From the Editor

e5651521-0a79-4662-9408-c8f0e9d97393This month, we ask for your input on the new AORN position statements regarding the first assisting role.

Read on for a bouquet of resources about DVT – deep vein thrombosis, including a crossword puzzle to test your knowledge.And in our first Student Spotlight to feature a Canadian, we’re pleased to present Sue Berlinguette, who attended this month’s SutureStar Summit in Denver.


Julie Lancaster, Editor

Changes in AORN’s Position Statements Regarding the First Assisting Role

The Association of PeriOperative Nurses is revising its Position Statement on Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Practicing in the Perioperative Setting.

The outcome could affect APRNs coming into the surgical suite for years to come. AORN is also asking for feedback on the document before September 28, 2012.

Would you please review the DRAFT and send us your feedback at [email protected]?

AORN has also revised the Position Statement on RN First Assistants. Go to AORN’s Position Statement page and click on the link for RN First Assistants.

Surgical News: Deep Vein Thrombosis

The AORN released new recommended practices for the prevention of deep vein thrombosis in the 2012 edition of the Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices. Your operating room should have a copy of the latest edition. Be sure to read this!

“An estimated 60,000 to 100,000 Americans die each year from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE),” states AORN’s news release on the subject. “Estimates show that one to two Americans out of 1,000 develop blood clots within a deep vein. These clots can break off and migrate to the main arteries of the lung, resulting in a PE. Having protocols in place to prevent the formation of blood clots in veins (i.e., venous thrombus) is among the prevention strategies reported to external agencies such as insurance payers, the Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.” Click here for the entire AORN news release.
Click here for an overview of DVT– its prevention and treatment–provided by Medscape from WebMD.
If you are an AORN member, you may also view their free webinar on Recommended Practices for Prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Get it straight from the webinar page on

Learn More about DVT

If you would like to read more about deep vein thrombosis, check out these links to articles from the Vascular Disease Foundation and

Perioperative Puzzle:
Deep Vein Thrombosis

Test your knowledge of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) with this month’s crossword puzzle.
Click here for the puzzle clues and here for the answers.

iPad Apps of the Month

PE & DVT dx tool – The app offers 1 algorithm for DVT diagnosis and 2 algorithms for PE diagnosis, as well as discussion of diagnostic approach and workup of hypercoagulable state.
Available from iTunes.
Calculate by QxMD – From the maker of the apps ‘The ECG Guide’ and ‘Pedi STAT’ comes ‘Calculate’, a next-generation clinical calculator and decision support tool, freely available to the medical community. Use this calculator to calculate pre-test probability of DVT using Wells’™ Criteria. Available from iTunes.

Student Spotlight

Sue Berlinguette

RN with CPN (equivalent to CNOR)

Student Status:
Current student in NIFA’s RNFA program

City and State:
Toronto, Canada

Current Employer:
I’m currently working in a small community hospital outside Toronto where the demand for first assistants is big.Career path so far: I graduated in 1982, a long time ago . . .  and for a 21-year-old I really wanted to travel and I knew nursing would give me the flexibility to do that. I’ve spent all of my years in the OR from large teaching hospitals to a management position in New Zealand.On deciding to become an RNFA:  It seemed a natural progression for me at this time. I would like to take my RNFA to do some volunteer work with Medecins Sans Frontieres in the future.

Job Front

Click here for the RNFA Job postings we’ve collected for you this month!


Do you have questions about implementing an RNFA team or becoming an RNFA?

Try the following links. If you do not find the answers you need, please call us at 1-800-922-7747. We would be happy to discuss any questions you may have and discuss the benefits of having an RNFA team–you will please staff, surgeons and administrators!
Prerequisites for becoming an RNFA

Surgical Skills Workshops

NIFA Office Hours

Monday-Thursday 7:30am – 5:00pm (Fridays 7:30am – 4:00pm).

Surgical Jokes

 What kind of job do you do?” a lady passenger asked the man traveling next to her. “I’m a naval surgeon,” he replied. “Goodness!” said the lady, “How you doctors specialize these days!”
Click here – this will never happen to you after NIFA training!