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Student Spotlight – Medical Missions in Madagascar!

By on Feb 12, 2016 in Student Success | 3 comments

Here’s a great article about UTC student Meghan Duggan and her medical mission work in Madagascar! Graduate Student, Meghan Duggan Assists with Anesthesia in Madagascar By: Farron Kilburn Meghan Duggan, a senior graduate student in the School of Nursing’s Nurse Anesthesia Program, spent two-weeks aboard a Mercy Ship at the Toamasina Port in Madagascar this past October. She spent the majority of her time aiding in the administration of anesthesia for various surgeries on the ship for the local Madagascar population. Mercy Ships is a nonprofit organization that hosts a hospital aboard a ship with the mission to “provide lifesaving surgeries for people where medical care is nearly non-existent.” It is a rare opportunity for any student to be invited or allowed to serve aboard the ship, but Meg Duggan applied to accompany UTC Assistant Clinical Professor for the Nurse Anesthesia Program, Ray Alonge, MSN, CRNA and was accepted. Professor Alonge has volunteered on Mercy Ships for the past 10 years and has cultivated a trusting relationship with the organization. Meg raised the money for the medical mission trip through a fundraising site and charity events. Several of her fellow graduate students in the program helped her with a bake sale at Erlanger Hospital. Family, friends, professors, local hospital staff, and alum of the program all donated to make the trip possible. The UTC Graduate Student Association contributed funds as well, because Meg conducted some research as part of the trip. “It was definitely a community effort. And, my clinical schedule at the hospitals in Chattanooga had to be adjusted. Everyone was really accommodating. I knew I had to represent Chattanooga and UTC well, because in a way, this mission trip was a group effort.”     Meg’s daily schedule started at about 7:00 AM and ended after a case (an individual surgery) was finished usually by 6:00 PM—but sometimes as late as 8:00 at night. She was also on-call a couple of nights a week—some of those nights she had to return to the surgery deck at midnight or later for an emergency procedure.   Some of the common surgical procedures Meg assisted with in an anesthesia assistant capacity included removing maxillofacial tumors. Though they are benign, they can be deadly by obstructing the airway if not removed. Orthopedic surgeries to correct bone deformities such as severe bow-leggedness were also common. Correcting cleft palates was another frequent surgery performed on the ship. These procedures are not otherwise available to the people of Madagascar—so the Mercy Ship stationed at Port Toamasina fills a glaring medical need, and people travel across the country in hopes of getting medical attention from those on board. Pre-surgery, Meg worked with medical translators who aided with informed consent for patients and explaining how the anesthesia would work with putting them to sleep and waking them up. While there, Meg took notes about how the pre-surgery intake form that includes a patient’s medical history varies depending on the population you are serving as a medical provider. “You have to ask questions in medical histories in Madagascar that you might not need to here in the States. Knowing the types of questions to include depending on the culture and environment you’re in is a key component to being a good medical care provider. Right now I’m working on comparing how our typical intake form would be modified for the people in Madagascar.” Meg highlighted how the medical team on the ship worked with the resources immediately available. She said one of her favorite aspects of her time in Madagascar was seeing how the healthcare providers on the ship often donated their own blood for patients and were even “on-call” for donating. This is known as a “Walking Blood Bank”. She said she saw people carry their own blood immediately after donating straight to the patient in need. She said, “You would never see that in the U.S.—it was very moving to witness.” “I learned so much,” said Meg. “Every Wednesday morning we would have anesthesia meetings where I was able to hear about interesting cases and anesthesia-related topics from around the world.”   During her downtime, Meg studied for her UTC Anesthesia coursework in the library or in the Starbucks on the ship. She will be sharing some of her research and more about the trip at the UTC Graduate Research Symposium on April 14,...

Another Student Testimonial from the 2015 Mid-Year Assembly

By on May 14, 2015 in AANA, Student Success | 0 comments

Here’s another student testimonial from Darlesia Denise Smith, SRNA, about her experiences at the 2015 Mid-Year Assembly. The experience at the 2015 Mid-Year Assembly opened my eyes to what every CRNA and SRNA should engage in for the future of the profession. I had the opportunity to learn so much valuable information on the legislative bill process, advocacy, local and national policy issues, and how valuable CRNAs really are in healthcare. This assembly opened my eyes to how much time and dedication the AANA, CRNAs, Senators, and Congressmen spend to protect the practice. As a student, I felt so privileged to be able to participate in having a voice for currently practicing CRNAs and those to come. After visiting Capitol Hill and sitting in the offices of our district Senators and Congressmen, I do not take for granted the invaluable conversations and am very appreciative of the time they take to listen. It is definitely something that I will always remember and share with my fellow SRNA colleagues. Thank you TANA, Nurse Anesthesia Program Directors, AANA, and everyone else involved in making this opportunity possible for SRNAs! Darlesia Denise Smith, SRNA Class of 2016 at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga UTC Nurse Anesthesia students with Dr. Linda Hill, TANA President Julie Bonom, and Congressman Fleischmann UTC Nurse Anesthesia students Darlesia Smith, SRNA, and Meg Duggan,...

TANA Members Attend AANA Mid Year Assembly in Washington – Student Testimonial

By on Apr 30, 2015 in AANA, Student Success | 0 comments

Over 35 TANA Members attended the AANA Mid Year Assembly in Washington D.C. where they visited with our U.S. Representatives from Tennessee, and attended a Tennessee Tuesday event to meet with our U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker.   Below is a testimonial from Elizabeth Roehner, SRNA from UT Knoxville about what attending the event meant to her: Traveling to Washington DC to represent the CRNA practice in the state of Tennessee was both exciting and educational. I learned so much from seeing how the national organization, AANA, plays a huge role in our practice by protecting and fighting for our opportunities to provide safe and effective patient care. There is so much activity that goes on behind the scenes that makes our daily practice possible, that it makes sense why our monetary contributions to TANA and AANA are a necessity. Meeting my Senator and Congressman showed me how face-to-face interaction with true decision makers can make a difference! These relationships are important to establish and nurture in order to protect the CRNA practice in Tennessee. I am so thankful for this opportunity and experience! Sarah Combs, SRNA and Elizabeth Roehner, SRNA from UT Knoxville in front of the Capitol...

Another Student Testimonial from the 2015 AANA Mid Year Assembly

By on Apr 30, 2015 in AANA, Student Success | 1 comment

Here’s another testimonial from an SRNA who attended the 2015 AANA Mid Year Assembly. I would like to thank TANA for the amazing opportunity to attend the 2015 AANA MYA.  In my opinion, this experience was priceless in so many ways.  By attending the MYA I was able to not only become politically active personally, I was also able to connect and network with like minded CRNAs and SRNAs whose goals are to further our profession.  Meeting the senators and house representatives was a brand new experience and made me realize how important the AANA and PAC institutions truly are.  As prospective CRNAs it is easy for us to master the clinical aspect of nurse anesthesia but the MYA highlighted the “elephant in the room” topics that are often left out in the classroom; One of which is the business of nurse anesthesia. Rubbing shoulders with past, present, and future presidents of state and national associations was a major benefit to attending the DC assembly.  I was able to pick their brains and inquire about their paths to success in the CRNA profession. The networking benefit of the event was invaluable, I was able to connect with Stephen D. Smith of Georgia, Lena Gould, CRNA, Senator Bob Corker, CRNAs from Delaware, and so many others.  By networking and  having these contacts, it would be easier to gain employment nationwide upon graduation in July of 2016.  Thanks again to TANA, and TANA FPD, Vic Martin, CRNA, for the opportunity! Pelu Ogunyemi, BSN, SRNA Nurse Anesthesia Track – Class 2016 Class President Doctor of Nursing Practice Union University Union University SRNAs (Ian Bicol, Scott Awtry, and Pelu Ogunyemi) with Dennis Bless, CRNA (immediate Past President of AANA) and Sharon Pearce, CRNA (AANA President) Diversity in Nurse Anesthesia Mentorship Program Luncheon with Students from Union University Union University SRNAs (Ian Bicol, Scott Awtry, and Pelu Ogunyemi) networking with SRNAs from across the...

National CRNA Week – Student Spotlight, Part 3

By on Feb 2, 2015 in National Nurse Anesthetist Week, Student Success | 0 comments

            Meet another future CRNA, Kelly Woodard.  Read Kelly’s story about her experience before attending school to become a CRNA.  Find out how her career as a nurse allowed her to see the world and why her 40’s is going to be her best decade yet! Kelly Woodard, BSN, SRNA CO 2015 Lincoln Memorial University I received my ADN from Shawnee State University in 2000 and my BSN from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2012. My nursing experience includes 2 years as a staff ICU RN, 8 years as an ICU travel RN and 5 years as a PACU RN. I feel blessed to have been a nurse for the past 15 years. My career has lead me around the world where I have been privileged to care for, meet, and work with many amazing people. I am excited about my future as a Nurse Anesthetist and look forward to continuing my nursing career for many years to come. January 1, 2015 marked my 40th birthday, so this year will be one of my most accomplished years thus far. I am currently a senior at Lincoln Memorial University and ecstatic about graduating in December 2015! Happy CRNA...

National CRNA Week – Student Spotlight, Part 2

By on Jan 30, 2015 in National Nurse Anesthetist Week, Student Success | 48 comments

Meet Andrew Rice, another one of our outstanding SRNA student members!   Read about how his previous experience in the medical field helped prepare him for his role as a future CRNA and how he’s aligned his career path with his faith and convictions. Hello! My name is Andrew Rice, and I am a senior SRNA at Union University in Jackson, TN. Before I began my education at Union, I was a board certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and a charge nurse in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Nashville, TN. In my search for an anesthesia school, I wanted to find a program that combined the best anesthesia training with a Christian worldview. I knew I was where I belonged within a few minutes of meeting the faculty at Union. During my time at Union, I have had opportunities and experiences that will forever impact my life and future practice as a CRNA. I was able to travel to the Dominican Republic for the annual Union University Nurse Anesthesia Mission Trip. While in the Dominican Republic, I had the unique opportunity of not only providing anesthesia, but performing minor surgery and primary medical care to those in need. I have also attended the AANA Mid-Year Assembly in Washington, D.C. and have been a member of the TANA-PAC and TANA Government Relations Committees. As a SRNA, I am developing my ability to become an autonomous anesthesia provider as I look forward to my upcoming graduation. Current and future students, I encourage you to be involved in your state nurse anesthesia association and become vigilant anesthesia providers because you are the future of anesthesia care...