From the Editor

Did you see the news story a couple of days ago about a Providence, R.I. hospital being fined $150,000 and ordered to install video cameras in all its ORs as a result of multiple wrong-site surgery cases? The article explores some of the causes of the errors, such as the surgical team failing to properly mark surgical sites or failing to take a timeout for re-verification before cutting. You can read the report on ABC News.

Julie LancasterIf your facility could use a refresher on strategies for reducing the risk of wrong-site surgery, the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare has a simple but comprehensive page that you may want to print off and discuss with your team, Lessons Learned: Wrong Site Surgery.


Julie Lancaster, Edito


NIFA Faculty Member Receives Award

The American College of Surgeons presents the 2009 Surgical Humanitarian Award and Surgical Volunteerism Award to, among others, Dr. Glenn W. Geelhoed, MD, MPH, FACS, NIFA instructor. Below is a photo of the award presenters and recipients; Dr. Geelhoed is standing second from the left.

Dr. Geelhoed is a fascinating and multi-faceted person–educator, traveler, adventurer and humanitarian. You can read more about him at his website. He’s teaching at NIFA’s Baltimore workshop this month, if you’d like to meet him in person!

Geelhoed receives humanitarian award

Graduate in the Spotlight

Name: Iveta Everingham
Credentials: RNFA, RNAS-C
City and State: Bend, Oregon
Current Job: RNFA specializing in plastic / reconstructive surgery, working with surgeon Dr. A. Angeles
Career Path: Surgical technologist, then perioperative RN for the past 12 years, RN-assist for four years, RNFA currently; graduated from NIFA April 2009.
Story: I grew up in the Czech Republic during the Communist regime, and earned a four-year nursing degree in Czechoslovakia. In 1993, I came to the U.S. for a visit, never intending to stay–here I am, 16 years later!

I have always had a desire to work as an RNFA but was not going to get a BS degree in nursing here, because I already had a four-year nursing degree from Europe. Unfortunately, my degree didn’t transfer. At first I worked as a sterile processing tech and then became a surgical technologist. I had a great job as a surgical tech in Seattle but missed the freedom and other benefits of nursing, so I decided to go to nursing school again. I earned an associate’s degree in nursing at Shoreline Community College in Seattle while I worked full-time as a surgical technologist.  I dreamed about being an RNFA some day . . .

An opportunity became available when a group of plastic surgeons in Seattle asked me to work for them, and I accepted. I have learned a lot, such as the basics of first assisting, through hands-on experience. When I discovered that I could get an official RNFA certificate with an associate degree I jumped all over it.

Suddenly opportunities were everywhere. I was able to connect with a progressive plastic and reconstructive surgeon and build on my previous experience and back it up with my formal training. I became certified as a RNAS-C (Registered Nurse Assistant at Surgery – Certified) recently.

The doors of opportunity continue to stay open as I am constantly introducing news about the role and scope of my practice to the local hospital, surgeons, insurance companies, board of nursing and others. I feel strong and fortunate to have the power of knowledge and education from NIFA to support me on my RNFA journey, there is nothing that I cannot do!


Want to keep up with recent perioperative news? The Perioperative News Minute podcast lets you listen to the week’s news on your computer or through your iPod!