National Nurse Anesthetists Week 2012 at Duke University

Duke University Medical Center and Duke University Nurse Anesthesia Program

National Nurse Anesthetists Week 2012
Durham, N.C.

The Duke University Nurse Anesthesia Program students and faculty celebrated National Nurse Anesthetists Week by hosting an exhibit of the U.S. Army DRASH (Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter) in the Duke School of Nursing atrium on Tuesday, January 24. A DRASH unit is a fully simulated deployable and mobile operating room environment which is housed within the confines of a tent -- otherwise referred to as Army mobile OR. U.S. Army enlisted men and women were on site with army nurse anesthetists and medics presenting anesthesia care delivery on the front lines. The event was open to student registered nurse anesthetists and all nursing school students, faculty and staff.
For more than 100 years, nurse anesthetists have been providing emergency stabilization and anesthesia care to injured servicemen and women in all branches of the U.S. military. This event was held to acknowledge the history of support and collaboration between the U.S. Army and the nurse anesthesia profession.
A recognition ceremony was held for Duke Clinical preceptors: Walter R. Hand, CRNA, PhD, USN (Ret.); Lt. Commander Cary Schultz CRNA, MSN, USN; and Lt. Joseph McVicker, CRNA, MSN, USN (Ret.).

Major Johnson, CRNA, describes his anesthesia techniques to Duke Anesthesia students.
Duke student registered nurse anesthetist Claire Yang, Class of 2013, with U.S. Army CRNA, Maj. Johnson.
Duke student registered nurse anesthetists also made visits to area high schools and schools of nursing to speak of a career in nurse anesthesia.
Duke student registered nurse anesthetists Preston Bird, Kat Heijt, and Courtney Hinson presenting to University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Nursing School. 
Duke student registered nurse anesthetists concluded the week by giving back to the community by volunteering at Habitat for Humanity. A total of 28 students volunteered their time and skills to promote the nurse anesthesia profession of quality in anesthesia care, and quality in community involvement. Additional time was spent serving at a local soup kitchen. The Duke students took the initiative of service and coordinated these student-directed events.

Duke student registered nurse anesthetists and Habitat for Humanity Service Project–Durham, N.C. 2012

Sara Quianoo and Ali Hutchins

Phillip Merrit

The week was filled with events of appreciation, community awareness and a focus on the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) impact in both local and global communities.
Duke University Hospital highlighted the influence of CRNAs through a display cabinet in the main hallway of Duke University Hospital, including photos of CRNAs and information on the history and responsibilities of a CRNA. Hospital staff helped celebrate Nurse Anesthetists Week through provided lunches and wellness appreciation events.
Speakers at the 2012 benefit included Adam Flowe CRNA, MSN, a staff CRNA, manager in the Duke University Anesthesiology department, and a graduate of the Raleigh School of Nurse Anesthesia. Flowe revisited his experiences to Haiti and Ghana. He joined an anesthesia and surgical team from Duke Medical Center and spent time not only providing anesthesia care to the earthquake-stricken nation of Haiti in 2010, but also provided preoperative and postoperative care. Flowe’s sincere presentation left a dramatic impression of a genuine desire to help other human beings. He encouraged a character of giving, and selflessness in a multidisciplinary team that sought to be the most effective by simply “doing what needs done.”

Items on Display for the Silent Auction

To close National Nurse Anesthetists Week 2012, a live and silent auction to benefit the global health mission was held Saturday night, January 28. More than 50 items were donated from the community including vacation homes, resort stays, restaurant gift certificates, handmade jewelry, gift baskets, wine, beauty products, art and a team-and-Coach-K-autographed Duke basketball. More than 100 participants from hospital staff, students, school of nursing faculty and the community joined together for an evening of food, drink, and fun. These donations contributed at the Second Annual Global Health Benefit Auction are made to increase the availability of CRNAs to travel to developing countries and contribute to safe anesthesia care globally. 

Adeyemi “Yemi” J. Olufolabi MB, BS, DCH, FRCA, an anesthesiologist in the Women’s Anesthesia and Critical Care Division of Duke University Anesthesiology department, also delivered a powerful perspective displaying the critical need for anesthesia providers in developing countries. Olufolabi, who stepped off a plane returning from Ghana only hours before the benefit, spoke of the anesthesia needs in Ghana. He shared the history of how “we came to visit and we stayed,” discussing the impact the visits from American CRNAs and anesthesiologists including a variety of programs and organizations that have brought changes to this developing country. Not only did “they visit,” “they stayed” and started a nurse anesthesia program – graduating the first class in 2011;
...“they stayed” and taught airway workshops, brought equipment, and organized supplies;
...“they stayed” and created a residency program, including a Duke anesthesiology resident, Jessica Meyer, who will intern for a year;
...“they stayed” and brought nurse anesthesia students Annie Poli, RN, BSN, and Kaitlynn Gallenger, RN, BSN, both students of the Duke Nurse Anesthesia Program Class of 2012;
...“they stayed” and increased their areas of teaching from the first center of Ridge Regional Hospital with 8,000 annual births, and have expanded to a second hospital in Sunyani, Ghana.
Olufolabi’s passion for giving, providing, teaching and serving spoke volumes.
CRNAs have been practicing at Duke for over 50 years. As a part of Duke University’s mission, Duke Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists have taken a leadership role in the area of global health by providing clinical services and assistance to countries in need. Because the need remains extreme, the Duke Department of Anesthesiology has partnered with healthcare institutions in countries including Uganda, Ghana, Guatemala, and Haiti. In recent years, CRNAs have increased their service and have given of their time and skills to multiple countries. Duke CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists collaborate with other healthcare providers to provide services and education to developing countries with a need for safe, quality and effective anesthesia.
Photos used with permission from Damien McMurray, Ali Hutchins, and Lisha Henson from Lifesong Photography