Surgical Assistant-CRNFA Ginger (Virginia Austin)
Surgical Assistant-CRNFA Ginger (Virginia Austin)

Common Questions

Purple Amphibian, PLLC
Virginia (Ginger) Austin

Surgical Assistant, CRNFA

Patient FAQ

A highly skilled medical professional contracted to help your surgeon during your surgical procedure. An advanced trained professional that has worked in the perioperative environment daily for over twenty years
Your surgeon determines when a surgical assistant is necessary for the procedure. In addition, industry standards and facility regulations often require that a surgical assistant be present for your type of surgery. Insurance companies also allow for assistants to be present in some surgeries.
The surgical assistant's role is to facilitate your surgical procedure in all aspects. In addition to assisting the surgeon with the surgery, the surgical assistant helps with patient positioning, facilitates room setup/turn-over, and anticipates procedural and surgeon-specific needs. In robotic surgery, while the surgeon is operating at the console, the surgical assistant’s role is to remain at the patient’s bedside and manage the entire operative field. The surgical assistant is specifically specialized in the complexities of robotic procedures as well as traditional and laparoscopic procedures.
The medical world has embraced the advancement of minimally invasive robotic surgery and the benefits it offers to both the physician and the patient.  The advancement of robotic surgery allows the physician to perform delicate and precise operations that are more intuitive than when performed manually.  With the use of the robot, the physician operates from a console while the surgical assistant stays at the bedside and manages the surgical field.  The expanded use of robotic surgery is extremely beneficial because it is less invasive and, therefore, has many advantages over traditional surgery.  These advantages include a significant reduction in hospitalization time, a shorter overall recovery time and significantly fewer complications.

A CRNFA is trained and certified to operate this robotic technology.
Many surgeons advise their patients about utilizing an assistant prior to surgery. However, in occasional instances this is omitted. Your surgery may have been an emergency and there was not any available time to discuss the issue due to your immediate emergent situation. Likewise, your surgery encompasses many other pre-operative, intra-operative and post-operative decisions. Thus, the advance knowledge of the assistant was inadvertently omitted.
Many people ask, if my surgeon selected the assistant, then shouldn't they pay for the service? Upon admission to the hospital, a surgical admission form was signed by you which included the hospital policy regarding physicians and independent contractors. This policy also includes the financial responsibility of the patient. When you selected your surgeon, you relied upon their good judgement and skill to make decisions that were in your best interest. Your surgeon had determined it was in your best interest to include a surgical assistant for the safest possible performance of your operation. Asking and expecting your surgeon to pay for the assistant is akin to asking them to pay for the anesthesiologist, radiologist, pathologist, or any other surgeon who needed to attend your surgery.
Yes. Upon admission, you are designated as a self-pay patient or a privately insured patient. We receive your patient demographics from the hospital and your surgeon’s office when the surgery is either scheduled or after an emergent surgery is performed. We send a medical claim to your insurance company. After reviewing the claim, your insurance company determines what is to be paid and conveys your portion and responsibility of the charges.
Yes, insurance companies reimburse the assistant and payment varies according to the type of procedure, the type of insurance and the patient’s benefits within their plan. We are not in network but, will accept in network rates.
Yes. Payment arrangements are only offered to the post-operative patient. All patient prepayments must be made in full in advance. Please contact our billing department if you have any questions

Please do not hesitate to call the billing office if you have questions:

Joy M. Smith, CMIS, PO Box 821122, Fort. Worth, TX 76182 / / Phone: 817-907-7650 / Fax: 817-656-3392