From the Editor

This month’s topic is colon resection surgery. This surgery is done to treat and prevent a variety of diseases and conditions that affect the colon.

You can read an in-depth article about this surgery, including terminology, the diseases treated, contraindications, technical considerations and outcomes, at

Read on for a Colon Crossword puzzle, some news, a video and several apps to help you learn more about the colon and gastroenterology.

In this issue we feature current student Julie Skeens, RNe5651521-0a79-4662-9408-c8f0e9d97393, BSN.

You’ll also find our latest collection of RNFA jobs and our favorite practice resources. Enjoy!

Julie Lancaster

Perioperative Puzzle: Colon Crossword

Test your knowledge of the colon with this crossword puzzle.

When you’re ready to check your answers follow this link to see how well you did!

Good Luck!
News: Peri-Op Protocols Enhance Recovery After Colorectal Surgery 

“The goal of any perioperative protocol is to improve patient outcomes after surgery,” writes Victoria Stern of General Surgery News. “In colorectal surgery, however, there is minimal evidence to support traditional perioperative practices, such as bowel preparation and fasting before surgery.”

The article goes on to talk about the findings of a multinational group of surgeons and anesthesiologists who are collaborating in an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) research group, and the ERAS protocols that are being developed as a result of their research.

Read the whole article.

Video: Minimally Invasive Colorectal Resection to Treat Colon Cancer  

During a colon resection, also known as a colectomy, the diseased part of the large intestine is surgically removed and the remaining healthy ends of the colon are reattached. The procedure you are about to watch was performed to remove a cancerous tumor; however, people with numerous other gastrointestinal disorders including large benign polyps, Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis and diverticulitis may also require removal of a part of their colon.

This video, from Oncology Broadcast Med, features Richard L. Whelan, MD, Chief of the Division of Colorectal Surgery in the Department of Surgery at St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals and the Director of Surgical Oncology for the St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center Sites of the Continuum Cancer Centers of New York.

Gastroenterology Apps 

The following apps are designed for both iPhone and iPad:

Gastroenterology – a Living Medical eTextbook – Free
Through 10 individual courses presented by noted gastroenterology specialists, the app provides up-to-date information, evidence-based guidance, and expert insights delivered in audio, video and didactic formats.

Learning Gastroenterology Quiz – $1.99
This app was set up to share knowledge and help you test and verify your knowledge of gastroenterology. It covers the gastrointestinal tract and disorders / diseases. It’s a great way for you to revise and check what you have learned.

Surgical Logbook – $3.99
An easy-to-use application designed to aid students, surgical trainees and surgeons to keep a readily up-to-date logbook of procedures performed.

SurgiChart  – free

SurgiChart is a secure, private, HIPAA-compliant surgical case log that allows surgeons to post, plan, and share their cases. It’s a free, cloud-based service accessed through or through the app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Add or edit surgical data in the browser or on any device and SurgiChart keeps all devices in sync instantly.

Student Spotlight: Julie Skeens

538Name:  Julie Skeens
Credentials:  RN, BSN
Student Status:  Current student
City and State:  Culloden, WV
Current Job:  Clinic RN at Ultimate Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Huntington, WV, with Dr. Ben Moosavi.
Why did you want to become an RN?
I have always been interested in the medical field and I thought nursing would be an excellent option to explore that interest. I spent the first 8 years of my nursing career in a Cardiovascular ICU. I learned so much during that time. Not only about the medical field but how to actually care for patients as a whole.Where did you get your RN training?
I received my BSN at Marshall University in Huntington, WV in 2005.Why did you decide to become an RNFA?  
I have recently started working with a plastic surgeon. He introduced me to the RNFA role. It will be very beneficial for our surgical patients for Dr. Moosavi to have an RNFA. This will cut down on surgical time and, since I will also be in the clinic seeing the surgical patients, this allows for better continuity of care.

What was one thing you learned in your RNFA training that was unexpected?
I have learned an abundant amount of valuable information from this program, but I feel like I have learned the most from the hands-on experience at the SutureStar Workshop. We learned so many techniques that just can’t be taught from a book. The sub-cuticular stitch is one I learned that I will use a lot in my practice.

Job Front
Click here for the RNFA job postings we’ve collected for you this month!

Do you have questions about implementing an RNFA team or becoming an RNFA?
RNFAs, APRNs and Implementing an RNFA Team will answer many of your questions. If you need answers more quickly, please see the links below or just call us at 1-800-922-7747. We will be happy to discuss any questions you may have and discuss the benefits to staff, surgeons and administrators of having an RNFA team at your facility.

Prerequisites for becoming an RNFA

Surgical Skills Workshops   

NIFA Office Hours
Monday-Thursday 7:30am – 5:00pm (Fridays 7:30am – 4:00pm).