November 2023 • Volume 17, No. #11

From the Editor


November is, among other things, National Diabetes Month. There is much to know about diabetes in terms of the immune system, hormones, nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle choices. Because our readers are especially interested in the surgical side of things, we’re providing both general and some specifically surgical resources here.

Also in this issue, we bring to your attention a study being conducted by a perioperative nurse and doctoral candidate who is seeking input from other perioperative nurses in the US. She is researching perioperative nurses’ experience with the rapid rate of technological changes in the perioperative environment. Please scroll down to read about it and see if you qualify to help out by participating.

In the Spotlight is new graduate Tara Overstreet, MSN, RN, CNOR, RNFA, of Victoria, TX. Congratulations, Tara!

Later in the issue you’ll find jobs we’ve collected for you as well as NIFA’s favorite links.


Julie Lancaster, Editor

Photo by: Goffkein on Adobe Stock

Can You Help Out By Participating in a Research Study?

By Shelly Mason, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, CNOR

Dear Nursing Colleague,

Like you, I am a perioperative nurse. I have sixteen years of experience as a staff nurse practicing as a circulator and scrub nurse. . . . I am currently a student and a doctoral candidate at Nova Southeastern University. I am pursuing the answer to the following research question as a requisite for my dissertation: What is the experience of perioperative nurses working in an environment of rapid technological change?. . .

I want your assistance to help me answer this research question. If you are a perioperative nurse living and working in a perioperative department in the U.S.A., fluent in English, have at least two years of perioperative experience, and are not currently on orientation, I invite you to participate in this research project.

Read Shelly Mason’s entire letter…

Surgery News

Innovative Project Reduces Operating–Room-Related Pressure Injuries by 50.5%

“By shifting the focus of pressure injury prevention from inpatient care to perioperative care and by establishing an interprofessional team, perioperative nurses can lead quality improvement initiatives to reduce OR-HAPIs, promote a culture of safety, and improve quality of care,” proposes this study published in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.
Read more . . .

Johnson & Johnson Plans to Start Trials for a Surgical Robot Next Year

This article discusses Johnson & Johnson’s plan to initiate trials for a new surgical robot. The robot is designed with four robotic arms integrated into a standard-size surgical table, which can be stored when not in use. This innovation aims to give surgical teams greater flexibility during procedures to address clinical needs seamlessly – for example, repositioning a patient without interrupting the surgical process. While robotic surgery is not a new concept, this development represents an advancement in the integration of robotic technology into surgical procedures.
Read more. . .

Johns Hopkins Surgeons Seek to Improve ‘Tactile’ Sensitivity During Robotic Surgery

This article discusses the challenges faced by surgeons in adapting to robotic surgery despite its known benefits, such as smaller incisions and reduced hospitalization time. Gina Adrales, director of the Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery at Johns Hopkins, and her colleagues are addressing this issue by introducing innovative training techniques and a wearable device.
Read more. . .

Learn About Diabetes

CDC – What is Diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that affect how the body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is an important source of energy for the cells that make up the muscles and tissues. It’s also the brain’s main source of fuel.
Read more . . .

Surgery for Diabetes

This article from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery outlines the close relationship between obesity and type 2 diabetes and offers a summary of the most common types of diabetes-related surgery utilized and approved in the U.S.
Read more. . .

Diabetes News

A Novel Procedure for Weight Loss Surgery Helps Keep the Pounds Off. For Good

Dr. Fareed Cheema, a weight loss surgeon at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn, made history by being the first at the hospital to perform a newer type of bariatric surgery known as single-anastomosis duodenal–ileal bypass with sleeve gastrectomy (SADI-S). The SADI-S has demonstrated superior initial and long-term weight loss, along with lower weight regain compared to other commonly performed procedures.
Read more . . .

Bariatric Surgery at 16

If childhood obesity is an “epidemic,” how far should doctors go to treat it? (This New York Times article is behind a paywall, but if you are a non-subscriber you are entitled to 5 free articles per month.)
Read more. . .


Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

Cleveland Clinic’s bariatric surgery team demonstrates laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, including key steps jejunojejunostomy and gastrojejunostomy.
Watch video . . .


Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

The video from Duke University Health presents a patient who has undergone a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. The video discuss numerous technical points regarding abdominal access, trocar placement, pain management, and operative steps with explanation of anatomy and pitfalls.
Watch video . . .

Orbera Balloon Placement

The Orbera intragastric balloon is a fluid-filled, silicone balloon that is placed in the stomach to help with weight loss. The balloon is placed under endoscopic guidance in a brief, outpatient procedure.
Watch video . . .

In The Spotlight: Tara Overstreet


Student Status
Graduated in Oct. 2023 from NIFA’s RNFA program

City & State
Victoria, TX

Current Position
I am currently a clinical nurse educator and circulator for DeTar Healthcare System in Victoria, TX.

Where did you get your RN degree?
Baylor University

What was your path to perioperative nursing?
I took up nursing with every intention of becoming a neo-natal nurse practitioner. While in nursing school at Baylor University, however, I was exposed to the operating room environment and knew that it was where I was meant to be. I became a circulator straight out of nursing school and haven’t looked back. I’ve scrubbed and circulated for over a decade now, and am looking forward to transitioning into my new role as an RNFA.

What is the scariest moment you’ve ever seen at the table?
Scariest moment was cracking a chest on a patient in the ER to cross clamp.

What is one technique or RNFA trick you’ve learned from NIFA that you will use for life?
Using figure of eight on robotic port sites.

How do you feel having your RNFA will impact your life/career?
More opportunity to impact patient outcomes.

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.