August 2021 • Volume 15, No. 8

From the Editor

August is Neurosurgery Awareness Month, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. In previous Augusts we’ve addressed topics in spine and brain surgery. This time we’re taking a look at peripheral nerves and surgical procedures for such issues as peripheral nerve tumors, acute nerve injuries, and entrapment neuropathies. We’re also bringing you a few non-neurosurgery news items of interest.

This month our Student in the Spotlight is Laura A. Land, BSN, RN, CNOR, of Carrollton, MO.

Scroll down for jobs we’ve collected for you and NIFA’s favorite links.


Julie Lancaster, Editor


Fantastic Voyage-Inspired Miniature Surgical Robot Aims to Revolutionize Abdominal Surgery

“As a kid, Adam Sachs, cofounder and CEO of Vicarious Surgical, watched the 1966 science-fiction movie Fantastic Voyage and was enamored of the premise of microscopic surgeons who performed surgery inside a scientist’s brain,” write Amy Feldman and Aayushi Pratap in Forbes. “‘Humans are the wrong size to operate on humans,’ [Sachs] says. ‘We’re not going to shrink humans down, but we can create avatars of them. We can create little miniature robotic versions.’” Read More…

Stryker Bets that Surgeons Won’t Forget Tagged Sponges in Surgical Sites

“Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Stryker designed its next-gen surgical sponge counting technology as its most intelligent version yet,” writes Sean Whooley of Medical Design and Outsourcing. “It allows healthcare providers to count and scan sponges and connects to hospitals’ electronic medical records (EMR).” Read more. . .

Woman Said to Be Oldest Working Nurse in the Country Retires at Age 96

A few years ago in this newsletter (Oct. 2016) we told you about a 91-year-old working OR nurse, Florence (See See) Rigney, who has worked at Tacoma General Hospital for 70+ years. When she started, penicillin was just coming into wide usage! Last month, See See retired. See the NBC News report and read about it here. Read more. . .

Peripheral Nerve Surgery Educational Resources

About Peripheral Nerves

A one-page summary about peripheral nerves from UC San Diego Health Neurological Institute. Read more…

The Peripheral Nervous System

This is a chapter in the textbook Anatomy and Physiology, by J. Gordon Betts, Kelly A. Young, et al., an open-source textbook published by BC Campus OpenEd in British Columbia, Canada. Readers can brush up on their peripheral nervous system anatomy and physiology without having to shell out for a textbook or borrow one from a library. Read more…

Neurosurgery News

Hand Transplants Demonstrate the Nervous System’s Amazing Adaptability

This fascinating article in Scientific American explores the evolution of hand transplantation since the 1960s and how the brain interacts with a new hand in attempts to restore touching and grasping. Read more…

Spinal Cord Stimulation Reduces Post-CABG AF: Pilot Study

This is about the central, not the peripheral, nervous system, but it is interesting surgery news. “Temporary spinal cord stimulation (SCS) before and after cardiac surgery appears to lower the burden of postoperative atrial fibrillation (AF), according to the results of a pilot study,” writes Michael O’Riordan of TCTMD, an on-line resource in interventional cardiology.Read more…



Peripheral Nerve Injury – In this image-rich informational video, Dr. Catherine Curtin, an associate professor in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, discusses peripheral nerve injuries—including the ones that can happen during surgery—and what can be done about them. This was a grand rounds presentation to the Stanford Department of Surgery in May 2018. Watch Video…

Peroneal nerve decompression – From the Department of Neurological Surgery, University of
Wisconsin School of Medicine, this video shows surgical techniques to decompress the peroneal nerve. Watch Video…

Tarsal Tunnel and Baxter’s Nerve Surgery – From Bregman Foot-Ankle & Nerve Center, a narrated live surgical video of a patient with Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome as well as Baxter’s neuritis and Plantar Fasciitis. Watch Video…


Student Spotlight: Laura A. Land


Student Status
Current student in NIFA’s RNFA program

City & State
Carrollton, MO

Current Position
I am currently working in the OR and ER at Hedrick Medical Center, Chillicothe, MO.

Where did you get your RN degree?
Iowa Western CC – Council Bluffs, IA (AND)
Nebraska Wesleyan – Omaha, NE (BSN)

How did you come to choose perioperative nursing?
I’ve always been interested in surgery but finally made the transition 10 years into my nursing career when I found a place hiring 30 min. from my parents.

What is the funniest moment you’ve ever seen at the table?
I had a patient bronchospasm after extubation, turn blue. and we had to drop an LMA to maintain an airway. When we finally took it out he told us it tasted like “Sprite and bad decisions . . .”

What is one technique or RNFA trick you’ve learned from NIFA that you will use for life?
Probably the loop knot.

How do you feel having your RNFA will impact your life/career?
I’m excited about the idea of having a more hands-on role in the operating room.

Jobs Front

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

NIFA – Office Hours

Monday-Thursday, 8:00am – 5:00pm
Friday, 8:00am – 4:00pm

Practice Resources

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

MD Edge 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, 2020 (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.

Copyright © 2021, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

12354 E Caley Avenue
Centennial, CO 80111