These Nurses ‘Walk the Walk’: Why Certified Bariatric Nurses are a Core Component to a Bariatric Team
Bariatric weight-loss surgery is a long road full of challenges and personal triumphs. When embarking on this kind of journey, it’s essential to have a strong support system in place. Family, friends, caring and accredited surgeons, as well as various other dedicated medical professionals, can make your experience monumentally different.
Certified Bariatric Nurses (CBNs) at Jefferson Health in New Jersey know this to be true. Patients don’t just walk through the door for a medical procedure, but to follow through with a life-changing decision.
The CBN certification is an advanced credential for registered nurses working on a bariatric team. Established by the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), it helps to clearly differentiate the knowledge and experience levels between an RN and an RN with ample professional competency in the bariatric specialty.
According to the ASMBS, the purpose of the CBN certification is to establish a professional standard for up-to-date knowledge and skills, validate experience, and most importantly, improve patient trust, confidence, and care.
New Jersey’s team of CBNs include Program Coordinator Peg Martin, BSN, RN, CBN; Lynn Stott, RN, CMSRN, CBN; Dawn Sass, RN, CMSRN, CBN; Christine Arroliga, RN, CBN, SMC; and Nancy Raleigh, BSN, RN, CPAN, CBN.
“We use our expertise to guide the staff and the residents,” explained Stott and Sass. “We have the knowledge to correct orders, when needed, and we can troubleshoot any problems we see developing. Ultimately, this allows us to go above and beyond when treating patients.”
The CBN isn’t given to just any RN, explains Martin – a bariatric surgery patient herself. They must first complete at least 24 months of nursing care for bariatric surgery patients, and pass the CBN exam.
“When studying for the exam, I had no idea how much more there was to learn about bariatric patients,” said Stott, 33-year employee and RN for the bariatric program since its inception in 2007. “Now, we are references for people in our unit. I love educating the patients and giving them extra tips for success!”
Stott, who earned her CBN in 2015, also contributed to a chapter in Passing the Certified Bariatric Nurses Exam – a study guide to prepare for the exam, published in 2017, written by Martin; Dr. Marc Neff, Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery at Jefferson Health in New Jersey; and Andrew Loveitt (a previous resident).
CBNs can truly benefit a hospital, bariatric program staff members, and, of course, the patients, as they ensure expert and compassionate care, says Martin. “We’re always ready to take that next step with you.”
shown above: Lynn Stott, RN, CMSRN, CBN, and Dawn Sass, RN, CMSRN, CBN, at Jefferson Stratford Hospital