January 2023 • Volume 17, No. #1

From the Editor

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month in the United States. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that 14,100 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed in the US last year, with an estimated 4280 deaths. Hispanic women have the highest rates of developing cervical cancer, and Black women have the highest rates of dying from it, according to the CDC.

The good news is that the rate of newly diagnosed cervical cancer cases decreased by more than 50% between 1975 and 2010, thanks mainly to the expansion of screening programs. However, the rate has not gone down that much for all populations. This two-minute NCI video shows graphs and maps explaining that change and the current distribution of cases.

The appearance in the news this month of some stories about uterine/endometrial cancer inspired us to expand our focus for this issue from cervical cancer to include other gynecological cancers.

Our Student in the Spotlight is Katie Thomas, RN, BSN, CNOR, of Fort Dodge, Iowa.

And scroll down for jobs we’ve collected for you as well as NIFA’s favorite links.


Julie Lancaster, Editor

Image by Adobe Stock


Uterine cancer now covered by 9/11 survivors’ health program after years of pressure

This week federal health officials added uterine cancer to the covered health conditions under the World Trade Center’s Health Program.

“Many individuals who were part of the rescue and recovery after 9/11 or were subject to the dust created by the attack were exposed to carcinogens that left them with illnesses, uterine cancer among them,” writes Ana Fage of Forbes, writing on MSN. “Some women have been waiting more than ten years for uterine cancer to be added.”
Read more . . .

This surgical smart knife can detect endometrial cancer cells in seconds

The iKnife, introduced in 2013, has helped detect breast and brain cancers for almost a decade, and its capabilities keep expanding. A team from the UK has published a study, “Point-of-Care Diagnosis of Endometrial Cancer Using the Surgical Intelligent Knife (iKnife)—A Prospective Pilot Study of Diagnostic Accuracy.”

Read a summary in Popular Science magazine. . .
Read the full study. . .

Studying ventilation approaches for gynecological laparoscopy

“Laparoscopy is preferred for gynecological surgery,” begins this report. “However, pneumoperitoneum (PNP) and a steep Trendelenburg position (T-position) impose adverse effects on the respiratory system . . . .” A group of physicians in China studied the effects of ventilation protocols on patients undergoing elective laparoscopic gynecological surgery.
Read more…

Fibroids are serious. Surgery isn’t the only way to stop them.

This article, although for a general audience, provides a good overview of newer, less invasive approaches for treating fibroid tumors, such as ablation, embolization and medications; as well as surgical treatments such as hysterectomy and myomectomy.
Read more…

Photo by Shutterstock

Gynecologic Surgery Resources

From the Mayo Clinic

Minimally invasive gynecologic surgery overview
Abdominal hysterectomy

Overview of preoperative evaluation and preparation for gynecologic surgery. This article is on a website called UpToDate.com, a subscription-based service that helps medical professionals make appropriate care decisions. Anyone can read part of this article but to continue reading you need to log in with a personal, hospital or group practice subscription.
Read more…


Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy with ICG mapping of Sentinel Lymph Nodes
From Toronto Video Atlas of Surgery. Indocyanine green fluorescence (ICG) mapping, via cervical injection, of the sentinel lymph nodes for resection and biopsy has been shown to be an effective and accurate assessment strategy for endometrial cancer staging. This 15-minute video uses a combination of animation and actual surgical footage.
Watch video . . .


Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery: Improving Lives Through Technology
This 48-minute video features experts from Stony Brook (NY) Medicine discussing the benefits of minimally invasive surgery, and some recent (as of May 2022) innovative surgical options.
Watch video . . .


Laparoscopic Excision of Endometriosis
This 12-minute video from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, demonstrates cases showing complete excision of endometriosis in a variety of challenging situations.
Watch video . . .


Student Spotlight: Katie Thomas


Student Status
Current student in Course 2 of NIFA’s RNFA program

City & State
Fort Dodge, Iowa

Current Position
RN Manager, OR/PACU/CS

Where did you get your RN degree?
Iowa Central Community College.

How did you come to choose perioperative nursing?
Took a chance after clinical in nursing school and fell in love with the OR setting! Scrubbed 3 years, then circulator and PACU – Now manager! (8 years later)

What is the scariest moment you’ve ever seen at the table?
Necrotizing facsitis! Took large sections of the patient’s skin off from ankles to hips. The patient did die 3 days post DP.

What is one technique or RNFA trick you’ve learned from NIFA that you will use for life?
Too many to list! One-handed and two-handed tying, multiple suture techniques.

How do you feel having your RNFA will impact your life/career?
I now have the confidence to assist and I am excited to bring new tricks and techniques to my OR department.

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 © 2022, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

12354 E Caley Avenue
Centennial, CO 80111