American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants
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Intro to First Assisting Course
Saturday, October 15, 2022, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM CDT
Category: Events

AASPA 2022 Annual CME Meeting Workshop

Intro to First Assisting Course

Saturday, October 15th, 4–6:00pm CT

Cost: $75
Space Available: 20 Attendees

Register for the Workshop and Annual Meeting

Course Description

 Intro to First Assisting will provide you with the education necessary to confidently step into the OR as a PA. It will be presented in three sections; OR Etiquette, Foundations of First Assisting & Improvement of Skin Closure Cosmesis.
This powerhouse course will consist of a 90 minute lecture and a 30 minute engaging question and answer session to follow. So get prepared! Write down your questions and get ready to rock and roll!
OR Etiquette will empower you with the awareness, mindset, skills and knowledge you will need to respectfully practice medicine as a surgical PA in the operating room. We will teach you how efficient preparation will exemplify your high quality delivery of healthcare as a PA in the OR and share experiential wisdom you could only gain by practicing as a surgical PA. Get ready to optimize your perspective, uplift your attitude and reap the rewards of your newly acquired skills. 
Foundations of First Assisting will give you practical tips and techniques for starting your career as a surgical PA. Start learning basic ideas of first assisting such as following suture, tissue retraction, and helpful body mechanics. Be ready to learn essential dynamics while at the surgical field to give you a head start as a successful First Assist.  
Improvement of Skin Closure Cosmesis begins with recognition and control of variables which govern the process of wound healing. In this topic, we will focus on mechanical elements that affect the appearance of skin closures and subsequent scar development by reviewing suturing principles and highlighting corrective techniques. A conceptual framework will be created to appropriately select suture size, material, and needle based on the characteristics of the wound.
30 Minute First Assist Question & Answer Session will empower you to learn exactly what you want to know about optimizing your performance as a surgical PA-C in the OR. Come prepared with questions or lean back, listen and learn from the engaging conversation. 


This activity has been reviewed by the AAPA Review Panel and is compliant with AAPA CME Criteria. This activity is designated for 2 AAPA Category 1 CME credits. Approval is valid from 10/15/2022 to 10/15/2023 . PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation. 


Margaret Holland, MPAS, PA-C
Margaret Holland is a graduate of the George Washington University Physician Assistant (PA) Program and has been involved with AASPA since 2015. She is a dedicated Surgical PA with more than 11 years of healthcare experience including a nursing background in the field of pediatric cardiology. She currently practices as a surgical PA at Boston Children's Hospital in Massachusetts, in the specialty area of pediatric congenital cardiac surgery. Prior to this, she spent several years in the Northern Virginia area working in adult cardiothoracic and vascular surgery. She is passionate about working with AASPA's students and PAs, and desires to see them fulfill their dreams in healthcare. As former Director of Education, she has taught workshops and the Pre-PA/PA Student track for several years as well as being involved with CME development and the publication of AASPA's periodical Sutureline. As current President-Elect, she remains involved in these activities and also is a PA representative for the Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety (CSPS) which influences practices of operating rooms across the US.  In addition to being a PA, she is a strong advocate for merging medicine and art, using classical ballet training for current active performing, teaching, and choreography. 

Michelle Dellene, BSC, MMS, PA-C, RYT
Michelle Dellene Heine, PA-C is a passionate surgical physician assistant striving to bring excellence to all her patients. She has experience in trauma neurosurgery, aesthetics, general surgery, and robotics. She strives to deliver high quality care, enthusiasm, and optimism. She was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology & Cell Science from the University of Florida in 2013 and her Master of Medical Science from Nova Southeastern University in 2016. During the COVID-19 pandemic she became a registered yoga teacher and lifestyle coach and currently is working as an entrepreneur with the mission to Heal the Healers. Her 2022 goal is to open her own surgical practice with an emphasis on lifestyle medicine and philanthropy. 

Ashley Sclafani, PA-C

Ashley Sclafani is a reconstructive plastic surgery physician assistant in Miami, FL. Her current position focuses heavily on breast reconstruction, as well as cosmetic procedures.

 She holds a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Rutgers University. Throughout her undergraduate and professional education, she held positions that concentrated on volunteerism and PA advocacy. During PA school, her role in the Assembly of Representatives fostered legislative involvement with the Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

 Born into a military family, Ashley has had the opportunity to live in seven states given her Mother's roots as a nurse practitioner in the United States Air Force. Ashley is a quadruplet in an Italian family of eight and enjoys international travel, adventurous eating, and snowboarding.