AANA Welcomes Keynote Speaker Noah Galloway
Congress Daily: How much do you think mental determination (mindset) contributes to physical recovery? Is it as simple as mind over matter?
Galloway: I think it is around 60/40 - 60% mental. The mind is incredibly powerful, but the body has its limitations.
Congress Daily: You have found great success following your physical recovery. If you had NOT sustained the injuries you did, and had returned home safely, what do you think you would be doing professionally now?
Galloway: I would have continued my military career.
Congress Daily: You’ve said that you felt a strong patriotic call to enlist in the military after September 11th. Based on what your battalion was given as its mission during your first deployment – if you had been in charge and were able to select your battalion’s mission – what type of operation do you think you would you have chosen?
Galloway: I wouldn’t change a thing. We were under excellent leadership. Good leadership means there is no cause for questioning.
Congress Daily: We face tough situations both in and out of the workplace every day. What are some tips to help with mental health and wellness in these situations?
Galloway: Find time to step away and take a mental break and come back fresh.
Congress Daily: Who or what inspires you?
Galloway: I’m always inspired by kids with disabilities. Their mindset is different, especially the kids who have never known anything different, as opposed to me living 24 years with all of my limbs and having to adapt. I learn so much from them.
Congress Daily: In your book, you mention the flight nurses and the others who helped you when you were first injured. Our CRNAs who serve in the military at Forward Surgical Hospitals, speak to the incredible adrenaline rush and stress of attending to such severe injuries and all that goes with a severe trauma case. Still others in the nurse anesthesia realm have had to deal with mass casualty trauma in the face of active shooters. What do you, as a former patient, and as a motivational speaker, want them to know most about your experience and what they do?
Galloway: As a severely injured patient, you are unconscious a lot of the time. In hindsight, it is like looking through a peephole into darkness. It is terrifying, and what I remember is being calmed and cared for in that time, which I appreciated just as much as the fact that they were saving my life.
Congress Daily: You talk about the military troops at times being too relaxed, not as vigilant as a situation might call for, in part because of living perhaps a less dangerous life in a camp as opposed to being out on patrol and in direct danger. The same can happen in healthcare (loss of vigilance) where the consequences also can be dire. How does someone maintain vigilance in a war zone and how could that be extrapolated to a healthcare environment?
Galloway: Constant training. When you are at work, you are at work. You are either in the action or preparing for it. Mental focus is critical.
Congress Daily: What would you most like our members to know about your upcoming keynote address?
I’m excited to share my story from the viewpoint of a patient and how important your role in my recovery is, but I also want to share how important your mental health is to you and your patients.
Congress Daily: Anything else you’d like to add?
Galloway: As excited as I am about my speech, I am most excited about the Q & A portion. I want this to be a conversation, so come prepared with questions!