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Nurse Anesthetist
Fort Washington, MD

"Every day, I know I’ve impacted someone's life in a positive way. I am a nurse anesthetist now and I love knowing that I have been there for my patients. I help to alleviate their fears and be with them during a frightening experience in their lives."

My inspiration

My first degree was in Sociology. I thought I could use my caring qualities with this degree but I shuffled papers all day. Then my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and I spent a lot of time with him in the ICU. I bonded with the nurses and they were so caring and patient. I loved the one-on-one contact and the continuity of care. I asked one of the nurses about her career and the education needed. After my dad died, I went to my community college and enrolled in the nursing program.

Not only do I get to practice anesthesia, I get to educate nurses who are on their journey to being a nurse anesthetist.

What a typical work shift is like for me

I work 8 hours a day. That's my choice. I go into my OR room in the morning and set up my room. Next, I go to the Holding Area to meet, interview, get consent, and do an anesthesia physical on my patient. I talk to them about their anesthesia, what to expect, the anesthesia I will give them, and the PACU area. I answer all their questions and then off to the operating room. I put my patient to sleep and then the surgeon does his procedure. During the procedure I mange my patient's hemodynamic status and pain level, as well as doing my charting. When the surgery is completed I wake my patient up, move them from the operating table to their bed and take them to PACU. I give report to the PACU nurse, write post-op pain orders and discharge orders. Always before I leave the PACU I check on my patient, whether they are too sleepy to talk or not. Upon leaving PACU I always have this feeling of satisfaction and content, then off to see my next patient.

My advice for someone starting out
"It is a profession that allows you to find your niche. If you are a people person and want to take care of others in their vulnerable times, nursing is it."
How I balance work and life
Always make and take time for yourself, family, and those you love. If you are no good to yourself, you are no good to your patient.
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