April 2018 • Volume 11, No. 4
From the Editor

We’ve dedicated this issue to liver transplantation for two reasons.

First, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has designated April as Alcohol Awareness Month. Although heavy drinking takes a toll on many parts of the body—brain, heart, pancreas and the immune system—and can increase a person’s risk of developing certain cancers, it is especially well known for its effects on the liver, and sometimes the only treatment is a liver transplant. (Of course, many non-alcohol-related diseases can also impair or destroy liver function to the point where a liver transplant is required.)

In addition to April being Alcohol Awareness Month, April 18 was Transplant Nurse’s Day. Did you know that an International Transplant Nurses Society even exists? The society has an educational mission and also runs a foundation that awards grants and scholarships for leadership and for research on transplant-related issues.

In this issue, you’ll find news and other resources about liver transplants, including an all-new crossword puzzle.

Our Student in the Spotlight is Taylor Williams, RN, CCRN, CNOR,  of Ft. Worth, TX.

Below you’ll also find jobs we’ve collected for you, along with NIFA’s favorite links.



Julie Lancaster, Editor


Duke Hospital performs first liver transplant on patient with HIV 

Prior to The Hope Act of 2013, people with HIV (even if it was controlled) could not become liver donors. But the Obama-era Hope Act allowed scientists to carry out research into organ donations from one person with HIV to another. Now, on April 4th, 2018 (just this month), at Duke Hospital in Durham, NC, transplant surgeon Dr. Kadiyala Ravindra performed a liver transplantation on Stan Boling, the first ever on an HIV-infected patient. Read more . . .
3D-printed partial liver transplants targeted for 2020  

San Diego-based bio-printing company Organovo has developed a bioprinting process that can produce micro-scale human liver and kidney tissue. Within the next few years, they expect that their 3D-printed liver “patch”—about the size of a dollar bill—could be implanted in patients awaiting a liver transplant, giving them a “bridge” to a transplant. Read more . . .

Photo: Organovo’s bioprinting process can produce tissues in a variety of formats, including these micro-scale human liver tissues contained in standard multi-well tissue culture plates for drug testing.

Recent advances in understanding and managing liver transplantation  

This 2016 academic article summarizes the state of the procedure. It addresses such issues as enlarging the donor pool through split-liver transplantation and living-donor transplantation; donor-recipient matching; timing for liver transplantation; and long-term follow-up. Read the article . . . 


This medical animation illustrates how Cincinnati Children’s surgeons perform a liver transplantation using a whole organ donation. It involves first removing the diseased liver, then placing and connecting the healthy donor liver. Watch video . . .

A video recording of a pediatric split liver transplant, narrated by George Mazariegos, MD, FACS, director of Pediatric Transplantation at the Hillman Center for Pediatric Transplantation at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Watch video . . .

This video documents a liver transplant performed by Dr. Mark Ghobrial at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. It is a photoessay by Dr. Joseph Galati, a transplant hepatologist at Methodist Houston.
Watch video . . .

Liver Transplantation Crossword Puzzle

Test your knowledge of liver anatomy and liver transplantation procedures with this month’s all-new crossword puzzle.

When you’re ready to check your answers, follow this link to see how well you did. Good luck!


Student Spotlight: Taylor Williams

Credentials:   RN, CCRN, CNOR

Student Status:   Current student

City & State:  Ft. Worth, TX

Current Position:  I currently work at JPS Hospital in Fort Worth, TX as an RN-circulator but am working on my RNFA.

Where did you get your RN degree?  
University of Louisiana – Lafayette

How did you come to choose perioperative nursing?  I always knew I wanted to be in the OR. I had 2 ACL surgeries at 15/16 years old and after that experience I knew I would end up in surgery as an RN. I originally thought I would pursue a career as a CRNA but after ICU I decided that wasn’t really what I wanted. I left the ICU to do an OR internship and never looked back.

What is the funniest moment you’ve ever seen at the table? Once while doing a rectal exam under anesthesia with one of my favorite residents, we of course had music playing. When “You’re My Brown-eyed Girl” by Van Morrison came over the speakers we all started chuckling. Perfect timing.

What is one technique or RNFA trick you’ve learned from NIFA this week that you will use for life?  I’m definitely going to use the techniques I learned about the subcuticular stitch in all of my cases. This technique makes for a very pretty incision.

How do you feel having your RNFA will impact your life/career?   I think it’s going to be very rewarding. As a circulator, I love making sure my surgeons are set up for success, so I know I am going to go above and beyond for them in this role. What patients see and care about is how their incisions look. I’m excited to help my patients have the best incision closures.

Jobs Front

Click here for the RNFA job postings we’ve collected for you this month.

NIFA – Office Hours

Monday-Friday, 8:00am – 4:00pm

Practice Resources

Here are several of the most-in-demand sites for our students, prospective students and grads:

ACS Surgery News: Specialty News and Commentaries, Videos and More
RNFA Scope of Practice by State (PDF)
ACS List of Cases that Require an Assistant at Surgery, 2016 (PDF)
Perioperative Nurse Links (state nursing boards & professional associations)
APRN Nurse Links

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this newsletter are strictly those of their respective authors and do not necessarily represent the views of NIFA. NIFA does not give any express or implied warranty as to the accuracy of statements made by our contributors and does not accept any liability for error or omission. It is the responsibility of all perioperative personnel to work within and adhere to their facility bylaws and individual scope of practice.

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