew that I would be ejected immediately. Man, was I wrong. Kasey turned out to be a blast! She was such an awesome teacher and had so much experience to offer up to us I fell somewhere in between having circulated in the OR for quite a while but only having learned to scrub in the last year. By the end of the week, we had formed some great friendships and learned skills that are crucial to becoming a great first assist. Day one was a bit of a refresher for everyone, but by the end of the week, we were all whipping out stitches like pros and had learned other skills to boot.
I went home so excited to put what I had learned into practice. I have had surgeons tell me that I am anticipating needs better and that they have noticed such an improvement in my skills. The one general surgeon that I mainly work with has already started to let me close patients and said that he thought I did a better job of it than he did. I can only thank NIFA’s skills workshop for making that happen for me. THANKS SO MUCH!!!!” Carrie Marin, RNFA