February 2021 • Volume 15, No. 2

From the Editor

February is American Heart Month. There are so many different directions we could go with that theme! The CDC’s focus this year is hypertension, the National Institutes of Health offers 7 Days of Self-Care, and the American Heart Society’s Go Red for Women campaign raises awareness about heart disease being the No. 1 killer of women.

And those are not even broaching the metaphorical implications of the heart, and the importance of love of all kinds to our well-being. (It’s worth noting that Feb. 20 was National Love Your Pet Day!)

But we’re all about surgery here. In the past we’ve looked at minimally invasive coronary surgery. This time we look at open-heart surgery—surgery where the chest is opened up to access the heart. This approach is used for such procedures as heart transplant, corrective surgery for congenital heart defects, implanting medical devices to regulate the heartbeat, and coronary artery bypass.

In this Spotlight is Amanda N. Roy, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, CWOCN-AP, of Richmond, VA.

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

Wishing you a happy and healthy heart,


Julie Lancaster, Editor

Image from Adobe Stock

News: Hamilton Medical Center Receives National Recognition (NIFA’s Proud, Too)

The Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton, GA, was honored this month, earning the CNOR® Strong designation from the Competency and Credentialing Institute. This designation is awarded annually to facilities that achieve at least a 50 percent certification rate in their eligible perioperative nursing staff, and that consistently recognize and reward nurses who become CNOR certified or who complete recertification.

Kimberly Jones, MSN-Ed., RN, CNOR, RNFA, center in the photo above, also serves as NIFA’s Director of Education, College Division. Of the five nurses in the photo, three are NIFA RNFA graduates! Go, Hamilton! Read more…

Photo courtesy Kimberly Jones.
Pictured: Todd Hudgins, Judean Bowling, Kimberly Jones, Jesse Echeverria, and Madison Mills.

Cardiac Surgery in History

Outside the Limits of Propriety?

“Given the wide variety and effectiveness of cardiovascular surgical techniques that are now routinely used,” writes Allen B. Weisse, MD, “it is remarkable how, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the surgical treatment of heart disease was considered to be outside the limits of propriety and acceptability.” A well-known surgeon of the late 1880s “reportedly muttered, ‘No surgeon who wished to preserve the respect of his colleagues would ever attempt to suture a wound of the heart.’”

Weisse’s compact and comprehensive article covers both open-heart and minimally invasive procedures. “Cardiac Surgery: A Century of Progress,” from the Texas Heart Institute Journal.Read more…

Heart Surgery Pioneer

With February also being Black History Month, it’s relevant to note that the second successful cardiac surgery ever done in this country was performed by a Black surgeon, Daniel Hale Williams. He did the surgery, a cardiac wound repair, in 1893 at the hospital he had developed and founded: Provident Hospital in Chicago, the first African-American owned and operated hospital in the U.S. Read about that surgery and Williams…

Images from Adobe Stock

Cardiac Surgery Resources

Cardiac Surgery News

Women Undergo Less Aggressive Open-heart Surgery, Experience Worse Outcomes than Men

A presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons last month showed that women are significantly less likely than men to undergo coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) using guideline-recommended approaches. This may result in worse outcomes after surgery.
Read more…

Iron Deficiency and Open-Heart Surgery

“It is estimated that up to half of people who have open heart surgery have iron deficiency, which can lead to increased blood transfusions, longer stays in intensive care and slower recovery,” writes Caroline Wilson in Herald Scotland. Researchers at Glasgow University are iron injections approximately one month pre-surgery can correct the deficiency. Read more…

Images from Adobe Stock


Beating Open Heart Surgery
This 25-minute video from Providence Health in Columbia, SC, shows a coronary bypass procedure and features voice-over commentary throughout.

Watch video…

On-pump CAGB (Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting)
This video shows an on-pump CABG performed and narrated by Dr. Grayson Wheatley, a cardiac surgeon in Nashville, TN.

Watch video…

Student Spotlight: Amanda N. Roy


Student Status
Current student in NIFA’s RNFA program

City & State
Richmond, VA

Current Position
Inpatient Nurse Practitioner with General and Colorectal Surgery, Memorial Regional Medical Center, Mechanicsville, VA

Where did you get your RN degree? 
University of Southern Maine

How did you come to choose perioperative nursing?
Interest bordering on obsession ?

What is the scariest (or funniest) moment you’ve ever seen at the table?
I burned a hole in the drape with a laparoscope and now everyone lists me as a fire hazard during time out.

What is one technique or RNFA trick you’ve learned from NIFA that you will use for life?
Positioning myself to make my life easier!

How do you feel having your RNFA will impact your life/career?

Photo caption: “It was the first day,” Amanda says. “I went into the OR in my current role and that was my ‘what now?’ face.”

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, 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.

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