Where do you currently practice?
I currently practice at the Keck Hospital of USC in beautiful Los Angeles, California.
What are your favorite cases or anesthesia specialty?
At Keck, I specialize in spine, orthopedic and GU cases. I especially enjoy cervical spine cases where I can incorporate fiberoptic intubation skills (who doesn’t enjoy playing with fancy cameras and airway blocks?), joint replacements where I can practice regional techniques (yay spinals!), and of course the complex management of our chronic pain population (great cases to incorporate all that pharmacology knowledge!)
What is the most rewarding part of being a CRNA?
I find that the connection and trust you establish with a patient is one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of CRNA practice. Having recently been a patient myself, I cannot tell you how important it was for me to know that my comfort and wellbeing was being managed by the best possible anesthesia providers (thanks Victoria, Deb and Pam!) No one wants to get up at 5:00 am to start their day, but it’s my patients’ comfort and wellbeing that motivate me (along with a strong cup of coffee) to provide the best anesthetic I can. For me, my anesthetic practice is all about my patients.
What are your passions outside of work?
I love hiking, sailing and yoga. I love music and the theater. My passion for food can be seen not only on my waistline, but in the eclectic culinary adventures I drag my friends and family through. I jump at any travel opportunity that comes my way and I like to think I am the Scrabble champion of my family (although my brother and husband do put up a good fight, sorry mom you don’t play ruthlessly enough).
Is there any research, thesis, practice projects, missions, or other anesthesia related work you would like to share with our community?
Research continues to be one of my greatest intellectual passions but missing professional puzzle pieces. How to incorporate research with a full-time nurse anesthetist position (and also be able to eat and sleep) I am embracing as my next life challenge. I have worked in hepatitis C research, I digitized 8mm reels of feline data for a muscle project (boy, that was glamorous!), pipetted enough analytes I’ve wanted to cry, and most recently completed a wonderful neuroinflammation study with a chronic pain population. Each project and research endeavor challenged me intellectually (sometimes physically) and taught me that a girl from Chicago can not only ask the questions, but be a part of the research that answers the questions. To all CRNAs I say: ask the questions and see how you could answer those questions in your practice, with your practice. You give the best anesthesia care there is, shouldn’t you get the credit for answering modern anesthesia conundrums? Be a part of the answer that they put in future textbooks. The future of nurse anesthesia research is exciting and it’s at the doorstep of our ORs—Be a part of it!