June 2022 • Volume 16, No. 6

From the Editor

Welcome to our annual summer reading (and other media) issue. It’s summer, kids are on break, and it’s traditionally a time to relax. One great way to do that is to read a book that can transport you far from your day-to-day life. 

But people are finding fewer moments to read deliberately. That’s partly because we’re so busy, and partly because we’re already reading a lot, as we try to keep up with a constantly evolving stream of online information. This process is encouraging us to stay distracted, affecting our memory, and even having an impact on our cognition and the brain.
See Firth, et al., “The `online brain’: how the Internet may be changing our cognition.”)

Our recommendation: Hold the line against brain rot! Turn off your phone for a while and read a book! Reading for even 6 minutes has been shown to reduce stress — more than listening to music, having a cup of tea or taking a walk. Reading can also slow cognitive decline, even improve sleep, and more. (See this article on MedicalNewsToday.)

In this issue, we’ve pulled together some recommendations that range from serious but entertaining books in the surgical field to a couple of novels that will transport you. We’re also presenting a select group of TV shows and podcasts for your consideration. 

Our Student in the Spotlight is Jessica Keller, RN, BSN, CNOR, of Gladwyne, PA. 

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


Julie Lancaster, Editor


Spare Parts: The Story of Medicine Through the History of Transplant Surgery

Paul Craddock, May 2022

We think of transplant surgery as one of the medical wonders of the modern world. But transplant surgery is as ancient as the pyramids, with a history more surprising than we might expect. Read more . . .

The Invention of Surgery: A History of Modern Medicine: From the Renaissance to the Implant Revolution

Dr. David Schneider, March 2020

An in-depth biography of the practice that has leapt forward over the centuries from the dangerous guesswork of ancient Greek physicians through the world-changing “implant revolution” of the twentieth century. Read more . . .

What Doesn’t Kill You: A Life with Chronic Illness – Lessons from a Body in Revolt

Tessa Miller, February 2021

The riveting account of a young journalist’s awakening to chronic illness, weaving together personal story and reporting to shed light on living with an ailment, the American medical system, and chronic health problems. Read more . . .

Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers

Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English, July 2010 (Second Edition)

First published by The Feminist Press in 1973, this is a thought-provoking book about the historic demonization of women healers and the evolution of today’s health-care system, including today’s changing attitudes about childbirth. Read more . . .

A Farewell To Arms

????Earnest Hemingway, September 1929

Set in WWI, the story is a first-person account of an American soldier, based loosely on Hemingway’s own experience, who serves as a lieutenant in the ambulance corps of the Italian Army. When he becomes injured, he falls in love with an English nurse, Catherine. Read more . . .

My Name Is Mary Sutter

????Robin Oliveira, May 2010

This is a New York Times bestselling tale of the Civil War. Mary Sutter is a brilliant young midwife who dreams of becoming a surgeon. Eager to run away from recent heartbreak, Mary travels to Washington, D.C., to help tend the legions of Civil War wounded, pursuing her medical career against all odds. Read more . . .

TV Shows

This Is Going to Hurt (2022)

Margaret Lyons, TV Critic of the New York Times, says: “Ben Whishaw stars as an exhausted, endearing doctor in this dramedy about a labor and delivery ward. ‘Hurt’ is based on a memoir by Adam Kay, and it feels more authentic than other contemporary doctor shows, less sensational. It also isn’t a procedural, so its story lines don’t feel as pat, even when its characters are familiar.” Read more . . .


Body Parts (2022)

In this three-part limited series, Anaplastologist Allison Vest shares the most devastating cases of patients who have lost major body parts, giving them a second chance by creating prosthetics to help restore their lives. Read more . . .


Transplant (2020)

An ER doctor who fled his native Syria to come to Canada must overcome numerous obstacles to resume a career in the high stakes world of emergency medicine. Read more . . .


This Came Out of Me

A one-episode, 42-min. documentary showing a behind-the curtain (literally) peek into emergency facilities throughout Texas. Read more . . .


Really Rural Surgery and Obstetrics

An educational medical podcast series that analyzes relevant surgical studies in the context of rural surgery in Canada. While its intended audience is Enhanced Surgical Skills family physicians, the content is relevant to anyone participating in surgery in rural and remote areas. Listen here . . .


Legends of Surgery

This podcast takes an entertaining and informative approach to telling the stories of the people and events that make up the history of modern surgery. Listen here . . .



Student Spotlight: Jessica Keller


Student Status
Current student in NIFA’s RNFA program

City & State
Gladwyne, PA

Current Position
Perioperative Nurse

Where did you get your RN degree?
Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA

How did you come to choose perioperative nursing?
I loved surgery and found the human body to be so interesting.

What is one technique or RNFA trick you’ve learned from NIFA that you will use for life?
The 2- and 1-handed ties.

How do you feel having your RNFA will impact your life/career?
It will really provide me with other options within the surgery setting. Variety is the spice of life.

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.

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