CRNA Profiles: Gertrude Fife



Gertrude L. Fife was born in 1902 in Vermont and received her nurses training at Fanny Allen Hospital School of Nursing, Winooski, Vt. A 1925 graduate of Lakeside Hospital School of Anesthesia in Cleveland, Ohio, Fife was appointed a member of the staff immediately upon graduation and was Agatha Hodgins’ first assistant. She was a charter member of the AANA; at the June 1931 organizational meeting of the AANA she made the motion that a national organization of nurse anesthetists be formed. She served as AANA’s second president in 1933-1935. Fife was instrumental in planning the first AANA annual meeting, which was held in Milwaukee in 1933. She published the first issue of the AANA Journal in 1933 and served as Journal editor and chair of the Publishing Committee until 1944. She also was AANA’s treasurer from 1935 to 1950.

Fife was appointed director of the University Hospitals of Cleveland (formerly Lakeside Hospital) School of Anesthesia in 1934 after Agatha Hodgins’ retirement; she served in that position and as director of University Hospitals’ anesthesia department until her own retirement in 1946.

She was the recipient of AANA's Award of Appreciation in 1950 and the Agatha Hodgins Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in 1978. Fife died on October 6, 1980.

 
 

 Sources for Additional Information on Fife

 
Bankert M. Watchful Care: A History of America's Nurse Anesthetists. New York: Continuum;1989. Available for purchase from the AANA Bookstore.
 
 
 
Mrs. Fife retires after twenty-one years at University Hospitals. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. 1946;14(2):55.
 
Thatcher VS. History of Anesthesia with Emphasis on the Nurse Specialist. Philadelphia: JB Lippincott;1953. See chapters 12-16.
 
 

 Fife's Bibliography

 
Fife GL. The future of the nurse anesthetist. Report of the First Annual Meeting of the National Association of Nurse Anesthetists. 1933:15-19.
 
Fife GL. Report of the president. Report of the Second Annual Meeting of the National Association of Nurse Anesthetists. 1934:23-25.
 
Barlow OW, Fife GL, Hodgins AC. Clinical Use of Pentobarbital Sodium as a Preanesthetic Agent. Archives of Surgery. 1934;29(4):527-545.
 
Barlow OW, Fife GL, Hodgins AC. Avertin in Preanesthetic Medication: A Survey of 1,831 Surgical Anesthesias. Archives of Surgery. 1934;29(5):810-827.
 
Fife GL. President's report. Bulletin of the National Association of Nurse Anesthetists. 1935;3(1):48-50.
 
Fife GL. Save rubber [letter]. Bulletin of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. 1942;10(3):161.
 
McMahon J, Fife GL. Nursing problems in recovery from anesthesia. American Journal of Nursing. 1945;45(8):618-622.
 
Fife GL. Administration of an anesthesia department. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. 1946;14(2):7-16.
 
Fife GL. Is the situation serious? Journal of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. 1947;15(2):7.
 
Fife GL. The sending of senior students to institutions in need of anesthesia service. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. 1947;15(2):91-92.
 
Fife GL. The nurse as anesthetist. American Journal of Nursing. 1947;47(5):308-309.
 
Fife GL. Anesthesia for the psychotic patient. ​Journal of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. 1950;50(6):256-294.

 

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