• Nurse Anesthesiology is Education

    By Adrienne Cain, DNP, CRNA

    One of the wonderful things about being a nurse anesthesiologist is taking care of a multitude of patients. We all know that the perioperative period can be overwhelming and intimidating, so it’s important that we are able to connect with everyone on some level. For me, nurse anesthesiology means education: Staying curious and learning about diverse backgrounds and cultures to provide the best anesthesia care to every patient. I have been a patient myself, and it’s reassuring to have clinicians who share my experiences while appreciating our differences.

    Since 2016, I have practiced in New York City, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and surrounding areas and have taken care of many patients with varying cultures and practices. Even though there are lots of people around during the hustle and bustle of a hospital stay, there are times the patient may feel very alone. It’s nice for them to look up and see a friendly face who’s not only there, but also present. That person, many times, is their nurse anesthesiologist.

    My patients might not look like me or have the same background, but these differences are always welcome, because it’s a chance for me to learn more about the people I care for and broaden my experiences as a clinician. Patients may feel isolated because of their gender, veteran status, race, disability, age, religion, ethnic heritage, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, education, national origin, or physical characteristics. Because nurse anesthesiologists play such a big role in allaying patients’ fears and anxieties about their surgeries, it’s important to educate ourselves and learn to be as inclusive as possible despite the many attributes that set us apart from our patients and one another.

    Patients deserve to feel safe and supported during their stay, and teaching myself and others about inclusive care heightens compassion and positive outcomes. I welcome new learning opportunities and I encourage other nurse anesthesiologists to do the same. Being a well-rounded clinician is a goal to strive for, and I applaud the efforts of those who do.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Adrienne Cain, DNP, CRNA enjoys giving back to nurse anesthesiology education and diversity mentorship organizations, including Dream Big and Bigger Dreams Better Tomorrows.