September 2023 • Volume 17, No. #9

From the Editor


September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, as declared by the White House, the Urology Care Foundation, and others. Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer diagnosed in men and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men, after lung cancer. Not only is it important to be aware of the disease in general, but also it’s a disease for which some of the treatments are surgical, which brings it into the perioperative arena. In this issue we offer a few basic resources and news about prostate cancer, along with some surgical videos.

In this month’s Student Spotlight we feature Jennifer Lopez, FNP-BC, APRN, of Victoria, TX.

And scroll down for jobs we’ve collected for you as well as NIFA’s favorite links.


Julie Lancaster, Editor

Photo by marijana1 on pixabay

Surgery News

Dinner-plate-sized Surgical Tool Discovered Inside Woman 18 Months After C-Section

In Aukland, New Zealand, a woman in her 20s went to her GP “several times” after experiencing severe pains in her abdomen, and eventually the cause was found: an Alexis Wound Retractor (AWR), used for holding open a surgical wound, had been left in her abdomen. AWRs are constructed of plastic and can’t be detected on an X-ray.
Read more . . .

Can Remote Surgeries Digitally Transform Operating Rooms?

Proximie is a platform, launched in 2016, designed to enable clinicians, proctors, and medical device company personnel to be virtually present in operating rooms, where they would use mixed reality and digital audio/visual tools to communicate with, assist and observe those performing procedures. In 2022, Harvard Business School associate professor Ariel Stern published a detailed case study about Proximie’s effort to create value in health care through a digital transformation of operating rooms.

Prostate Cancer News

Report Shows Rise in Prostate Cancer

American Cancer Society statistics for 2023 showed reduced mortality rates for most kinds of cancers over the last few decades, but “one stubborn cancer is bucking the downward trend,” and that is prostate cancer, according to this report from City of Hope Hospital. The article also discusses the 70% higher prostate cancer incidence rate among Black men compared with white men.
Read more . . .

FDA Approves New Treatment for Advanced Prostate Cancer

In June, the FDA approved a new treatment for the most advanced type of prostate cancer. Patients who have this condition, which is called metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), have few therapeutic options, so the approval helps to fill an urgent need.
Read more. . .

Advances in Prostate Cancer Research

The National Cancer Institute outlines new developments in detecting, diagnosing and treating prostate cancer.
Read more. . .

General Prostate Cancer Resources


Treating Prostate Cancer: Active Surveillance, Surgery, Radiation Therapy, and New Focal Therapies

Geoffrey Sonn, MD, a urologic surgical oncologist at Stanford Health Care, details treatment options from active surveillance to “whole prostate” treatments such as surgery and radiation therapy, to newer “focal therapies” that treat early-stage cancers which are localized to one area of the prostate gland.
Watch 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. Controversies surrounding screening and treatment of prostate cancer are briefly discussed.
Watch video . . .


HoLEP Semi-Live Surgery

A joint webinar co-hosted by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Experts take a look at what it would take to cut OR emissions to net zero. “Achieving net-zero is surgery is a major challenge and will mean a substantial change in clinical practice, but we surgeons always love a challenge,” the notes on this video read.
Watch video . . .

In The Spotlight: Jennifer T. Lopez

FNP-BC, APRN, BA biology

Student Status
Current student, NIFA’s RNFA program

City & State
Victoria, TX

Where did you get your RN degree?
Indiana University; Purdue University, Indianapolis.

How did you come to choose perioperative nursing?
I was a staff nurse in cath lab for 6 years prior and while getting my FNP. Here I circulated, scrubbed, and monitored electrophysiology and interventional cardiac cases. Although the cardiology group I was with in cath lab was not hiring for NP, general surgery was. And while we work closely with anesthesia and PAW, I had never done OR before. Since I started as outpatient NP for the office, I loved it. I get to excise simple cyst and lipomas in office and in training was allowed to scrub in. After the first OR case, I was hooked. NIFA is my way of trying to stay somewhat in OR while maintaining clinic time and I enjoy seeing the patient through the whole rotation – through general surgery, from referral to our office, assist in their elective surgery, seeing them during hospitalization, and follow up in office.

What is the funniest moment you’ve ever seen at the table?
I was most surprised to see how patients are set up for hemorrhoidectomy as far as positioning.

What is one technique or RNFA trick you’ve learned from NIFA that you will use for life?
Modified simple running stitch will hopefully ensure less gapping in my lap and more superficial closures.

How do you feel having your RNFA will impact your life/career?
I already feel more confident in my suturing speed and speed in tying, so I hope to assist with closures such that it will move along turnaround or free up the surgeon sooner for the next case, which is important with only two general surgeons in our hospital group in a small trauma III hospital.

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.