September 2017 • Volume 10, No. 9
From the Editor
September is National Prostate Health Month. In the USA, about 180,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, and almost 26,000 die from it. Early detection is the key to successful treatment

There are a number of prostate health issues to be aware of, but since this is a surgical e-newsletter, we’re most interested in the ones that involve surgery.

Prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia are the two conditions whose treatment is most likely to involve surgery, in the form of prostatectomy, or surgical removal of the prostate. This may be done in an open surgery or laparoscopically. In recent years, laparoscopic procedures have gained favor, and the trend now is to robotic laparoscopic prostatectomies.

“Many of our students are involved in robotics for laparoscopic prostatectomies,” says Kimberly Jones, RN, BSN, CNOR, RNFA, NIFA’s Director of Perioperative and RNFA College Programs.

“The RNFA has to change the instrumentation on the arms and load the needle-divers. Positioning of the patient is very important. The surgeon is away from the field, so if something goes wrong, the RNFA has to un-dock the robot, get it away from the patient, and prepare for them to be opened up quickly.”

In this issue, we bring you some prostate surgery-related resources, including an all-new crossword puzzle. Our student in the spotlight is Kimberly H. Horn, DNP, RN, FNP-C, of Phoenix, AZ.

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



Julie Lancaster, Editor

Prostate Resources

Clinical Procedural Report
Laparoscopic and Robotic Radical Prostatectomy on, updated in May, 2017, provides an in-depth and well-illustrated survey of the topic. Did you know that, in the 1990s, when the first successful laparoscopic radical prostatectomies were performed, operative times ranged from 8 to 11 hours? By 2007, a study of 2700 robotic prostatectomies reported a mean operative time of 154 minutes. The lavishly illustrated article goes on to discuss preparation, technique, and post-procedure issues.

Video: Robotic Assisted Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy
In this video, Adam Kibel, MD, Chief of Urology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, demonstrates a radical prostatectomy using the Da Vinci robotic surgical system.

3D Medical Animation

This 3D medical animation on prostate cancer surgery shows the laparascopic removal of a cancerous prostate gland and its surrounding tissues.

Good Read
It’s not related to prostate surgery, but there’s a fascinating article In the October 2017 issue of Scientific American, How Ether Transformed Surgery from a Race against the Clock.

The boon of “etherization,” which removed much of the agony previously present during surgery, had unintended consequences: “With their newfound confidence about operating without inflicting pain, surgeons became ever more willing to take up the knife, driving up the incidences of postoperative infection and shock.”

The article is adapted from a book that has just come out, “The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine,” by Lindsey Fitzharris. Read the whole excerpt here . . .

Perioperative Puzzle: Prostate Surgery Crossword

Test your knowledge of plastic surgery with this month’s all-new crossword puzzle.

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

Student Spotlight:
Kimberly Horn

Credentials:  DNP, RN, FNP-C

Student Status:  Current student

City & State: Phoenix, AZ

Current Position:  Urology Nurse Practitioner, Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, AZ

Where did you get your RN degree, and do you have a specialty?
I received my RN degree from the University of Phoenix and my DNP/FNP degree from Arizona State University.

Why did you choose perioperative nursing?
I had no OR experience and had only witnessed a few surgeries. My new position, NP in urology, dictated that I assist with OR procedures. Due to having no OR knowledge or experience, I wanted the best possible education as a first assist. My research brought me to NIFA.

What is the scariest moment you’ve  seen at the table?
The scariest moment was during a nephrectomy (robotic). The surgeon did a pause and asked the FA multiple times if she could clip the renal artery. She was 100% confident. She performed like a true confident professional while I was extremely nervous that something would go wrong.

What techniques or RNFA tricks did you learn from NIFA that you will use for life?
I arrived barely able to tie knots and I am leaving with so many skills and most of all confidence. The hands on experience as well as the patient nature of the instructors made learning comfortable and easy. I have learned skills (the foundation) that I can hone for a successful career.

What advice would you give other perioperative nurses who wish to pursue RNFA?
Come to the 6-day workshop. You will not regret it!


Click here for the RNFA job postings we’ve collected for you this month.

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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.