January 2017 • Volume 10, No. 1
From the Editor

Although politics have stolen the show this month, dominating conversations from the water cooler to the dinner table to the media, January is still the time of year when many people take a clear, hard look at their own lives and decide to do something about weight loss.

For some folks, that means bariatric surgery. In this issue we bring you some articles, surgical videos, and an all-new crossword puzzle about bariatric surgery.

Our Graduate in the Spotlight is Lindsey Frodge, RN, BSN, CNOR, RNFA of Nashville, TN. Scroll on down for links to RNFA jobs we’ve gathered for you as well as NIFA’s favorite links.



Julie Lancaster, Editor

Coming Next Month: APRNs in the RN First Assistant Role

Next month’s RNFA eNews will focus on the emergence of APRNs in the RN First Assistant role. Here’s a trivia question for you: This week at the Denver SutureStar workshops, NIFA has 40 RNFA students, of whom 28 are APRNs. What is the most common title of APRNs attending RNFA programs?


Read next month’s article. You may be in for a surprise!

Bariatric Surgery in the News

The topic of bariatric surgery has been in the popular press recently, with a general overview, What is Bariatric Surgery and How Does It Work? appearing in the New York Times last month, and a more in-depth article, Bariatric Surgery: The Solution to Obesity? in The New Yorker in September.

“In the early nineties, fewer than twenty thousand bariatric surgeries were performed in the U.S. each year,” writes Rivka Galchen in the New Yorker article. “Now the number is around two hundred thousand, where it has plateaued. Only in the past few years has what was once considered a high-risk and extreme measure been transformed into a relatively standard, safe, and straightforward one. There is strong consensus that bariatric surgery is effective, and Medicaid now covers it in forty-eight states. At the same time, research into conventional weight-loss methods has repeatedly [shown] . . . that diet and exercise alone, no matter how disciplined the individual, fail overwhelmingly often. . . . Still, only about one per cent of those who
medically qualify for bariatric surgery get it.”


Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass
55-minute video of this surgical procedure from Advanced Laparoscopic Surgeons, Florham Park, NJ. 
Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding
An 11-minute video from the Centre for the Advancement of Minimally Invasive Surgey (CAMIS), University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Sleeve Gastrectomy
An 18-minute video showing the steps of a sleeve gastrectomy by Dennis Smith, MD, WellStar Bariatric Surgery, Marietta, GA.
Duodenal Switch With Biliopancreatic Diversion
A 10-minute video from Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco, a group that says it has performed more laparoscopic duodenal switches than any practice in the world.

Perioperative Puzzle: Bariatric Surgery Crossword

Check out  this month’s all-new crossword puzzle on bariatric surgery.

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


There are any number of apps out there for consumers considering bariatric surgery. Some will help patients visualize how their bodies will look afterwards; others help the patient track such factors as nutrition, water consumption, emotions and weight loss.

For the health care professional, try:

Cine-Med’s Essentials of Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery, a comprehensive continuing educational program for professionals caring for the bariatric surgery patient before, during, and after surgery, published by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Registration is free, or you can earn CME and CEU credits for a fee.

Graduate Spotlight: Lindsey Frodge

Name: Lindsey Frodge

Credentials: RN, BSN, CNOR, RNFA

Student Status: Graduated from NIFA’s RNFA program Oct. 2016

City and State:  Nashville, TN

Current Position:  Registered Nurse in the Operating Room at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Where did you get your RN degree?
My RN degree is from Belmont University in Nashville, TN.

Why did you choose perioperative nursing?
I went into perioperative nursing because I love the fact that I can see something different every day. I still get to interact with patients and their families but I am also faced with challenges of all kinds. I get to see a different side of nursing than floor nursing so I am gaining skills I did not get to learn when going through school and during clinicals.

What is one of the most funny or scary moments you’ve seen at the table?
The scariest moment I have seen so far is my patient almost dying on the table. We had to put the pads on the patient’s chest and I had to use the AED and shock the patient twice. The patient came back into a normal sinus rhythm but for a while they were going into VFib and went into Asystole. The surgeon gave great chest compression which is what led to our patient coming back.

What is one technique or RNFA trick you’ve learned from NIFA that you will use for life?
The Running Locking Stitch trick where you hold the loop near you, which allows a faster throw each time as you come through the loop automatically. That was a timesaving trick that I found extremely helpful.

How do you feel having your RNFA will impact your life/career?
I feel my RNFA will greatly impact my career. I have learned a great deal stepping into a different role and being at the bedside looking at the anatomy versus watching from a distance. I look forward to seeing more and more procedures and picking up tricks that other First Assistants have to teach me.


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
AORN’s “What’s Happening in My State”
RNFA Scope of Practice by State
ACS List of Cases that Require an Assistant at Surgery, 2016 (PDF)
AORN Perioperative Bookstore
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.