Dave Ratliff Named Recipient of the 2015 Patty Cornwell Practitioner of the Year Award

By on Oct 22, 2015 in Announcements, Our Super Heroes, TANA Annual Meeting | 2 comments

Local CRNA Honored as Practitioner of the Year By: Terri Durbin, CRNA, DNP, APN (Maryville, TN)  – Local Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Dave Ratliff was recently awarded the Patty Cornwell Practitioner of the Year award by the Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists at their Annual Meeting in Murfreesboro, TN. The Patty Cornwell Practitioner of the Year Award is given in recognition of outstanding contribution to nurse anesthesia practice as a clinician, educator and/or researcher. It is voted on annually by the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Mr. Ratliff is heavily involved in teaching and missionary work in Guatemala and Kenya while holding a full-time position as a clinician at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. He also serves as the Team Leader for the Medical Center’s Department of Anesthesia for the Annual Man Run for Prostate Cancer. Julie Bonom, CRNA and President of the Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists said “This award demonstrates Dave’s commitment to anesthesia and to high-quality patient care. Dave is an outstanding role model for student nurse anesthetists, and is an inspiration to his colleagues.” Dave’s wife, Janet, and daughter, Katie were present as he received his award. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) have been providing anesthesia care to the citizens of Tennessee for over 150 years. Currently, there are more than 2,400 CRNAs licensed to practice in Tennessee. CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered and are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural...

MTSA Team Launches Mission Program

By on Jul 27, 2014 in Our Super Heroes, Student Success | 0 comments

A group at Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia is currently spearheading efforts to implement a permanent service program at the school.  This mission-based initiative will send teams to provide a variety of medical services, including anesthesia for much-needed (but previously unaffordable) surgeries, in impoverished areas across the globe. To learn more about the team’s recent efforts, as well as their future plans, click here to visit The Tennessean’s website.  You can also read the full text of the article below. If it weren’t for the help of a Sumner County nurse, a 3-year-old child in Haiti would have likely died. Many lives were saved and improved in economically struggling countries within the past months because of the commitment of three local leaders who are hoping to inspire others to serve. Rachel Brown, Ken Schwab and Chris Hulin are administrators at Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia in Madison. They have embarked on multiple missionary trips lately in hopes to lay the path for a service program to launch at the institution in 2015. “We want to learn how to plan and organize these trips and figure out the logistics,” said Brown, the school’s assistant program administrator. A Gallatin native, Brown spent 15 years working as a nurse anesthetist at Hendersonville Medical Center. A nurse anesthetist works in a team with the anesthesiologist before surgeries to put patients to sleep and afterword bring them back to consciousness. “That nurse will be at the head of your hospital bed, and she or he would have the most interaction with you,” said Gallatin resident Ken Schwab, president of MTSA, which offers the only self-standing and the largest program for nurse anesthetists in the state. People wait years for surgery As part of one missionary trip in March, Brown spent a week in Haiti working with the Nashville-based nonprofit Live Beyond that is building a medical compound in the country. She provided basic first aid. An experience she won’t forget, Brown said, is when a mother walked two hours to bring her 3-year-old daughter, whose arm was burned from a hot liquid two days before. After Brown secured the wound, the mother walked the two-hour trip every day for a week so her child’s arm would be cleaned and re-bandaged. “That’s health care in Haiti,” Brown said. “There was just no other place to get care in that area. If she wasn’t treated, there was a high probability of a really bad infection because they also don’t have clean water, and her dying from that infection.” The picture was similar in January, when Brown’s mission work took her to the Dominican Republic with a team from Union University. They were the sole anesthesia providers for all surgeries in the area and had to bring their own supplies. People had waited for years to have surgery and some 200 lined to receive care. Of them, the team was able to operate on 40 patients. One of them was a woman in her 60s who had waited for five years to have a surgery on her uterus that was hanging between her legs due to weakened abdominal muscles as a result of multiple childbirths. “She had waited because she had no money,” Brown said. “It’s very uncomfortable and painful. She could’ve very easily died from infection.” Needs remains The school’s Dean and Program Administrator Chris Hulin traveled to Guatemala in November. There he and four other medics set up mobile clinics, where they treated between 100 and 150 patients a day for conditions from respiratory infection to joint pain to diabetes. “One specific 6- or 7-year-old girl wouldn’t have lived another two days because her fever was so high and her respiratory infection was so severe,” said Hulin, who lives in Portland. The team set up clinics at various locations such as schools and churches. Once they had to transform a store’s front into a clinic and its chicken yard into a waiting room. “You’re only there to help them temporarily, and there are many long-term needs,” Hulin said. “We’re looking for more opportunities to do mission trips and teach self care. There’s a lot of need for basic health-care education.” While not medical, Schwab’s mission work in February partially healed a pastor’s parsonage in Cuba. With a team from local Methodists churches, Schwab resurfaced the parsonage’s interior walls with materials, mostly brought from the U.S. “Cuba doesn’t have much to work with,” Schwab said. “It was a beautiful building that had deteriorated over the years, and the need for maintenance was significant.” Missionaries hope Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia students and staff will follow in their footsteps. “This is our demonstration of personal commitment to service,” Schwab said. “As an extension to one of our core values, we hope to communicate and install in our students and staff the importance of serving others.” Contact Dessislava Yankova at 575-7170. Follow her on Twitter @desspor. Did you know? The Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia is a higher education, single purpose Christian institution that offers two graduate programs: a Master of Science with a Focus in Anesthesia degree and a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice degree. • 65 percent of nurse anesthetists in Middle Tennessee are MTSA alumni. • 45 percent of all nurse anesthetists in the state graduated from MTSA. • 1,500 people have graduated from MTSA worldwide Learn more at...

TANA Member, Juanita Turnipseed, Named to Tennessee Board of Nursing

By on Mar 7, 2014 in Announcements, Our Super Heroes | 52 comments

We are proud to announce that one of our TANA members, Juanita Turnipseed, was appointed to represent the 5th Congressional District as a member of the Tennessee Board of Nursing.  Below is a portion of the press release, which can be found in its entirety here.  Juanita Turnipseed, a certified nurse anesthetist (CRNA) for Anesthesia Medical Group (AMG), aPhyMed Healthcare Group Company and provider of innovative anesthesiology services, has been named to the Tennessee Board of Nursing, representing the 5th Congressional District. “In the thorough, aggressive search for candidates, your individual characteristics and professional qualifications were exceptional,” said Governor Bill Haslam in a letter to Turnipseed. Turnipseed, who works as one of Anesthesia Medical Group’s CRNAs was among the number of nominees who expressed interest. Her appointment to the 11-member nursing board is effective immediately and runs through September 2017. “I couldn’t be more honored to be named to the Board,” says Turnipseed, who has been with PhyMed since 2001. “Nursing is a serving profession, and I’m pleased to have the chance to serve the citizens of Tennessee in this new responsibility.” The Tennessee Board of Nursing was founded in 1911 to “safeguard the health, safety and welfare of Tennesseans by requiring that all who practice nursing within this state are qualified and licensed to practice.” “We are honored to have Juanita recognized by the Governor in this manner and to support nursing in the state of Tennessee,” said Frederick Miller, CEO PhyMed. A Note from TANA President Mark Haffey Mark Haffey CRNA, President of Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists commented, “The Association is extremely pleased that Juanita Turnipseed CRNA was selected by the Governor to serve on the Board of Nursing.  It makes me extremely proud to have a member who is dedicated to serving her state.  She provides excellent anesthesia care to the patients of Tennessee and will continue as she serves the state of Tennessee in her role on the Board of Nursing.” The Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists represents over 2100 CRNAs providing anesthesia in university medical centers, large and small hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, office-based clinics and in our VA healthcare facilities.  The CRNAs of Tennessee are dedicated to providing excellence in anesthesia care, while continuing to support leaders in education and research in the field of nurse...

A Super Hero Update: Shannan and Jessica’s Story of Make-shift OR’s and More

By on Jan 23, 2014 in National Nurse Anesthetist Week, Our Super Heroes, Uncategorized | 1 comment

When we heard about the medical mission trip that Shannan Case and Jessica Ginn went on, we knew we had to include them in our CRNA Week series: Super Heroes. Wow! The things they experienced are, well, we’ll let you make your own opinion on that. Here’s there story:   During our first medical mission trip with Drs. Ed and Olivia Cabigao, we were truly blessed with an opportunity of a lifetime. After many obstacles including a gunman in LAX, a delayed flight for two days, an 18 hour flight, and just dodging the Super Typhoon Yolanda, the people of Baliwag, Philippines welcomed us with immense hospitality. The hospital and surroundings were far from anything we had ever seen. The area was poverty stricken and the hospital was functioning on bare minimum supplies. The anesthesia machine consisted of a five liter flow meter, APL valve, CO2 absorber, circuit, reservoir bag, H cylinder oxygen supply, and scavenging out of the window. There were no ventilators in the entire hospital.  The OR was set up for two simultaneous surgeries with only one suction for the entire room to be shared by all. The only air conditioning in the hospital was in the OR, which was a window unit. Bare necessities included betadine soaked cotton balls for surgical prep, non-adjustable operating room tables, one main OR light and a stand alone light for both operating teams.  We provided general and/or regional anesthetics for a variety of surgeries including hysterectomies, thyroidectomies, cholecystectomies, hernia repairs, several mass removals, an orchiectomy, GI endoscopies, and a nephrectomy. We also did a few pediatric patients with the youngest at five years of age. They were the bravest; IV’s were put in prior to induction and they walked to the OR table without even a whimper. Patients recovered in a room with no continuous monitoring capability, H-cylinder oxygen supply, and a window air conditioning unit. Few of them requested pain meds or antiemetics. Surprisingly, the majority of the patients were relatively healthy. We had a great team of medical professionals that all worked well together in providing a service to an area in desperate need of medical care ranging from health screenings to major surgery. Even though the conditions were less than what we in the United States would consider acceptable, we feel it was an inspiring trip and, hopefully, the first of many more.                       ...

Super Hero Update: A quick note and some pictures from Ian Bicol

By on Jan 21, 2014 in National Nurse Anesthetist Week, Our Super Heroes | 0 comments

Our Passion, Our Priority, Our Patients

By on Jan 20, 2014 in National Nurse Anesthetist Week, Notes from the President, Our Super Heroes | 0 comments

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are dedicated to Tennesseans.  Appendicitis, Broken Bones, Gall Bladder, Heart Attack, Stroke … All are unexpected conditions that our citizens have every day, and all may require a surgical intervention. Because of experiencing fear regarding anesthesia is common, patients want to know that they are in experienced hands, someone to ensure that they will not feel pain and will have a great experience. In Tennessee, we have over 1,900 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) who are all dedicated to making certain the citizens of Tennessee have access to excellent anesthesia care. Providing services are large university hospitals, urban and rural community hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and office based clinics where CRNAs are an essential provider in Tennessee. Currently CRNAs are the primary provider of anesthesia services in Tennessee with 41 of the 95 counties in Tennessee having anesthesia services provided ONLY by nurse anesthetists. In 2014, Tennessee will undergo healthcare reform as legislators have vowed to address this issue during the legislative session. The question is, “how will CRNAs play a role in the new system”? Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are first, and foremost, passionate about being patient advocates. Our priority is to ensure that when one of our fellow Tennesseans arrives for a surgery, for which they feel fear of the unknown, we as CRNAs can ensure quality care. We will be with them throughout the entire procedure providing high quality and caring anesthesia care, ensuring that you have a thorough pre-op assessment, adequate pain control, vigilant monitoring, and a comfortable post operative experience. January 19-25 is National Nurse Anesthetists Week. There are currently 45,000 CRNAs providing approx. 34 million anesthetics each year in the United States covering anesthesia for obstetrics, pain management, pediatrics, transplants, cardiac care, neurosurgery, trauma, and many other cases.  Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are the primary provider of anesthesia services for our military serving in both the front line Medical Units, support hospitals, and in the VA system. As an anesthesia specialist for over 150 years, and as the first specialist dedicated solely to anesthesia care, CRNAs are here for our patients. We hope that you will take time this week and thank the CRNAs at your hospital or other facility. If you are having surgery this week, know that it is CRNAs who will be watching over you ensuring that you have the highest quality...