Beyond The Mask: Innovation & Opportunities For CRNAs

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Ep 150: Expanding Role of CRNAs in Disaster Response

With the resources and skills that CRNAs possess, they are trained to succeed in crisis situations, which is why more and more of our peers are assisting in disaster response. One of those generous people is Corinne Chausse, a CRNA from North Carolina that has worked on the front lines of Iraq, at the epicenter of the pandemic, and other highly stressful locations. Today she joins the show to talk about this experience, share remarkable stories, and explain the many benefits of serving in these response roles. 


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What we discuss in this episode: 

4:09 – Background on Corrine

6:47 – Places she’s traveled to  

10:41 – Preparing herself for these violent locations  

11:54 – Handling blast injuries

14:55 – Influencing her work at home

16:38 – Dealing with COVID in NYC  

21:16 – Positive memories she has  

26:54 – The tremendous levels of stress  

34:24 – Advice CRNAs with an interest in this work  

37:54 – Lightning Round  

Ep 149: Quality of Care Studies in Anesthesia – Fact vs Myth

For the past 50+ years, numerous quality of care studies have been published that evaluated outcomes based on the anesthesia provider. These studies have produced great data but some of the research methods and findings were flawed. That’s been used by the ASA and AANA to promote agendas. We’ve invited Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA, back on the show to tell us about the different studies through the years and sort out the difference between fact and fiction.


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AANA Document: Quality of Care in Anesthesia


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What we discuss on this episode:

4:27 – An overview of the studies and findings

6:58 – Studies from the 1970s and 80s

10:58 – Bechtodt study

14:48 – When Sandy was president elect  

17:30 – The Silber Study

24:00 – Flawed results

26:45 – Analysis by Dr. Michael Pine

31:48 – Abenstein and Warmer article in 1996

32:27 – Vila Study in Archives of Study

33:17 – Dulisse & Cromwell study

38:15 – Needleman study in 2008

39:41 – Simonson study in 2007

41:15 – What do we know now in 2021?

43:05 – How to learn more

48:04 – We need to keep producing data

53:21 – The future is quality, cost and access

Ep 148: Mental Health Awareness for Healthcare Workers and Trainees

The rate of mental health illness has already been on the rise among young adults and these past two years have added even more stress to our lives. We know first-hand how difficult things have been for healthcare workers and students alike. Michael Rieker, CRNA, DNP, FAAN, like many people, has been personally impacted by suicide and now uses that experience to help improve the mental health for people he comes in contact with each day. He joins us on this episode to talk about the challenges facing our industry, how we can personally make a difference in someone’s life, and an upcoming event that will honor the memory of an SRNA.


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About our guest: 


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What we discuss on this episode: 

2:44 – Welcome in Mike Rieker. Why this is important to talk about.

4:53 – Background on Mike

5:32 – What has been driving mental health issues

8:49 – Effect on healthcare workers

13:20 – The quiet stressors

18:48 – Enormous pressure on anesthesia students

22:48 – Lessons he’s learned  

27:06 – Empathizing with people

30:22 – Providing support  

34:43 – Difficulty in finding balance

39:00 – The annual run

40:59 – Final thoughts

41:29 – Lightning round

45:25 – Details on the run

Ep 147: APRN Regulation and Independent Practice with Ronald Castaldo, PhD, MBA, MS, CRNA, APRN

One positive that’s emerged from the pandemic is the reality that nurses are extremely good at their job and can thrive in an independent setting. The hope is that this will help APRNs and CRNAs move closer to a career where they can practice to the full extent of their training and education without statutory barriers. Today we’ve invited Ronald Castaldo, PhD, MBA, MS, CRNA, APRN, onto the show to discuss the pro-APRN wins in recent years and to help all CNRAs understand the importance of the state boards of nursing. He also provides a detailed background and breakdown of the APRN Consensus Model and the APRN Compact.


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What we discuss on this episode: 

2:59 – Welcome in Ron

6:37 – State board of nursing

8:35 – Different levels of discipline

12:57 – What gets reported to the national practitioner databank

16:09 – Losing your nursing license

21:12 – What is the APRN Consensus Model

26:29 – CRNAs working independently

32:13 – APRN compact

39:37 – Pandemic silver lining

40:32 – What’s the process to move states?

42:17 – Opponents to this

45:12 – Final thoughts

48:48 – Lightning round

Ep 146: Leading Up – How CRNAs Can Lead Without Being in Charge

Being a great leader doesn’t require a person to be in a position of power. Every CRNA has the opportunity to make a difference each day by leading up. The dean of Loma Linda University’s School of Nursing, Shawn Collins, PhD, DNP, CRNA, joins the show today to talk with us about this idea of making an impact from whatever role you’re in.


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What we discuss on this episode: 

2:39 – Background on our guest today

5:03 – Why this topic is important  

6:11 – Different types of power  

9:21 – What is leading up?  

12:47 – Takeaways from being on hospital board

14:34 – Tips for leading up

18:20 – Emotional intelligence

22:43 – Leadership is learned

24:48 – Final thoughts from Shawn

26:45 – Lightning Round

Ep 145: Why Regulatory Reform Strengthens the CRNA Profession

You might have noticed a surge in articles and stories about the nurse anesthesia profession in recent days and weeks, and that’s because of the push for regulatory reform. Joe Rodriguez, CRNA, has always been one to push for change and advocate for healthcare policy reform, and that’s the position he’s in once again. He joins us on this episode to discuss the changing landscape in the AANA, why leadership needs to be a priority, and explains what reform can mean for the future.


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What we discuss on this episode: 

4:51 – Welcome in Joe

7:28 – Why we’re discussing this right now

10:55 – Background on Joe and his practice  

14:44 – Diving into politics  

18:22 – Building relationships  

20:57 – How advocacy has impacted business

25:28 – Being scared of losing

30:35 – Corporate responsibility

34:30 – Time and effort it takes

38:36 – Collaboration is key

41:43 – Value in nurse anesthesiologist  

44:44 – Biggest challenge facing CRNAs  

48:42 – Message to folks that disagree with him

54:09 – Final thoughts

54:43 – Lightning round

Ep 144: Cultural Humility in the Nurse Anesthesia Profession

The issue of diversity isn’t one that’s limited to certain areas of the country or specific professions. It’s a problem that people everywhere are trying to solve, including the CRNA profession. We want to explore the topic and try to get a better understanding of the barriers and challenges for minorities entering this field so we asked Richard Flowers, CHSE, CRNA, DNP, to join the show to provide us with his insight and experience in this area.


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What we discuss on this episode:

4:24 – Excited for our guest today

7:27 – Background on Richie

10:06 – Why is this topic important

13:18 – Where does the problem start?

18:17 – Bringing awareness and context to the problem

20:19 – Barriers to diversity

25:05 – Cultural humility vs Cultural competence

26:58 – Programs at Wake Forest

36:04 – Millennials’ view of race

39:17 – Takeaway for CRNA listeners

44:32 – Why are you teaching this?

53:05 – Lightning round

Ep 143: A Complete Look Into the AANA Doctoral Task Force with Sandy Ouellette, CRNA

Back in 2006, the AANA Board of Directors appointed a Doctoral Task Force to explore the future direction in nurse anesthesia education. Sandy Ouellette was chosen to co-chair the task force and help lead those discussions that would shape the future for CRNAs. Today she joins us to provide an inside look at how it was composed, the original purpose and process, and all of the options were on the table.


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What we discuss on this episode:

2:07 – Welcome back Sandy  

4:37 – Events that led to the task force

6:59 – Move to university-based graduate programs

9:00 – What happened in 2004  

11:56 – Summit meeting in 2005 to create the Task Force

13:27 – Start of the Task Force

16:33 – Who was appointed to the Task Force?  

20:06 – Responsibilities given to the task force

21:49 –  The options they had to decide on

23:59 – Board adopts a position

25:51 – Thoughts behind the options the discussing

32:17 – Option 2 discussed  

35:58 – Option 3

38:30 – Option 4  

43:36 – Cautionary tales she would share with other directors

49:39 – Lightning Round

Ep 142: Promoting CRNAs & Anesthesia Through Social Media

As CRNAs continue to push for more awareness and understanding of the profession, social media has emerged as one of the great tools for accomplishing this goal. Rhianna Ferial, CRNA, and her husband have completely embraced the medium on multiple platforms to educate, mentor, and inspire. Today she joins the show to talk about the reason she devotes so much time to social media and how it ties into her entrepreneurial drive in conjunction with anesthesia.


Show notes: 


Connect with Rhianna: 


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What we discuss on this episode: 

3:32 – Welcome in Rhianna

6:03 – Background on her nursing career

8:07 – Importance and influence of social media  

9:50 – Becoming aware of the CRNA profession

10:44 – How she got started in social media and what platforms she uses

13:16 – Pursuits outside of anesthesia

14:42 – Real estate investing

17:40 – Goal to become a millionaire  

22:51 – When do you want to retire from anesthesia?  

25:52 – Working per diem

27:32 – What’s the ultimate objective

31:05 – Her Financial Freedom business

34:19 – Why the passion for finance?

37:23 – Final thoughts

39:35 – Lightning round

Ep 141: 5 Things CRNAs Must Know About Decumulation to Retire Successfully

When it comes to saving and investing during your working career, CRNAs can find plenty of help and resources to get them to retirement. Unfortunately, there’s not nearly as much support to help you manage that nest egg and spend down your assets. This period, known as decumulation, is just as important as anything you do with your finances so let’s make sure you know what it takes to retire successfully.


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What we discuss on this episode: 

4:00 – The retirement topic we’re covering today

6:24 – Preparing for longevity

9:17 – Finding the right type of support for retirement

12:23 – Fear of spending money is a real thing

15:42 – Risks in retirement

18:43 – Taxes play such an important role.

22:08 – Jeremy shares a client story

24:07 – Replacing your paycheck  

27:20 – What age should you start planning?

30:07 – Final thoughts from Jeremy

31:43 – Lightning Round

Ep 140: Free Open Access MEDucation: Leveraging Social Media & Podcasting for Learning

The beauty of technology is that information is accessible to anyone, anywhere, and the ability to learn is right there at our fingertips. Thanks to FOAM (Free Open Access Meducation), CRNAs are able to pull from all types of resources to continue education and improve their anesthesia skills. To help us understand what is available and how these digital platforms are giving content creators an outlet, we’ve asked Jon Lowrance, MSN, CRNA, the producer at Anesthesia Guidebook, to join us on the show.  


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What we discuss on this episode: 

2:49 – Background on Jon

9:06 – The educational role of podcasting

14:50 – Asynchronous learning programs

18:05 – Peer review standards

24:03 – Addressing outdated content

28:52 – Charging for content

37:29 – Teaching about CRNA history

40:29 – Learning by audio

47:40 – Closing thoughts

50:47 – Lightning round

Ep 139: Nursing, Politics, and the Future of Our Country with Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN

Many issues are facing our country right now and nurses will play a key role in helping communities move forward. As the most trusted profession, nursing should embrace that position and that’s what many leaders are trying to do. ANA President Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN, joins us on this episode to share his view on what he feels are priorities right now, how nurses can impact the future, and why representation is still crucial for the profession.


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What we discuss on this episode: 

3:03 – Excited to talk with Dr. Ernest Grant

3:54 – Bringing more sectors of nursing together

5:45 – Background on our guest

8:25 – How Sharon and Ernest met

11:45 – Why is this so important right now?

17:01 – Nursing is the most trusted profession

21:43 – Vaccinations

28:52 – AANA Newsletter

30:48 – Health and policy

40:22 – Financial situation for nurses

47:38 – Future of nursing report

54:31 – Bringing more people into the profession

1:03:33 – Lightning round

Ep 138: The Highs & Lows of Sharon’s Journey to a DNP

Before we share anything, please note that this is an emotional episode. Not only was the journey to a DNP a long and arduous one for Sharon with plenty of highs and lows that we’ll discuss, but we begin the show with heartbreaking news about Sharon’s granddaughter, Emma Kate. It’s tough to discuss but it’s important for the healing process and we appreciate everyone for the support along the way.  


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Details on the upcoming walk to remember Emma Kate: 


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What we discuss on this episode: 

2:25 – Plan for the show today

3:32 – Heartbreaking loss for Sharon’s family

8:39 – Sharon’s journey to get her DNP

13:01 – The why behind her decision

15:28 – Pros and cons of distance learning

18:34 – Why should you go back to get your DNP?

22:54 – Words of wisdom

26:57 – Getting overwhelmed through this journey

32:46 – Looking back on the process

35:45 – Final message to the younger CRNAs

Ep 137: Balancing Motherhood with a CRNA Career with the Smart Mamas (Re-release)

On this episode, we’re going back to a previous conversation with the three women behind the Scrub Caps & Sippy Cups podcast. This trio does great work for mothers in our profession so we wanted to spotlight them once again on the show. Plus, a lot has changed for them since we talked in early 2020.  


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About our guests: 


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What we discuss on this episode: 

0:50 – Why we’re revisiting this conversation

5:23 – Welcome our guests

6:18 – Background on Laci

7:19 – Background on Ellen

8:23 – Background on Crystal

10:24 – Why this topic is so important

11:52 – Connecting through social media

16:24 – Misconceptions about parenting

18:37 – Breastfeeding

25:58 – Keeping marriage intact

34:56 – What do you do for yourself?

38:18 – Maintaining your own identity

40:45 – How to connect with them

41:25 – Final Thoughts

Ep 136: APEX Live Anesthesia Helping CRNAs Prepare for CPC Assessment

Testing is never a relaxing experience and that’s why the upcoming CPC Assessment has created some anxiety for CRNAs. Thankfully, the duo behind APEX Live is working hard to help educate and prepare CRNAs through events, podcasting, and teaching. Jeremy Heiner EdD, CRNA and Sass Elisha EdD, CRNA, FAAN join us today to tell us more about the work they’re doing and then take us through some sample questions that might be found on the assessment.


Read more and get additional resources here: 


About our guests: 


Get the CE certificate here:


What we discuss on this episode: 

3:45 – Introducing our guests today

5:52 – Background on Jeremy and Sass, and the podcast

9:48 – Educational goals for the podcast

14:26 – Instilling confidence in testing

19:38 – Using humor

25:37 – APEX Live events

31:22 – How they develop their questions

33:44 – Sample questions

37:30 – The four domains on the test

38:08 – Test question

42:33 – Crisis checklist

50:28 – Test question

57:42 – Ways to connect with Jeremy and Sass

1:00:00 – Lightning round


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