Every day that I go home, I know I have impacted someone’s life in a positive way. I love knowing that I have been there for my patients, from those who are toddlers to those who are geriatrics. I help to alleviate their fears and be with them during a frightening experience in their lives.
I was a second-degree BSN student, having worked in the business world for 5 years. I always wanted to have meaningful interactions with people, and working in a career that focused on financial gains was not rewarding at all. Nursing was a career that I identified with secondary to the constant interaction with the public and the ability to make a difference in the lives of those I cared for.
My life as a Nurse Anesthetist
Johnson & Johnson discovers the highlights of being a Nurse Anesthetist from Thomas, DNP, APN/CRNA.
The responsibilities of a Certified Nurse Anesthetist
What a typical work shift is like for me
Because I have three distinct roles, each day presents new and different challenges.
During academic days, there is no “shift”...the day continues until the students no longer need me. As an administrator, “shift work” is replaced by never-ending availability via email, text and phone. I would not have it any other way. My staff is very important to me and when they need me, I need to be there for them.
The only “shift work” I maintain is during my clinical days. Prior to my administrative role, I would typically work 12–16 hour days, delivering anesthesia care to my patients. Now with my expanded roles outside of the operating room, I cap my clinical day to 8–10 hours.
The clinical pace is dependent on the environment, but overall, the preoperative world is a very dynamic and fast-paced environment, which CRNAs thrive in!
My innovation story
It is a challenge for an anesthesia provider to make sure that we can safely take that tube out. And the risk is that we won't be able to, and they’re going to have that tube in for an extended period of time. And no one wants that.
So, I altered my anesthetic plan to focus on that. We got through the procedure with the surgeon’s help and with a very clear, defined timeline, without having to breathe for her. I was able to maintain her own spontaneous respirations. We dropped her off in the recovery room still breathing on her own. So that was a huge postoperative complication that was successfully sidestepped.
First and foremost, love what you do. Work doesn’t always have to be “work”. Secondly, have a support system in place that understands your passion, but also reminds you that there are other things out in the world for you to enjoy. Work hard-play hard isn’t just a line on a T-Shirt!”