This article is aimed for those surgical assistants starting out who may not be familiar with the procedures that private hospitals have in approving you to work with them - and how they differ from hospital to hospital. Public hospitals may have different procedures from private hospitals, so if you’re commencing work at a public hospital, it’s best you consult their administration or HR department to find out their accreditation procedures.
Surgical assistants may be called upon to work in different hospitals. This opportunity to increase their footprint is a great opportunity to see how different hospitals work and which style of teams you enjoy. Often, I’ve changed private hospitals in response to the surgeons’ new preference of where they’re consulting. Surgical Assistants may also choose to register at a number of new hospitals pre-emptively in order to ensure that they are “ready-to-go” when a surgeon calls upon them.
It is usually straightforward to request to work at a new private hospital. The most important thing to remember is that private hospitals control all levels of those who are allowed to operate within their walls regardless if they are an employee or not. It’s their prerogative and this process of being permitted onsite to operate is called “accreditation”.
The best way to find out what a hospital’s accreditation procedure is to ring the executive office, explain that you're a doctor and ask to speak to someone from the accreditation team. Please know that depending on the size and the procedure of the hospital, accreditation may be granted between 24 to 60 hours, that is five days or a business week prior to your list.
The basic information requirements for the accreditation process are usually the following:
- Your AHPRA number
- Medical graduation certificate
- Current indemnity insurance
It is important for you to have this on hand, either printed copies or available for download to demonstrate, few hospitals allow you to do temporary accreditation on site.
They do not have the right or grounds to ask you for:
- Your religion
- Your sexual preferences
- Your political persuasion
- A payment for accreditation
Some private hospitals may require you to know an existing surgeon within their hospital. When you are just starting out, it's best that you reach out to your seniors (consultants or even fellows) who are supportive and who will state that you are of good standing personally and professionally.
So, should you accept the list, part of your responsibility is to ensure that you are accredited in time.