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Former health care aides, Kerri Donald and Kamila Skorupski, are the first graduates of Operating Room Assistant (ORA) Program in Interlake-Eastern RHA!   They will use their new training as members of the surgical team at Selkirk Regional Health Centre to provide additional support.  This is one part of Manitoba Health’s strategy to improve access to diagnostic and surgical interventions in the province. 

This is one part of Manitoba Health’s strategy to improve access to diagnostic and surgical interventions in the province. Donald and Skorupski recently completed a 12-week micro-credentialing training program to become operating room assistants. Surgical and procedural teams across the province are supporting the delivery of care for thousands of Manitobans. 

“The ORAs are extremely happy to be graduating from the program. They learned about the position through postings on the IERHA website and reaching out to perioperative management for clarification and questions. They found the course intense and extensive over a short 12-week period, however, beneficial overall,” says Nicole Shead, IERHA surgical services educator. “The extensive perioperative knowledge and skills that they have gained within the course has helped them anticipate the needs of the surgical team. We welcome them to our surgical teams.”

The ORA role supports the surgical care team and increases overall capacity across the province. They play an important role in operating rooms, freeing up time for nurses to focus more on performing the tasks that require their specialized skills. ORAs are not trained to carry out the same responsibilities as nurses. They are members of the surgical team providing additional support. Responsibilities include decontaminating rooms and disinfecting equipment, transferring and preparing patients safely for surgery, readying equipment and cleaning post-procedure.

The IERHA perioperative program provides surgical and diagnostic services to the residents of the Interlake-Eastern health region and surrounding communities. Surgical specialties performed at Selkirk Regional Health Centre include general surgery, urology and gynecology, including Cesarean sections. In 2022, 5,185 endoscopic procedures and 2,676 surgical procedures were completed in the region. IERHA has recently expanded its surgical and endoscopy program in efforts to reduce provincial waitlists.

This training that is provided at no cost. Participants are paid a full salary while completing the course. The course takes place virtually with weekly visits to Selkirk Regional Health Centre for observation and labs over two weekends to prove their competence and knowledge.

Applicants to the course must have recognized health-care aide training and at least three years of experience working in an acute care setting.

For more information, please visit: Educational Opportunities – Interlake-Eastern RHA (

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