Unit description

Explores the intraoperative assisting phase and enables students to expand their knowledge and skills in the areas of positioning, skin preparation, draping, retraction, provision of haemostasis, tissue handling, provision of specific instruments, equipment and supplies, suturing and wound closure with the added support of a surgeon mentor in a work setting. Students are also given the opportunity to apply these principles to a selected area of surgical specialty.

Unit content

  • Introduction of the PNSA role in the intraoperative phase
  • Review of the principles of anaesthesia and the role of the PNSA in the phase
  • Review of the requirements for proficiency in first assisting
  • The role of the PNSA in positioning the patient
  • The role of the PNSA in skin preparation and draping
  • Review of surgical skills related to the role of the first assistant
  • Recognition of surgical complications and hazards and their management
  • Conclusion

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • Please see MySCU Unit site for further information: ., ..
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Structured online learning 2 hours (12 weeks)
Case study60%
Literature review40%
Clinical skillsSR

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2016 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 1

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.