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Surgical First Assistance in Operative Procedures HEA3055


This module aims to develop knowledge and skills for those acting as the Surgical First Assistant (SFA) formerly known as Advanced Scrub Practitioner (ASP) to the operating surgeon. To ensure the trainee FSA becomes competent and safe to practice; students are advised this module will require employer support. The support required includes, formal permission and access to assessment provided by their theatre management and surgical team. This must be obtained prior to commencing the module. A suitable clinical supervisor/mentor will be allocated to each trainee SFA, who will foster opportunities to achieve clinical competence. Trainee SFAs must achieve a minimum of 100 hours of clinical practice over the duration of this module.

This module is a theory/practice module in which the student will be expected to have access to a broadband internet ready computer and a suitable practice area. This opportunity can be discussed further with the module coordinator.

Module code:HEA3055
Module credits:30
Cost for new students:£1,410

If your tuition fee is being paid by a sponsor or you are a sponsor paying a student’s fee, you are required to send a copy of a purchase order to [email protected].

For further guidance please visit: Sponsored students – Edge Hill University

Who is this module for?

A qualified practitioner working either as a scrub practitioner or a practitioner who is in post as an SFA.

What are the key aims of the module?

The module aims to equip qualified practitioners with the appropriate knowledge and experience that will enable them to safely and competently assist for surgical procedures in the skills which are specifically listed by the PCC as being within the role of an SFA. Whilst providing the practitioners with an understanding of their professional boundaries and legalities of the role.

How will I study?

The module is normally delivered over approximately 24 weeks with 4 Manchester based campus sessions. The module is also provided in a flexible manner where distance learning students can achieve the module completely online.

What will I study?

  • Legalities of the role;
  • Risk assessment principles of the role;
  • An overview of the role of the SFA;
  • Pre and post-operative visits;
  • Prepping and draping;
  • Positioning;
  • Tissue retraction, handling and exposure;
  • Camera holding in minimal access surgery;
  • Minimal access surgery;
  • Assisting with Haemostasis;
  • Electro-surgery;
  • Anatomy and physiology of skin;
  • Physiology of wound healing;
  • Principles of wound drainage;
  • Wound dressings;
  • Male and female catheterisation;
  • Infection control;
  • Microbiology.

How will I be assessed?

Students will be assessed theoretically by producing a 3000 word evaluative report reflecting on the learning experiences, in relation to the module learning outcomes.

Students will be also be required to produce an academic portfolio that includes a risk assessment, clinical supervisor’s judgment on the student’s competence and a logbook of the clinical hours and skills completed. To support successful completion of the module, the student should be exposed to and have achieved competence over a minimum of 100 clinical hours.

On successful completion you will:

Demonstrate your SFA competencies through a comprehensive portfolio; which will support you in your application for a Surgical First Assistant job role.

Core K.S.F. Core Dimensions

1 Communication
2 Personal and people development
3 Health safety and security
4 Service improvement
5 Quality
6 Equality and diversity

Specific Dimension Relevant to this Module
HWB1-10, EF3, IK1-3, and G1, 2 & 7.

N.B. The mapping is against the module content. This may help the student provide evidence for their own K.S.F. outline review/PDP.

Study dates and venues

Venue: Manchester

Starts: Friday 8 September 2023

Session times:

  • Friday 8 September 2023, 9.30am - 3pm
  • Friday 22 September 2023, online/self-directed
  • Friday 6 October 2023, online/self-directed
  • Friday 20 October 2023, 9am - 3pm
  • Friday 3 November 2023, online/self-directed
  • Friday 17 November 2023, online/self-directed
  • Friday 1 December 2023, 9am - 3pm
  • Friday 15 December 2023, online/self-directed
  • Friday 12 January 2024, 9am - 3pm
  • Friday 26 January 2024, online/self-directed
  • Friday 1 March 2024, assignment submission date

Venue: Manchester

Starts: Friday 9 February 2024

Session times:

  • Friday 9 February 2024, 9.30am - 3pm
  • Friday 23 February 2024, online/self-directed
  • Friday 8 March 2024, online/self-directed
  • Friday 22 March 2024, 9am - 3pm
  • Friday 14 April 2024, online/self-directed
  • Friday 16 April 2024, online/self-directed
  • Friday 10 May 2024, online/self-directed
  • Friday 24 May 2024, online/self-directed
  • Friday 7 June 2024, 9am - 3pm
  • Friday 23 June 2024, online/self-directed
  • Friday 5 July, assignment submission date

How to apply

Module availability varies from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Due to the popularity of some modules it may be that the module is fully booked when your application is received. We will include your details on a waiting list and allocate you a place on the next available intake.

For details of how to apply, please visit the apply page.

Students also need to download and complete the Theatre Manager Proposal Approval Form. This should be submitted with their application.

Contact us

For further information regarding module availability, study dates and costs please contact the School of Allied Health, Social Work and Wellbeing on [email protected].

If you have any queries regarding module content and your suitability to study please contact the Module Coordinator, David Lawson [email protected].


This module can be studied on a stand alone basis. Following successful completion of HEA3055, practitioners can progress to Edge Hill University’s HEA4255 Enhanced Surgical Skills.

HEA3055 is a compulsory module on the BSc (Hons) Clinical and Professional Perioperative Practice programme.