December 2019 • Volume 12, No. 12

From the Editor

Every December, NIFA observes a little holiday tradition of our own: We turn our attention from the high-pitched noise of holiday preparations, year-end business activities and a hyperactive news cycle, to something truly important and life-giving: providing surgical service and expertise to people in some of the most remote and needy areas in the world.

We celebrate NIFA’s favorite charity, Mission to Heal (M2H), an organization founded by NIFA faculty member and professor of surgery at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington D.C., Dr. Glenn Geelhoed.

Often against a backdrop of civil war, refugee camps, poverty and indifference, the M2H team travels into some of the most undeveloped places on the planet to provide medical surgical care directly to people from the “bottom billion” of the world’s population.

Along the way, M2H teaches the medical professionals and students who volunteer on their missions how to provide effective care in remote and poorly resourced conditions.

Operating with limited supplies in a local clinic or in one of their Mobile Surgical Units (MSUs), as shown in the photo above, M2H works with local health care workers, helping them provide a higher degree of medical care and thereby improve their communities’ self-sufficiency.

“Our task is indigenization of health care skills,” says Dr. Glenn. “Our ‘JOB ONE’ is to work ourselves out of the job.”

We strongly urge you to consider volunteering for this remarkable organization. Yes, volunteering comes with a significant fund-raising commitment, but the NIFA students and grads who’ve volunteered with M2H have found the experience life-altering. One of those grads is Cristina Modillas, CRNFA, who is now on the ongoing Mission to Heal team. We catch up with Tina a little later in this issue.

If you are not in a position at this point to join a mission, please consider making a donation to Mission to Heal. Any amount will help.

Scroll down for a new crossword puzzle on Thoracic Surgery; RNFA jobs we’ve collected for you, and NIFA’s favorite links.

Happy Holidays from all of us at NIFA!

Julie Lancaster, Editor

NIFA News: Supporting M2H more than ever!

To help bring Mission to Heal to the attention of more potential volunteers and donors in the upcoming year, NIFA has initiated a national campaign to highlight Dr. Geelhoed’s cause and encourage support from perioperative nursing community. Won’t you join us?

Mission to Heal News

Things are popping at Mission to Heal! Check out the many stories and photos on their website and Facebook page.

The organization has brought on a new Chief Executive Officer, Bart Kruijsen, MBA. Bart is based in The Netherlands and has travel and work experience in more than 65 countries. His focus is advancing the legacy of Dr. Geelhoed into the organization, and he will also oversee the deployment and funding of the new Mobile Surgical Units in Africa.

2020 Missions Announced
Mission to Heal has announced its 2020 schedule of missions in Uganda, Kenya, Somaliland and The Philippines. Read more  . . . 

Documentary Teaser Available
When M2H went to Mongolia last year, they were joined by a documentary film crew, Maniglia Media, that had run their own Kickstarter project to pay for the filmmakers’ travel. The team gathered countless hours of valuable footage.

The resulting project is called: “Surgery on the Sixth Ring of Saturn.” It’s a film designed to bring awareness to the global healthcare burden by profiling Mission to Heal’s work and objectives. Now they are fundraising to finish the project! Click on the image at left to check out the film’s teaser, and visit the film’s website to learn more about how you can get involved.

Again, we hope you will consider volunteering with and/or donating to Mission to Heal.

Graduate Spotlight: Tina Modillas

This month we checked in with Cristina Modillas, a 2009 graduate of NIFA’s RNFA program and a hiker who loves to trek in third-world countries.

We profiled Tina in our December 2017 issue, after she had worked her first medical mission.  Now she is part of the Mission to Heal team, in the role of Mission Lead, Asia, and we asked her the following questions:

Where and when was the last mission you served on?
The last mission I participated in and led was in October 2019 in Dingalan, Quezon Province, Philippines.

What are the responsibilities of the Mission Lead position?
As a Mission Lead, I am responsible for setting up and coordinating with our local host country. I also make sure that the Mobile Surgical Unit is up and running . . . make sure we have all the supplies that we need and, above all, make sure our volunteers are safe, amongst other responsibilities.

How do you feel about your new role?
Being a Mission Lead carries great responsibilities. Despite the high level of stress, the outcome of the things that we do to help the needy is very rewarding. I would like to take this opportunity to reach out to others by asking them to join us in our future missions.

Read more about Tina’s background here and learn about volunteering with M2H here.

Test your knowledge of Thoracic Surgery 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!

Jobs Front

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

NIFA – Office Hours

Monday-Thursday, 8:00am – 4:00pm
Friday, 8:00am – 3:00pm

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, 2018 (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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