From the Editor

Julie Lancaster




This month our Graduate in the Spotlight, Michael Sheehan, MSN, RNFA, NPc, of Stanford Hospital and Clinics, is also the author of our featured article about reading X-rays – the first in a series about diagnostic image interpretation that Michael is writing exclusively for our readers.

Even though most of you are not involved in “interpretation,” we think you’ll find this educational – especially if you are one of our NP graduates or students.

Do YOU have a surgical article or personal experience to share? We welcome your submissions for consideration. Please send your ideas to [email protected].

Julie Lancaster, Editor

Graduate Spotlight

Name:  Michael Sheehan
City & State:  Stanford, California
Credentials:  MSN, RNFA (NIFA grad ’07), NPc, FCCM Current Job:  Nurse Practitioner for Thoracic Aortic Surgery, Stanford Hospital and Clinics
Quote:  My specialty is Thoracic Aortic Surgery and my expertise is imaging: I read CTs, MRs, echos, caths, etc. I have trained several NPs and a few CNSs at my facility who had an interest in learning to read images. Interpretation of images is outside the official scope of practice for most NPs and RNFAs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn. There are almost always images posted on the wall in the OR. Understanding how to read them gives you better understanding and makes you more marketable. Even though we’re not the diagnostic person, image interpretation is still an important part of the perioperative process that a First Assistant can learn to understand.
Next steps: Working to get into John Hopkins University’s DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) program.

Shades of Gray: Interpretations of Perioperative Imaging

Installment 1: Interpreting X-Rays

By Michael Sheehan, MSN, RNFA, NPc

As Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs), we often order and rely on perioperative imaging to guide our decision making and plan our operative interventions.  However, almost no BSN, RNFA, or even MSN curricula include interpretation of medical imaging. This forces us to abdicate our autonomy and rely on either the interpreting physician’s “read” or our supervising physician’s opinion.  Learning to interpret medical imaging studies can increase our confidence and autonomy as well as increase our marketability and professional stature.

Read Michael’s entire first installment here.


Computer Tip for Perioperative Outlook Users:

If you use Outlook 2003 or 2007, here is a great new tool that organizes all your emails and does “searches” in an instant! It’s new and it’s FREE!