Hello Everyone! I am very pleased that TANA has given me the opportunity to be a part of the new blog! My name is Meredith Holtz, but most people still know me as Meredith Goldman due to the fact that I just got married two short months ago! I was born in Knoxville, Tennessee to Mitch and Margy Goldman. I have three older brothers, although my parents always tell me that if they had me first, they would have been too exhausted to have any other kiddos. I grew up as a Vol fan in Knoxville, and I am pretty convinced that I bleed orange along with the rest of the town. Growing up with three brothers of course means that I am a tomboy and not afraid of a good challenge. I attended East Tennessee State University where I played four years of collegiate soccer, but more importantly my love for the profession of nursing was born. I earned my bachelors in Nursing from ETSU and immediately went to work at University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. With my sights set on becoming a CRNA, I completed two years work on a Med/Surg Floor before moving to the Trauma/Neuro/Surgical ICU. My dreams became more of a reality when I was admitted to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Nurse Anesthesia Concentration in March of 2011. I am currently a junior at UT, but in a week I will earn the title of a senior, which means the countdown is officially on! I live in West Knoxville, with my husband (its still weird to type that), Bradley and our cat (although she acts like a dog), Luna.
Last October, my 14 classmates, our fearless leaders (Dr. Bell, Julie Bonom and Terri Preast), and myself packed up and went to Murphreesboro for the annual TANA meeting. We attended seminars, watched my beloved Vols lose to that school from Tuscaloosa, but most importantly I began my journey as the Tennessee Association of Student Nurse Anesthetists representative. Being chosen by the students is an honor, but the big honor is getting to attend meeting and meet CRNA’s and students from all over the state! We are very lucky to have such awesome TANA board members on the front lines of our profession.
In January, I was surfing the AANA website and found out that the AANA has an election every year to choose one student to serve as a student representative on the Education Committee. Ding! A light bulb went off in my head. I immediately scheduled a meeting with our program director to discuss whether this was feasible with our busy schedule. Without hesitation, Dr Bell looked at me from behind his desk decorated with photos of his wife, cats and Tennessee football memorabilia said, “Meredith, go for it, we will make it work. ” With his encouragement, and the always comforting cheerleading and support from Julie, Terri, and Alisa (our program backbones), I am on my way to Vegas to proudly represent my program and my state.
My decision to run for the Education committee sprouted from the undying love for education that my parents instilled in me. For me, education is a life long challenge and if you as my friends, I RARELY back down from a challenge! George Washington Carver summed it up for me when he wrote “ The education of a man is never complete until he dies.” My personal education will not end after graduation next year, in fact, I am certain that it will never end.
Below is my position statement that I am using as my platform to be elected as the student representative for the Education Committee. Please read on and enjoy! And if you find yourself at the meeting in Las Vegas, help team up with us to represent the state of Tennessee proudly! (And I could use a little campaign help too!)
It’s 1:14am. I just finished my 9th case of the night and I’ve been let go to rest with my ticking time bomb of a pager until another case comes in. I am a junior SRNA at the University of Tennessee. As loud and startling as my pager’s call is, I still love the sound of it going off. I love the sound because every time it awakens me, there is a mystery behind what I am getting ready to step into. I love the mystery and puzzle of every patient that rolls onto my OR table.
The demands of being an SRNA are such that we often lose sight of the bigger picture of what we have gotten ourselves into. With the combination of mental and physical exhaustion, we sometimes find ourselves just hoping to survive the day. I would be lying to you if I told you that I am not guilty of feeling that way. However, I would also be lying to you if I told you that I got into this profession for the money. As we all know, the salaries are not what they used to be, and the demand for education is increasing as healthcare reform sets in. Anesthesia nursing is at the forefront of the changes, therefore, the requirements to become a nurse anesthetist are also changing. We do not just need professionals in the field of anesthesia, it is imperative that we have professionals that want to teach and enrich the lives of future practitioners.
Everywhere I go people tell me that being a student is a great because as they put it (insert mental picture of Uncle Sam)“ You are the future of your profession.” Well, I may be the future of my profession, but I find that hard to absorb right now because every time I get an intubation I still want to do a touchdown dance. But, touchdown dance or no touchdown dance, the truth still lies in the fact that I am the future of the profession. Therefore, I feel it is my duty to my profession and to the students that will come after me, to teach and fight for the profession that I carefully chose for myself.
As anesthesia nursing charges into the future of healthcare reform, we need educators and leaders to make sure that we are up to date on how to provide the safest and most efficient care for our patients. As a member of the education committee I promise I will advocate for the rights of students and nurse anesthetists as healthcare evolves around the changing times. I would be honored to represent students all over this country because one day I would love to teach students from all over this country.
1:27 am. There goes that pager again. Time to grab my induction bag and my Red Bull and head into the great unknown of University of Tennessee Medical Center’s trauma OR 26. Because of the preparation that my educators have given me and because they choose to stay up to date on current practice, I can charge into that OR with confidence that my patients will be well cared for. I hope that one day the students I prepare will feel the same way.
If you would like to contact me my Email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Also for all you students out there, hop on Facebook and “like” the Tennessee of Student Nurse Anesthetists! Thanks so much!