Blog Posts


Featured Clinician: Jhemika Watson, CRNA

Posted on Mon, Jan 23, 2017
Featured Clinician: Jhemika Watson, CRNA

In honor of National Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) Week, this month's Featured Clinician is Jhemika Watson, CRNA.

Years with EmCare: 2

Years practicing medicine: 2

What is in the pockets of your lab coat? Several ink pens (people like to “borrow” mine a lot), cell phone with several clinical apps, and a bottle of lotion (which I use frequently due to repeated handwashing).

What would be your ideal category on “Jeopardy”? Science.

How do you stay organized at work? I’m a creature of habit. I set everything up the same way almost every day. I make changes as necessary.

What are your tips for “leaving work at work” and not getting burned out professionally? I meditate and continue to remind myself that all I can do is my best.

What do you enjoy outside of work? I love to spend time with my friends and family.

What’s your favorite inspirational quote? “The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today” by H. Jackson Brown Jr.

How would your co-workers describe you? Dependable (hopefully!)

Tell us something that most people at work don't know about you. In college, I participated in a research experiment in which we trapped bears and did health evaluations, allowing us to keep track of the black bear population in the Smoky Mountains.

What are you currently reading? “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi

What personal accomplishment are you most proud of? I established a scholarship in honor of my grandmothers. It goes to graduating seniors at my former high school.


Featured Clinician: John DellaRipa, CRNA

Posted on Thu, Jan 28, 2016
Featured Clinician: John DellaRipa, CRNA

It’s National CRNA Week, and we’re recognizing some of our anesthesia superstars! Meet John DellaRipa, CRNA at California Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Years with EmCare: 3 years

Years Practicing Anesthesia: Graduated as CRNA from Kaiser Permanente School of Nurse Anesthesia in 2004.

Why did you choose to become a CRNA? Like many 1970s adolescents, watching Emergency One sparked my interest in pre-hospital medicine. Ultimately, I graduated paramedic school in 1995 from Kapiolani Community College in Honolulu. Shortly after graduation, I enrolled in nursing school at Hawaii Pacific University to expand my medical knowledge for my pre-hospital career. During this time, I discovered the CRNA pathway and knew this was the natural career progression I should pursue.

Describe one of your greatest professional accomplishments. It occurred this August, when I received the award for Clinical Coordinator of the Year for the Kaiser Permanente School of Nurse Anesthesia.

What would be your ideal category on “Jeopardy”? “Regional Anesthesia” for a $1,000, of course.

How do you stay organized at work? Working with students definitely forces me to be organized and on top of all of the latest anesthesia research/techniques.

What are your tips for “leaving work at work” and not getting burned out professionally? Working out before my shift helps clear my mind for the day. I commute from South Orange County to Downtown Los Angeles (58 miles) at 4 a.m. to beat the morning traffic. This gives me 90 minutes to work out before heading into the hospital for my shift.

How are you “making healthcare work better”? I mostly work in the Orthopedic OR, where there are core teams. Working with the same OR staff and surgeons forms strong bonds and relationships that make the workplace enjoyable even during a busy stressful OR day.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about work or life? The best advice I’ve received occurred very early in my pre-hospital career and has stuck with me for more than 20 years. My paramedic mentor Mandy Shiraki, MICT (RIP) said, “Treat every patient as if they were your family member. Treat them how you would want to be treated.”

What do you enjoy outside of work? I work hard and play hard. My personal hobbies outside of work center around family activities: mountain biking, skiing, taking the Jeep out, and working out. Very soon I'm hoping to start training in Jiu Jitsu with my son Griffin.

What’s your favorite inspirational quote? One of my favorite quotes comes from Bruce Lee: “Learning is a process of discovery, a process without end.”

What are you currently reading? I’m reading “Scar Tissue,” the autobiography of Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

What’s your favorite TV show? Anything that's a documentary: Forensic Files, Making a Murderer, The First 48

What personal accomplishment are you most proud of? My family is my life's biggest accomplishment: my wife Catherine and kids Griffin and Giselle


National CRNA Week: Our Growing Role, Especially in Rural Hospitals

Posted on Mon, Jan 25, 2016
National CRNA Week: Our Growing Role, Especially in Rural Hospitals

During National CRNA Week – January 24-30, 2016 – We will recognize some of the amazing men and women providing care in this important clinical role. Visit EmCare’s Facebook page to learn more about our CRNA superstars.

By Linda Caccamo, CRNA, MS, MBA/MHA

America’s rural hospitals are struggling. It seems that I read news of a hospital closure nearly every week. One way that financially strapped hospitals are working to deliver quality care more economically is through the use of advanced practice registered nurses, specifically Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs).

CRNAs, the primary providers of anesthesia services in rural America, provide the majority of anesthesia care in U.S. counties with lower-income populations and populations that are more likely to be uninsured or unemployed, according to Nursing Economic$.

About CRNAs

CRNAs administer approximately 40 million anesthetics each year in the United States, according to the AANA’s 2014 Practice Profile Survey. The industry began credentialing registered nurse anesthetists in 1956.

CRNAs provide anesthesia in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists and other qualified providers. They are responsible for patient safety before, during and after surgery. Nurse anesthetists administer every type of anesthesia to patients in a variety of healthcare settings. CRNAs provide continuous pain relief and sustain patients’ critical life functions during surgical, obstetrical and other medical procedures. CRNAs monitor and interpret diagnostic information throughout the course of a patient’s procedure.

Typically, the requirements to be a CRNA are:

  • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or other appropriate bachelor’s degree
  • A current license as a registered nurse
  • At least one year’s experience as a registered nurse in a critical care setting
  • Graduation with a minimum of a master’s degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program
  • Pass the National Certification Examination following graduation.

To be recertified, CRNAs must obtain a minimum of 40 hours of approved continuing education every two years, document substantial anesthesia practice, maintain current state licensure, and certify that they have not developed any conditions that could adversely affect their ability to practice.

Job Outlook

Due to increased financial pressure on hospitals, there is a significant and growing need for CRNAs across the country. A 31 percent growth rate is predicted over the next decade, according to

EmCare employs CRNAs in facilities across the country. They are valued members of our clinical team, and our integrated care approach enables CRNAs to practice at the top of their licenses.

EmCare supports CRNAs in a variety of ways, including:
  • Leadership, teaching and mentoring opportunities
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Earn While You Learn, a program that provides a monthly stipend to providers completing a CRNA program

During National CRNA Week – January 24-30, 2016 – We will recognize some of the amazing men and women providing care in this important clinical role. Visit EmCare’s Facebook page to learn more about our CRNA superstars.

Linda Caccamo

Linda Caccamo, CRNA, MS, MBA/MHA, is Senior Vice President of Operations for EmCare Anesthesia Services. Caccamo received her master’s degree in anesthesiology from the Medical College of Pennsylvania and combined MBA/MHA from Wilmington University in Delaware. In her current role, she offers supervision and support for anesthesia site medical directors and professional staff. Before joining EmCare, she served as an executive director for a large anesthesia group practice at a Level 1 regional referral center. She is a former instructor for Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) and has earned a Black Belt Certification in Lean Methodology for Healthcare. She has served on numerous professional and state level committees and continues to practice anesthesia as an anesthetist in EmCare’s North Division.



Smoking Rates Still Low for Most Health Care Professionals

Posted on Wed, Jan 15, 2014
Smoking Rates Still Low for Most Health Care Professionals

Pattern persists with rates lowest in physicians (2 percent), highest in LPNs (25 percent)

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with 2006 to 2007, smoking rates among health care professionals for 2010 to 2011 continue to be lowest in physicians and highest in licensed practical nurses (LPNs), according to a research letter published in the Jan. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on tobacco control.

Linda Sarna, Ph.D., R.N., of the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues analyzed public data to compare changes in the prevalence of smoking among health care professionals for 2003, 2006 to 2007, and 2010 to 2011.

According to the results of a 2010 to 2011 survey of 2,975 health care professionals, 8.34 percent reported being current smokers. The researchers note that current smoking rates were lowest in physicians (1.95 percent) and highest in LPNs (24.99 percent). Registered nurses were the only group with a significant decline in smoking rates for 2010 to 2011 (7.09 percent) compared with 2006 to 2007 (10.73 percent) or 2003 (11.14 percent).

"The majority of health care professionals continued as never smokers," the authors write. "In 2010 to 2011, current smoking among these health care professionals, excepting licensed practical nurses, was lower than the general population (16.08 percent)."

One author disclosed financial ties to Pfizer.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)




Watch highlights from EmCare's 26th Annual Leadership Conference!

Posted on Tue, Jun 11, 2013

One of the many benefits of being an EmCare-affiliated clinician is attending EmCare's annual leadership conference. The conference is a three-day event filled with continuing medical education and fun for EmCare-affiliated clinicians.

This year’s conference featured three keynote speakers: Dr. Kent Bottles, Nathan Kaufman, and Barry Maher. Along with informative keynotes, physicians had a chance to attend numerous breakout sessions focused on today's hot health care topics and network with colleagues.

Watch the video below to hear what physicians who attended this year's leadership conference had to say about the event!

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